Edmonton forward Gloire Amanda won the MAC Hermann Trophy on Thursday as the top male NCAA soccer player.
The 22-year-old Oregon State junior led the NCAA Division 1 in both goals (15) and total points (37). He was named to the All-Pac-12 and All-Far West Region first team as well as the United Soccer Coaches’ All-America first team and Top Drawer Soccer Best XI first team.
His 37 points set the Oregon State single-season record.
Amanda tied Alan Gordon for the second-highest Oregon State goals total in a season. He scored in 10 of the Beavers’ 14 matches this spring, including five multi-goal games, and ended eighth in NCAA ranks in total assists with seven.
Amanda matched the fourth-most goals in Pac-12 history and now ranks sixth in Oregon State history for both career goals (25) and points (61).
Teal Bunbury (Akron, 2009) is the only Canadian-born men’s winner. The son of former Canadian international Alex Bunbury, Teal has lived in the United States since he was 10 and represents the U.S. internationally.
The other men’s finalists were Indiana sophomore forward Victor Bezerra and Pittsburgh sophomore forward Valentin Noel.
Florida State junior midfielder Jaelin Howell won the women’s award, beating out North Carolina junior midfielder Brianna Pinto and Florida State senior defender Malia Berkely.
Howell helped the Seminoles’ run to the NCAA Division I final, with five goals and two assists in 16 games.
The finalists were chosen in voting by NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer coaches.
Amanda and Howell will be bringing home a 10-pound crystal soccer ball in the form of a trophy.
The winners were announced at the MAC Hermann Trophy Banquet at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.
Canadians Kadeisha Buchanan (West Virginia, 2016) and Christine Sinclair (Portland, 2004 and ‘05) have won the women’s award.
Amanda, a five-foot-10 170-pounder spent time in the Vancouver Whitecaps residency program prior to attending Oregon State. Growing up, he played for Edmonton Xtreme FC, Edmonton Internazionale and FC Edmonton’s reserve side.
Amanda’s first name is the French word for glory, with his parents drawing on the phrase French phrase “gloire a Dieu” or “Glory to God.” While he says the French pronunciation of Gloire is correct, most call him Glory.
Amanda’s journey evokes memories of Canadian soccer star Alphonso Davies’ backstory.
His parents left the Democratic Republic of the Congo because of a civil war in 1996 for a refugee camp in neighbouring Tanzania. Amanda was born in a refugee camp there, moving to Canada with his family when he was 10.
Oregon State finished the year 9-5 and made the NCAA Tournament for the second time in the last three years. The Beavers lost 2-1 in overtime to to Virginia Tech in the second round.
Among the other men’s finalists, Bezerra was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and the Outstanding Offensive Player of the Conference Tournament, while tallying 11 goals in 11 games played.
France’s Noel ended the regular season with 11 goals, finishing first in the Atlantic Coast Conference and earning a spot on the All-ACC first team.
Kyle Hiebert of LaSalle, Man., a senior defender at Missouri State, and Noah Jensen of Courtice, Ont., a senior midfielder at Oakland University, were among the 15 semifinalists for the men’s award.
The MAC Hermann Trophy is presented by World Wide Technology.
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This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2021
Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press