Canadian O'Brian White wins NCAA MVP
Canadian O'Brian White has won the highest individual honour in U.S. collegiate soccer.
White received the M.A.C. Hermann Trophy — the soccer equivalent of football's Heisman Trophy — as the National Collegiate Athletic Association's most valuable player on Friday in St. Louis.
The 21-year-old from Scarborough, Ont., who is a junior striker at the University of Connecticut, was honoured alongside Florida State University forward Mami Yamaguchi, who took the women's prize.
White beat out strikers Joseph Lapira of Notre Dame and Patrick Nyarko of Virginia Tech to take the men's award.
"There are so many people who have contributed to my success as a student-athlete and I would like to acknowledge them and share this award with them tonight," said White, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Ontario when he was 16.
White led the NCAA Division I in scoring, with 23 goals and 53 points this season. He was named the Big East Conference offensive player of the year, earned first-team all-conference recognition and led the Huskies to the NCAA quarter-finals, where they lost to Virginia Tech.
That banner campaign attracted the interest of Major League Soccer clubs, but White has indicated he will return to Connecticut for his senior season.
White is no stranger to winning soccer awards. He was selected as the Big East rookie of the year as a freshman in 2005 and recently was named Soccer America's player of the year for 2007.
"In the long and storied history of Connecticut soccer, there has never been a striker like O'Brian White," the publication said.
Yamaguchi, who hails from Tokyo, is the first Florida State player to claim the top individual honour in women's soccer. She led the U.S. in points (66) while finishing second in goals (24) and assists (18).
Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C., the star of the Canadian women's national team, won the award in 2004 and 2005 while at the University of Portland.
With files from the Canadian Press