NATIONAL football team captain and striker Kenwyne Jones, and goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams are the two Trinidad and Tobago persons who have been shortlisted, in different categories, as the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) is pleased to announce the first annual CONCACAF Awards, to honour the year’s stand-out performers and achievements from across Confederation events.
Jones has been nominated for the Player of the Year prize while fellow 29- year-old Williams is vying for the Goalkeeper of the Year award.
Jones, who plays for Stoke City in the English Premier League, has enjoyed a rich vein of form for Trinidad and Tobago, especially since the appointment of Stephen Hart as the national coach in June, while Williams have regained the starting position, on the basis of a fine showing at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.
The awards, which will continue on an annual basis, have been designed to recognise the top players, coaches and referees in women’s and men’s soccer competing in events within the CONCACAF region.
“We are delighted to introduce the first edition of the annual CONCACAF Awards, which will provide rightful and much-deserved recognition to our region’s best players, coaches and referees in the women’s and men’s games,” said CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb. “This event promises to become a prominent date on the football calendar for players and fans alike.”
The CONCACAF Awards will honour players and achievements in CONCACAF-sanctioned tournaments and competitions involving the Confederation’s national teams at all levels, including FIFA World Cup qualifying for both genders, in all age categories. Performances also eligible for recognition include those achieved in professional club football leagues within the CONCACAF Member Associations, as well as the CONCACAF Champions League.
This year’s award categories include Male and Female Player of the Year, Coach of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Referee of the Year, and Goal of the Year. In each class, a semi-final list of ten nominees has already been determined through voting of Technical Directors from each of CONCACAF’s 41 Member Associations and the CONCACAF Technical Study Group, which analyses tactics and rates performances at all official CONCACAF tournaments. The semi-final lists have now been submitted for final voting among three important stake-holding segments of the Confederation —Member Associations’ national team coaches and captains, as well as media and fans.
The national team coaches and captains from across the Confederation will account for one third of the final vote, and accredited members of CONCACAF’s media circle will contribute another third of the tally. Fans from around the region and the world are invited to vote online for the final one-third segment of the vote.
“These CONCACAF Awards are built around an inclusionary approach to voting, by reaching out to multiple contributors including our valued fans,” said general secretary Enrique Sanz. “We thank these groups for their efforts, and as a result we can be sure that those honoured in December will be deserving of their prizes from the standpoints of those important stake-holding groups.”
Final votes in each of the six categories will be tallied by mid-December, with three finalists elected in each category. Winners will be announced by the end of the year, via CONCACAF.com.
Player of the Year: Kenwyne Jones (Striker - Trinidad and Tobago); Landon Donovan (Striker - United States); Oribe Peralta (Striker - Mexico); Alvaro Saborio (Striker - Costa Rica); Clint Dempsey (Midfielder - United States); Bryan Ruiz (Striker - Costa Rica); Jerry Bengtson (Striker - Honduras); Roger Espinoza (Midfielder - Honduras); Michael Bradley (Midfielder - United States); Jozy Altidore (Striker - United States).
Female Player of the Year: Abby Wambach (Striker - United States); Christine Sinclair (Midfielder - Canada); Alex Morgan (Striker - United States); Hope Solo (Goalkeeper - United States); Jessie Fleming (Midfielder - Canada); Sydney Leroux (Midfielder - United States); Marie-Mychele Metivier (Striker - Canada); Christie Rampone (Defender - United States); Shirley Cruz (Midfielder - Costa Rica); Morgan Brian (Midfielder - United States).
Goalkeeper of the Year: Jan-Michael Williams (Trinidad and Tobago); Jaime Penado (Panama); Tim Howard (United States); Keylor Navas (Costa Rica); Noel Valladares (Honduras); Donovan Ricketts (Jamaica); Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico); Jesus Corona (Mexico); Moises Munoz (Mexico); Raul Gudino (Mexico Under-17).
Coach of the Year: Jurgen Klinsmann (United States); Jorge Luis Pinto (Costa Rica); Luis Fernando Suarez (Honduras); Julio Dely Valdes (Panama); Jorge Dely Valdes (Panama); Bruce Arena (United States); Oscar Ramirez (Costa Rica); Miguel Herrera (Mexico); Raul Gutierrez (Mexico); Victor Vucetich (Mexico).
Referee of the Year: Marco Rodriguez (Mexico), Joel Aguilar (El Salvador); Mark Geiger (United States); Jair Marrufo (United States); Roberto Moreno (Panama); Roberto Garcia Orozco (Mexico); Courtney Campbell (Jamaica); Walter Lopez (Guatemala); Henry Bejarano (Costa Rica); Walter Quesada (Costa Rica).