Mexican international Oribe Peralta was named Player of the Year by CONCACAF, the North American regional soccer governing body. The Confederation of North and Central American and Caribbean Football named winners in several categories that included Mexican Raul Jimenez’ game clinching goal against Panama during world cup qualification.
Peralta scored 8 goals in seven games during Brazil 2014 World Cup qualification. Five of those goals came against New Zealand in the intercontinental requalification matches. In the domestic league, Peralta scored 19 goals in 27 games. He also reached the CONCACAF Champions League final with Club Santos Laguna. He was a key player with both the national team and Santos.
The 29 year-old edged out U.S. internationals Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley for the coveted spot. Jimenez won goal of the year with the heart-stopping goal he scored against Panama at the Azteca stadium that gave Mexico life in qualification. Jimenez is also a key player with Club America making important contributions to the team that is currently in the league finals.
U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann won trainer of the year with Miguel “Piojo” Herrera, Mexico and Club America, coming in second and Raul Gutierrez, Mexico U-17 coach came in third. Klinsmann took the U.S. to a first place finish in world cup qualifying. Herrera turned Mexico around and qualified them to Brazil 2014 when it seemed the tournament was lost. Gutierrez came in 2nd place at the FIFA U-17 United Arab Emirates 2013 championship. The U-17 squad defeated important teams on the way to the final like Italy, Brazil and Argentina.
Best goalkeeper honors went to U.S. international Tim Howard followed by Raul Gudiño, Mexico’s U-17 goalkeeper at the UAE games. Jose de Jesus Corona, Mexico’s goalkeeper during most of 2013’s games came in third.
The accolades are awarded annually by CONCACAF.