SAN JOSE striker Landon Donovan has beaten Premiership stars Brad Friedel and Claudio Reyna to win the 2002 US Player of the Year. The striker helped lead the United States to its best finish in World Cup history in 2002, scoring six goals and appearing in every World Cup match.
Donovan is the youngest winner of the award ever, beating out national team-mates Friedel of Blackburn Rovers and 'Captain America' Reyna of Sunderland for the honour. The youngster is also in line for MLS 2002 Player of the Year award.
Donovan finished the 2002 MLS season with seven goals for the Earthquakes - despite missing a chunk of the season through international duty - a year after leading them to the 2001 MLS Cup.
San Jose were knocked out of the play-offs by Columbus this season.
Donovan is in MLS on a co-sharing agreement with German club Bayer Leverkusen, after signing with the Bundesliga club in 1999, and later that year was awarded 'Player of the Tournament' of the 1999 Fifa Under-17 World Championship in New Zealand.
Bayer are yet to decide whether they will ask for Donovan back this year, or allow him to stay in the US top-flight for another two years, which the Californian has requested to be the case.
The striker helped lead the United States to its best finish in World Cup history in 2002, scoring six goals and appearing in every World Cup match.