After a stellar year in which he helped his club to UEFA Champions League glory, and his country to triumph in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League, Christian Pulisic has been named USMNT Player of the Year for 2021.
This is the third time that Pulisic has received the honor after 2017 and 2019. Former Premier League players Clint Dempsey and Kasey Keller also won this honor three times. Landon Donovan is the only one to have won it four times. Pulisic, all of 23 years old, certainly has plenty of time to equal and surpass that record.
Pulisic may not have had prolific numbers this year — while being plagued with constant minor injuries — but he made decisive contributions in big games, including an assist against Atlético Madrid in the Champions League Round of 16, and a goal and an assist against Real Madrid in the semifinals. He also scored a penalty in the Nations League final against Mexico, which turned out to be the match-winner.
Congrats, Captain America!
Meanwhile, Billy Gilmour has been nominated for Scotland National Team Men’s Player of the Year. He will compete with Lyndon Dykes, Grant Hanley, John McGinn, Andrew Robertson and Kieran Tierney for the vote-based accolade.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough year, which included a trip to the Euros, where he made one appearance before unfortunately testing positive for COVID-19. He has since then made seven further appearances for his nation despite his young age.
At club level, Gilmour featured mostly in cup ties for Chelsea, but has seen some Premier League action with Norwich City, whom he joined on loan this summer.
Meanwhile, on the women’s side, Eric Cuthbert has been nominated for Women’s Player of the Year. She is up against Lee Alexander, Rachel Corsie, Claire Emslie, Christy Grimshaw and Caroline Weir for the award. Cuthbert, who’s been an important player for Emma Hayes’ quadruple-winning Chelsea side, may well be the favorite for this award.