LAUREN HOLIDAY NOMINATED FOR FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

2013 Athlete of the Year Voting Kicks Off U.S. Soccer Awards Season

PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan (November 19, 2013) The 2013 National Women’s Soccer League MVP and FC Kansas City’s Lauren Holiday has been nominated for U.S. Soccer’s Female Athlete of the Year. She is joined by three previous winners: midfielder Carli Lloyd (2008), forward Abby Wambach (2003, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011) and last year's winner Alex Morgan. Rounding out the list are first-time nominees, forwards Christen Press and Sydney Leroux.

Fans can vote for the finalists in five categories - Male, Female, Young Male, Young Female and Disabled Athletes of the Year - on ussoccer.com throughout the week. The winners will be announced Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Vote for U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year

The opening of the Athlete of the Year ballot kicks off a busy awards season for U.S. Soccer. In December, the Best of U.S. Soccer: #100Years Edition will ask fans to select their favorite moment from the past 100 years in a bracket-style competition. U.S. Soccer will also name an All-Time Best XI for the Men's and Women's National Teams as the Centennial year draws to a close.

The U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year awards are the oldest and most prestigious awards of their kind, dating back to 1984 for the men and 1985 for the women, while the Young Male and Young Female awards were added in 1998. This is the second year U.S. Soccer will name a Disabled Athlete of the Year.

Two previous winners are included in the Male Athlete of the Year finalists: goalkeeper Tim Howard (2008) and forward Clint Dempsey (2007, 2011 and 2012). This is Michael Bradley's fifth nomination for the award and Jozy Altidore's second. Both are former winners of the Young Male Athlete of the Year Award (Altidore in 2006, Bradley in 2007). This is the first nomination for defender DaMarcus Beasley since 2007, when he was nominated as a midfielder.

Previous Young Female Athlete of the Year nominees Morgan Brian (2010 and 2011) and Crystal Dunn (2010 and 2012), both of whom debuted for the full WNT this year, are joined by first-time nominees Cari Roccaro, a defender for the U.S. U-20 WNT, U-20 and full WNT forward Lindsey Horan and 15-year-old Mallory Pugh.

Defender Shaquell Moore earns his second straight Young Male Athlete of the Year nomination. Midfielder Wil Trapp and defenders Kellyn Acosta, Shane O'Neill and Erik Palmer-Brown all earn their first nominations for the award. Nominees must be age eligible for any of the Youth National Teams and can only win the award once in his career. Forward Rubio Rubin was the 2012 U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year.

U.S. Soccer will also name a Disabled Athlete of the Year, which honors the achievement of disabled soccer players in the United States. This is the second year for the award, which began in 2012.

Online votes for the Athlete of the Year awards are equivalent to 50 percent of the total votes. As in years past, the other 50 percent will be represented by votes compiled from members of the national media and U.S. Soccer representatives (from National Team coaches to the National Board of Directors).

U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year Finalists Lauren Holiday, Midfielder Sydney Leroux, Forward Carli Lloyd, Midfielder Alex Morgan, Forward Christen Press, Forward Abby Wambach, Forward

U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Finalists Jozy Altidore, Forward DaMarcus Beasley, Defender Michael Bradley, Midfielder Clint Dempsey, Forward Tim Howard, Goalkeeper

U.S. Soccer Young Male Athlete of the Year Finalists Kellyn Acosta, Defender Shaquell Moore, Defender Shane O'Neill, Defender Erik Palmer-Brown, Defender Wil Trapp, Midfielder

U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year Finalists Morgan Brian, Midfielder Crystal Dunn, Defender Lindsey Horan, Forward Mallory Pugh, Midfielder Cari Roccaro, Defender

U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete of the Year Finalists Lexi Heer, Power Soccer Meghan Maiwald, Deaf Soccer Rene Renteria, Paralympic Soccer