US Soccer announces nominees for Young Male Player of the Year

Patrick Felts
Ricardo Pepi is nominated by US Soccer for Young Male Player of the Year
Ricardo Pepi is nominated by US Soccer for Young Male Player of the Year / Kirk Irwin/GettyImages

After a big 2021 for the USMNT, US Soccer announced its nominees for the Young Male Player of the Year. The athletes up for the award are George Bello, Jesus Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi, Gianluca Busio and Yunus Musah.

Bello started in 26 of 29 appearances this season for Atlanta United, scoring once and assisting three goals. The 19-year-old made five caps for the USMNT in 2021, including an appearance in the Gold Cup Final against Mexico.

Jesus Ferreira starred for the USMNT in January, notching two goals and three assists against Trinidad and Tobago. The 20-year-old had eight goals and nine assists for FC Dallas in the 2021 MLS season.

FC Dallas and USMNT figure Ricardo Pepi obviously had an outstanding 2021 campaign. Pepi became an international sensation and household name. After deciding to join the USMNT over Mexico in August, he became a stable figure for the American side.

Pepi recorded one goal and two assists in his Stars and Stripes debut against Honduras in September. The 18-year-old led FC Dallas in scoring with 13 goals and three assists.

Gianluca Busio cannot be overlooked for the prize. He had a great year after leaving Sporting Kansas City for Venezia for a reported fee of $6.5 million rising to $10.5 million in potential add-ons. He scored his first Serie A goal in an October 1 tie with Cagliari.

Busio made his USMNT senior debut in the team’s CONCACAF Gold Cup match with Haiti in July. He quickly became a staple for head coach Gregg Berhalter during the following international windows.

Lastly, Yunus Musah committed to officially represent the United States at the national level over England in March. The Valencia CF midfielder has made 12 La Liga appearances in the 2021-22 campaign, including two starts for the club. 

Voting for the award starts Monday, Dec. 6 at 11 am ET and closes on Dec. 12 at 11:59 pm ET. The winner will be announced later in the month.