David Edgar wins youth soccer award

David Edgar was named Canada's male youth soccer player of the year by the Canadian Soccer Association on Thursday.

David Edgar was named Canada's male youth soccer player of the year by the Canadian Soccer Association on Thursday.

Edgar, a 19-year-old defender from Kitchener, Ont., plays in the English Premiership with Newcastle United. He is also a key member of Canada's under-20 national team.

Jodi Ann Robinson of Richmond, B.C., was named female youth player of the year.

"When I heard I was up for it, obviously I wanted to win," Edgar told the Waterloo Region Record. "It's really an honour. I love playing for my country."

Edgar was the centre of attention on Jan. 1 in a game between Premiership leader Manchester United and hometown Newcastle United before a sellout crowd of 52,000 at St. James' Park.

With Newcastle trailing 2-1 late in the second half, Edgar unleashed a curling shot from 30 yards out that took a deflection and breezed beyond the reach of a diving Edwin Van der Sar, Manchester's goalkeeper, before nestling just inside the far post.

Edgar, in only his second game for Newcastle, was immediately mobbed by his teammates after his amazing goal in the 74th minute that set spectators screaming.

For a defender, Edgar has an incredible flair for scoring highlight-reel goals.

On his 19th birthday last May, Edgar celebrated by scoring on a spectacular volley to help Canada's under-20 team upset Brazil 2-1 in an exhibition game in Edmonton. It was the first time a Canadian men's team had beaten the South American powerhouse at any age level.

"That was one of my better goals," Edgar recently told CBC Sports Online about his strike against Brazil. "I don't score many goals, but when I do, they seem to come at the right time."

Although the final roster hasn't been announced yet, expect to see Edgar anchoring Canada's defence at the under-20 World Cup this summer. As one of the team's key players, Edgar will have to be at the top of his game if Canada hopes to go far in the tournament, which is being staged on Canadian soil for the first time in its 30-year history.

"I think we have a great chance of doing well. In 2003, when Canada lost in the quarter-finals in Spain, that was a big deal. They had a great squad, but I think we've got a great squad, if not better," said Edgar.

"We have a lot of players playing in Europe, everybody's getting good experience and we've had some good results lately against Brazil and the Czech Republic. I think we can compete quite well."

The Canadian Soccer Association will announce the senior players of the year on Friday. Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C., and Toronto's Dwayne De Rosario are expected to win the awards for a second straight year.