TORONTO â€” Canadian women’s soccer coach John Herdman has earned CONCACAF’s Outstanding Performance Award for leading his team to the medal podium in back-to back Olympics.
Five other Canadians were also honoured in the 2016 awards from CONCACAF, which covers North and Central America and the Caribbean.
Veteran midfielder Atiba Hutchinson was named to the CONCACAF men’s Best XI while Kadeisha Buchanan, Ashley Lawrence, and captain Christine Sinclair were selected to the women’s Best XI.
Carol Anne Chenard won female referee of the year honours.
“The rise of our women’s national team in 2016 shows that our investments in technical leadership and the guidance of our women’s head coach John Herdman give us the opportunity to compete with any nation in the world,” Canada Soccer Association general secretary Peter Montopoli said in a statement.
“We are incredibly proud of each and every one of the players who achieved Olympic bronze in Rio and of our staff for the dedication and commitment to the game. This award is a welcome recognition of that effort and success.”
Under Herdman, the Canadian women rose to No. 4 in the world rankings and won bronze at the Summer Games. Canada won five of six matches in Brazil, beating Australia, France, Germany and Brazil along the way.
The English native was also one of 10 contenders for FIFA women’s coach of the year.
Some 23 Canadians were nominated across the 12 CONCACAF categories.
Stephanie Labbe was runner-up to American Ashlyn Harris for female goalkeeper of the year and Joe Fletcher was second in the male referee category behind Mexico’s Cesar Arturo Ramos.
The CONCACAF men’s player of the Year was Costa Rica’s Bryan Ruiz. Female honours went to American Alex Morgan.
Coach of the year awards went to Costa Rica’s Oscar RamÃrez (men) and Amelia Valverde (women).
Voting for the fourth annual awards was done by CONCACAF menâ€™s and womenâ€™s national team coaches and captains, media and fans.
The Canadian Press