Yeo is AFC women’s youth player of yearForward Yeo Min-ji of the U-17 Korean women’s national football team capped off an impressive year by earning the AFC Women’s Youth Player of the Year award at the AFC Annual Awards ceremony in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, early yesterday.
The 17-year-old Haman Daesan High School student scored eight goals to lead the women’s U-17 national squad to a first-place finish at the 2010 U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago in October. The win was a first for a Korean national team at a FIFA-sanctioned tournament. Kim Tae-hee, the U-17 women’s national team manager, was named the AFC Women’s Manager of the Year.
Yeo, who led the tourney in scoring, earned the Golden Ball, or the equivalent of the Most Valuable Player award, and the Golden Boot, awarded to the highest scoring player in the tourney.
“I’m very honored and pleased to receive this prestigious award,” Yeo said after being presented with the trophy. “This award will motivate me to work harder in the future. I am looking forward to the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship next year and to be invited to the awards here.”
Ji So-yun, who led the U-20 national team with eight goals at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany, was included among the finalists for the award. Ji and the U-20 women’s squad reached the semifinals but lost 5-1 to the home team and eventual winners Germany.
The AFC Club of the Year award went to Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, which defeated Zob Ahan of Iran, 3-1, at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Nov. 13 to win its first AFC Champions League title and its first Asian title since 1995, when the team won the Asian Club Championship.
Seongnam’s captain and defender, Sasha Ognenovski of Australia, won the Most Valuable Player award at the AFC Champions League tourney and was also awarded AFC Player of the Year honors yesterday.
By Jason Kim [firstname.lastname@example.org]