FC Baltimore Christos Midfielder Ben Bender Named TopDrawerSoccer.com NPSL Young Player of the Season
The National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) is proud to announce that FC Baltimore Christos midfielder Ben Bender has been named the TopDrawerSoccer.com NPSL Young Player of the Season. This award is given to the league’s top under-23 player, regardless of position.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by Top Drawer Soccer,” Bender said. “I have had the benefit of playing in Baltimore with some great coaches in a competitive atmosphere among many good players. I’m enjoying my time at the University of Maryland and continue to prepare for the next level.”
The Baltimore, MD native registered six goals and five assists for FC Baltimore Christos in the 2021 NPSL regular season. This summer Bender led the club to a conference championship and received NPSL Team of the Month honors.
“Ben is a pro player playing college soccer,” FC Baltimore Christos head coach Larry Sancomb said. “He is a young man that loves playing soccer. It’s in his DNA. He wants to be the best player on the pitch every time out. He is a coach’s dream.”
Bender earned 2020-21 All-Big Ten Second Team and 2020-21 All-Big Ten Freshmen Team honors after starting 11 games in his first collegiate season at the University of Maryland.
“It’s no surprise to see Ben enjoy success in the NPSL, as his attacking qualities are easy to spot on the field,” TopDrawerSoccer.com’s Travis Clark said. “He is a unique talent that continues to demonstrate his effectiveness at every level he plays.”
He was a four-year starter at Calvert Hall in Baltimore, MD. He was a team captain and a prolific scorer, finishing with 15 goals in his senior season. He earned Allstate All-American, Top Drawer Soccer State Star, All-MIAA, and Baltimore Sun All-Metro honors while at Calvert Hall.
Bender played club soccer for Baltimore Armour. He tallied five goals in 16 appearances for the U16/17 team and scored six goals in 20 appearances for the U18/19 team. He was named to the Best XI at the 2017 Sarasota Showcase and won three consecutive state cups with the club.
Photo Credit: Chris Fincham
The US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program is a national identification and development program for high-level players. The program identifies and develops youth players throughout the country to represent their state and regional associations. Maryland State ODP teams are comprised of the best Maryland players in various age groups.
Congratulations to every player selected for the MD ODP Program!