⚽️ Emily Spreeman Named 2023 U.S. Soccer Female Deaf Player of the Year

CHICAGO – Emily Spreeman, formerly Emily Cressy, has been voted as the 2023 U.S. Soccer Female Deaf Player of the Year, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday. Spreeman, the inaugural winner of the award, was a forward for the Kansas Jayhawks from 2007-10.

Spreeman plays for the U.S. Women’s Deaf National Team and competed in the 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships in Malaysia in September and October.

While at Kansas, Spreeman scored 23 goals and had six assists in 60 matches over three seasons after redshirting her freshman year. She was the recipient of numerous accolades during her career at Kansas, beginning in her first season on the field in 2008 with the USA Deaf Sports Federation Sportswoman of the Year, Soccer Buzz Freshman All-America Third Team, Soccer America Freshman All-America Second Team, TopDrawerSoccer All-Rookie Team, Soccer Buzz All-Central Region Third Team, Soccer Buzz Central Region All-Freshman Team and Big 12 Rookie of the Year, along with being named to the Big 12 All-Newcomer Team. She also received NSCAA All-Central Region Third Team in 2009.

The 2023 Player of the Year award winners were determined via a weighted vote through the U.S. Soccer Federation:

  • 45 percent — Athletes that earned a cap for their respective national team during 2023
  • 40 percent — Coaches, Support Staff, U.S. Soccer Athlete Council, and Board of Directors
  • 15 percent — Online fan vote

More from U.S. Soccer Federation’s press release:

Leading the line for the USA throughout the 2023 DIFA World Deaf Football Championships, Emily Spreeman (Fountain Valley, Calif.) is the first winner of Female Deaf Player of the Year.

Spreeman showed her unrelenting attacking prowess throughout the tournament, scoring at least one goal in each of the six matches. She began by registering back-to-back hat tricks in the opening two matches, tallying four goals and two assists against Japan and three goals and one assist versus Turkey.

Spreeman then recorded braces in each of the final two group stage matches against England and Poland to finish the group stage with 11 goals and three assists. As teams began to focus more on her in the knockout stage, she shifted to a provider role in the semifinal against England, dishing two assists to go along with her single strike. Facing a tough Turkey side in the final that set up in a defensive posture, Spreeman put an exclamation point on the team’s performance in Malaysia, scoring the final goal in the 3-0 win to help the USA earn its third-straight World Championship title.

With 13 goals and five assists, the veteran striker also claimed her second career Golden Ball and Golden Boot.

“Any one of the three players nominated was deserving, so I am incredibly honored to have won this award,” Spreeman said. “I wouldn’t be where I am without my teammates and the staff, who always show up, put in the work, and have pushed me to be the best version of myself in this game. I would also like to thank my family for their encouragement and support. Without them, this would not have been possible.”

Spreeman earns the 2023 Female Deaf Player of the Year award with 54 percent of the weighted vote.

Kansas Jayhawks