Navas, Wambach win CONCACAF Players of Year awards

Tue Dec 23, 2014 11:38am EST
 
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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - Costa Rica's World Cup goalkeeper Keylor Navas and United States women's team striker Abby Wambach were named CONCACAF's Players of the Year for 2014 on Tuesday.

The governing body for the sport in North and Central America and the Caribbean also named Jorge Luis Pinto Coach of the Year after he led Costa Rica to the last eight at the World Cup for the first time.

Navas, 28, produced some outstanding displays for Costa Rica in the World Cup with three clean sheets from five matches and winning three Man of the Match Awards.

Following the World Cup, Navas completed a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Wambach, the 34-year-old striker, who has scored more goals in international football than any male or female with 177 in 228 games, had another fine season including scoring four goals in the final of the CONCACAF Women's Championship in 2014 in which the United States beat Costa Rica 6-0.

Pinto was rewarded for Costa Rica's memorable World Cup campaign where they finished top of their group ahead of Uruguay, Italy and England and then beat Greece on penalties before losing to the Netherlands in a shootout after a goalless draw.

Pinto became head coach of the Honduran national team earlier this month.

United States and Everton keeper Tim Howard won CONCACAF Goalkeeper of the year for the second year while Costa Rica's Bryan Ruiz's strike against Italy in the World Cup was voted Goal of the Year.   Continued...

 
Abby Wambach of the U.S. celebrates after winning their women's soccer final gold medal match against Japan at Wembley Stadium during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 9, 2012.      REUTERS/Mike Blake