A lot of people don't realize the proud and distinguished history of this award. Long considered the poor relation of world soccer, the nations of North America, Central America and the Caribbean have provided some of the most legendary names and some of the greatest performances in the game. And yet, it's commonly thought that CONCACAF doesn't even recognize its best players. Well, over the years, I've addressed that misconception. The Ballon d'Or has become a snooty circle-jerk, pretending that the soccer world doesn't exist outside two cities in Spain. FIFA's female player of the year voting has been worthless.
The CONCACAF Player of the Year award, on the other hand, is the one award that both reaches out to today's fans and celebrates the region's history.
Now it's your turn to voice your opinion. Who was the region's best this year?
Chicharito and Alex Morgan. Okay, then, that was easy. See you next year!
EDIT - STOP THE PIXELS
Massive reader input - polite and well-reasoned, which, well, I just don't know how to deal with - has changed my heart. Congratulations to Oribe Peralta of Santos Laguna.
And, on second thought, I'm going to go with Christine Sinclair after all. I'm too biased towards Americans, Morgan padded her stats with recent big totals over scrubs, and I kind of thought the Olympic gold required an American rep here, but why? Sinclair's supporting cast really was worse by a long shot. Also I want to troll USWNT fans.
CONCACAF PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Historical winners
Male Player of the Year: 1916: Thomas Swords, Fall River Rovers/United States 1917: Thomas Swords, Fall River Rovers/United States 1918: Harry Ratican, Bethlehem Steel/United States 1919: John “Jock” Ferguson, Bethlehem Steel/United States 1920: Jimmy Dunn, St. Louis Ben Millers/United States 1921: Harold Brittan, Philadelphia Field Club/England 1922: Harold Brittan, Philadelphia Field Club/England 1923: Tommy “Whitey” Fleming, J&P Coats/Scotland 1924: Archie Stark, Bethlehem Steel/United States 1925: Archie Stark, Bethlehem Steel/United States 1926: James “Tec” White, Fall River Marksmen/Scotland 1927: Davie Brown, New York Giants/United States 1928: Barney Battles, Boston Wonder Workers/United States 1929: James “Tec” White, Fall River Marksmen/Scotland 1930: Bert Patenaude, Fall River Marksmen/United States 1931: Billy Gonsalves, New York Yankees/United States 1932: Bert Patenaude, New York Giants/United States 1933: Billy Gonsalves, St. Louis Stix, Baer & Fuller/United States 1934: Aldo “Buff” Donelli, Curry Silver Tops/United States 1935: Hilario “Moco” Lopez, Necaxa/Mexico 1936: Joe Kennaway, Glasgow Celtic/Canada 1937: Joe Kennaway, Glasgow Celtic/Canada 1938: Joe Kennaway, Glasgow Celtic/Canada 1939: Bert Patenaude, Philadelphia Passon/United States 1940: Charley Ernst, Baltimore FC/United States 1941: Martin Vantolra, Atlante/Spain 1942: Rafael “Tico” Meza, Moctezuma/Costa Rica 1943: Manuel Alonso, Marte/Mexico 1944: Billy Gonsalves, Brooklyn Hispano/United States 1945: Roberto Aballay, Asturias/Argentina 1946: Isidro Langara, Espana/Spain 1947: Adalberto “Dumbo” Lopez, Leon/Mexico 1948: Adalberto “Dumbo” Lopez, Leon/Mexico 1949: Adalberto “Dumbo” Lopez, Leon/Mexico 1950: Frank Borghi, St. Louis Simpkins Ford/United States 1951: Jack Cowan, Dundee FC/Canada 1952: Alex Sanchez Cruz “El Nene”, Saprissa/Costa Rica 1953: Antonio Carbajal, Leon/Mexico 1954: Jose Luis Lamadrid, Necaxa/Mexico 1955: Julio Palleiro, Necaxa/Uruguay 1956: Antonio Carbajal, Leon/Mexico 1957: Antonio Carbajal, Leon/Mexico 1958: Carlos “Charro” Lara, Zacatepec/Argentina 1959: Errol Crossan, Norwich City/Canada 1960: Salvador Reyes, Guadalajara/Mexico 1961: Antonio Carbajal, Leon/Mexico 1962: Salvador Reyes, Guadalajara/Mexico 1963: Amaury Epaminondas, Oro/Brazil 1964: Jose Cardona, Atletico Madrid/Honduras 1965: Jose Cardona, Atletico Madrid/Honduras 1966: Jose Alves “Zague”, Club America/Brazil 1967: Amaury Epaminondas, Toluca/Brazil 1968: Fernando “El Principe” Hernandez, Saprissa/Costa Rica 1969: Gustavo “Halcon” Pena, Cruz Azul/Mexico 1970: Ignacio Calderon, Guadalajara/Mexico 1971: Enrique Borja, Club America/Mexico 1972: Horacio Lopez Salgado, Cruz Azul/Mexico 1973: Javier “Kaliman” Guzman, Cruz Azul/Mexico 1974: Emmanuel “Manno” Sanon, Don Bosco Petion-Ville/Haiti 1975: Cabinho, UNAM/Brazil 1976: Pele, New York Cosmos/Brazil 1977: Franz Beckenbauer, New York Cosmos/West Germany 1978: Cristobal Ortega, Club America/Mexico 1979: Bob Lenarduzzi, Vancouver Whitecaps/Canada 1980: Giorgio Chinaglia, New York Cosmos/Italy 1981: Jorge “Magico” Gonzalez, C.D. FAS/El Salvador 1982: Gilberto Yearwood, Real Valladolid/Honduras 1983: Victor Moreland, Tulsa Roughnecks/Northern Ireland 1984: Rick Davis, New York Cosmos/United States 1985: Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid/Mexico 1986: Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid/Mexico 1987: Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid/Mexico 1988: Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid/Mexico 1989: Paul Caligiuri, Hansa Rostock/United States 1990: Hugo Sanchez, Real Madrid/Mexico 1991: Hugo Perez, United States 1992: Claudio Suarez, UNAM/Mexico 1993: Luis Roberto Alves “Zague,” Necaxa/Mexico 1994: Tab Ramos, Real Betis/United States 1995: Alexi Lalas, Padova/United States 1996: Marco Etcheverry, DC United/Bolivia 1997: Carlos Hermosillo, Cruz Azul/Mexico 1998: Luis Hernandez, Necaxa/Mexico 1999: Dwight Yorke, Manchester United/Trinidad & Tobago 2000: Rafael Marquez, AS Monaco/Mexico 2001: Paolo Wanchope, Manchester City/Costa Rica 2002: Brad Friedel, Blackburn Rovers/United States 2003: Landon Donovan, San Jose Earthquakes/United States 2004: Roberto Brown, FC Sheriff (Moldova)/Panama 2005: Kasey Keller, Borussia Moenchengladbach/United States 2006: Oswaldo Sanchez, Guadalajara/Mexico 2007: Pavel Pardo, Stuttgart/Mexico 2008: Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Columbus Crew/Argentina 2009: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy/United States 2010: Landon Donovan, Los Angeles Galaxy/United States 2011: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Manchester United/Mexico 2012: Oribe Peralta, Santos Laguna/Mexico
Female Player of the Year: 1985: Sharon Remer, United States 1986: April Heinrichs, United States 1987: Carin Jennings, United States 1988: Joy Biefeld (Fawcett), United States 1989: April Heinrichs, United States 1990: Michelle Akers-Stahl, United States 1991: Michelle Akers-Stahl, United States 1992: Carin Gabarra, United States 1993: Kristine Lilly, United States 1994: Mia Hamm, United States 1995: Mia Hamm, United States 1996: Mia Hamm, United States 1997: Mia Hamm, United States 1998: Mia Hamm, United States 1999: Michelle Akers, United States 2000: Tiffeny Milbrett, United States 2001: Tiffeny Milbrett, New York Power/United States 2002: Birgit Prinz, Carolina Courage/Germany 2003: Maren Meinert, Boston Breakers/Germany 2004: Abby Wambach, Washington Freedom/United States 2005: Christine Sinclair, University of Portland/Canada 2006: Kristine Lilly, United States 2007: Abby Wambach, United States 2008: Hope Solo, United States 2009: Christie Rampone, Sky Blue FC/United States 2010: Christine Sinclair, FC Gold Pride/Canada 2011: Abby Wambach, United States 2012: Christine Sinclair, Canada
(Yeah, I know, I thought I had lost this when I gave up my vanity site. But it lives! You guys won't appreciate this - nor should you - but to this day I agonize about Magico over Karl-Heinz Granitza.)