Right to Dream graduate and Hotchkiss student, Umar Farouk Osman has been recognised as the best high-school soccer player in the United States after winning the prestigious Gatorade Player of the Year award.

After already winning the state award for Connecticut, Umar was surprised at his home by NYCFC midfielder Jack Harrison. 

"It's just shocking, I can't believe it," Osman said just moments after being presented the award as surprise media interviews were arranged in advance, too. "I turned around and saw Jack Harrison with the award, and I didn't know what to say."

The 2016 Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association’s Player of the Year, Osman was involved in 28 of Hotchkiss’ 30 goals that season, scoring 19 goals and notching 9 assists. He also participated in the High School All-American Game in North Carolina in December and concluded his prep soccer career with 63 goals and 45 assists.

The award, which recognises not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Osman as the standout high-school soccer player this year. 

Reflecting on the award, Umar demonstrated how his start at Right to Dream under the Character Development programme made him an ideal candidate: "It's the biggest award I've ever won because Gatorade isn't just about athletics, it's about how good of a person you are and how you carry yourself in the community you live in," Osman said. "It's about your character and your character defines who you are." 

Umar has maintained a B average in the classroom and has signed a national letter of intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Michigan beginning in Autumn 2017.