Boys National Soccer Player of the Year

By Gatorade, Special for  USDR

In its 32nd year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, The Gatorade Company today announced Umar Farouk Osman of The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, Conn. as its 2016-17 Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Osman was surprised with the news by New York City FC midfielder Jack  Harrison.

Check out the surprise video  here.

“It was exciting for me to be able to surprise Umar with the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year award, especially because he is such a deserving student-athlete,” said Harrison. “Umar is a well-rounded individual who has already accomplished so much on and off the field, and it’s an honor for me to welcome him into the prestigious Gatorade Player of the Year  family.”

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Osman as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player. A national advisory panel comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists helped select Osman from nearly 432,000 high school boys soccer players nationwide. Osman is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year award, to be presented at a special ceremony prior to The ESPY Awards in  July.

The 5-foot-9 senior midfielder scored 19 goals and passed for nine assists this past season, lifting The Hotchkiss School Bearcats to a 6-9-2 record. Osman – who is the 2016 Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association’s Player of the Year – had a direct hand in 28 of Hotchkiss’ 30 goals on the season. He participated in the High School All-American Game in North Carolina in December and concluded his prep soccer career with 63 goals and 45  assists.

A dorm proctor at Hotchkiss, Osman has volunteered locally as part of a fundraising campaign to provide school uniforms, backpacks and books to children in his native Ghana. He has maintained a B average in the  classroom.

“Umar is simply a magician with the ball,” said’s Senior Editor for High Schools Sheldon Shealer. “At the High School All-American Game, his talent stood out in a crowd of NCAA Division I-bound players. He has exceptional pace and quick change of direction. He’s very crafty in tight spaces and has the ability to leave defenders tripping over their  feet.”

Umar has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Michigan beginning this  fall.

“Umar is an exceptional student-athlete who has earned recognition as the nation’s best high school boys soccer player while also excelling in the classroom and making a difference in his native Ghana,” said Gatorade Senior Vice President and General Manager Brett O’Brien. “Umar’s statistics on the field speak for themselves, but even more impressive is the impact he has had on his teammates and the example he sets for younger student-athletes. Umar represents everything we look to celebrate in a Gatorade Player of the Year  recipient.”

As a part of Gatorade’s cause marketing platform “Play it Forward,” Osman also has the opportunity to award a $1,000 grant to a local or national youth sports organization of his choosing. He is also eligible to win one of twelve $10,000 spotlight grants for his organization of choice, which will be announced throughout the  year.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade high school sports leadership team in partnership with the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which work with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each  sport.

Former notable Gatorade National Players of the Year  include:

  • Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Peyton Manning
  • 2015 NBA first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Three-time WNBA champion Maya Moore
  • Seven-time track & field gold medalist Allyson Felix
  • Three-time beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh
  • Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw

For more information on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a complete list of former winners, and future announcement dates, visit the Gatorade Player of the Year Web site at, on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter at







Umar Farouk Osman

The Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT

High School Senior


Lucas Mendes

Washington-Lee High School, Washington, D.C.

New York Cosmos B


Jack Harrison

Berkshire School, Sheffield, MA

New York City FC


Abu Danladi

Dunn School, Los Olivos, CA

Minnesota United


Cristian Roldan

El Rancho High School, Pico Rivera, CA

Seattle Sounders FC


Ema Boateng

Cate School, Capinteria, CA

LA Galaxy


Luis Rendon

Cosby High School, Midlothian, VA

Duke University Grad


Soony Saad

Dearborn High Shool, Dearborn, MI

Sporting Kansas City


Dillon Powers

Plano High School, Plano, TX

Colorado Rapids


Chris Agorsor

McDonogh School, Owings Mills, MD

USL PRO Free Agent


Brayan Martinez 

West Orange High School, West Orange, NJ

Puebla FC (Mexico)


Eric Alexander

Portage Central high School, Portage, MI

Houston Dynamo


Lee Nguyen

Plano East High School, Plano, TX

New England Revolution


Patrick Phelan

Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA

Retired from MLS


Greg Dalby

Poway High School, Poway, CA

Davidson College Staff 


Jordan Harvey

Capistrano Valley High School, Mission Viejo, CA

Vancouver Whitecaps


Ned Grabavoy

Lincoln Way High School, New Lenox, IL

Retired from MLS


Alecko Eskandarian

Bergen Catholic High School, Oradell, NJ

New York Cosmos Staff 


Kyle Martino

Staples High School, Westport, CT

Retired from MLS


Nick Downing

Eastlake High School, Redmond, WA

New Eng. Revolution Staff


Nick Garcia

Bishop Lynch High School, Dallas, TX 

Retired from MLS


Andy Kirk

Marquette Univ., Milwaukee, WI

Retired from MLS


Pierre Venditti

Jonathon Law High School, Milford, CT

Univ. of Maryland Grad


Andriy Shapowal

Kenston High School, Chagrin Falls, OH

Univ. of Virginia Grad


Mike Fisher

Batavia High School, Batavia, IL

Univ. of Virginia Grad


Matt McKeon

De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis, MO

Retired from MLS


Claudio Reyna

St. Benedict’s Prep, Newark, NJ

NYC FC Dir. of Football Ops


Chris Henderson

Cascade High School, Everett, WA

Seattle Sounders FC Staff


Lyle Yorks

E.O. Smith High School, Storrs, CT

Retired from MISL


John Gwin

Boise high School, Boise, ID

Duke University Grad


Kevin Hundelt

Aquinas-Mercy, Hazelwood, MO

Retired from MISL

SOURCE  Gatorade

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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