These are the stats U.S. Soccer listed as the qualifications to nominate Lauren Holiday as the U.S. Soccer Female Athlete of the Year.
- 2014 stats (through Dec. 1): 16 caps; 15 starts; 1255 minutes; 2 goals; 3 assists
- 2014 FIFA Women's World Cup qualifying stats: 5 games; 5 starts; 434 minutes
The stats are important of course but her coaches and team mates talk about how she is a leader, how she helps others, how she will do whatever is needed to help her team. Those are all true.
Holiday has taken rookies under her wing and helped them learn what it means to play at the next level. She has played numerous positions for the National Team. She was the goal scorer because it was need for FC Kansas City in 2013. She was the playmaker in 2014 and made Amy Rodriguez life as a forward so much better.
Holiday is now even using her talents as a holding mid for the national team. Wait, did U.S. coach Jill Ellis not see Holiday create the second goal in the NWSL Championship?
Ellis did see it; she just knows what Holiday's team mates also know.
Holiday can play anywhere and be one of the best at that position and make others around her even better.
It is often hard for a holding mid to get the recognition they deserve. They have to stand out that much more to even be noticed. In this case, the voters are national team players, U.S. Soccer staff, NWSL coaches and only some media so it may have been a little easier to overcome the flashy goal scorers bias and reward the best player but she still had to be the best among the best in the world.
Congratulations Lauren. It is a highly deserved honor.