Ousmane Sylla Praises Clemson in Hermann Trophy Acceptance Speech

Ousmane Sylla became the fourth player in Clemson history to take home the NCAA’s most prestigious award when he was named the winner of the 2024 MAC Hermann Trophy Friday night at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis.

Sylla became the second Tigers player in five years to take home the honor after Robbie Robinson won the award in 2019. He beat out Garrison Tubbs of Wake Forest and Charlie Sharp of Western Michigan to secure the honor.

In his acceptance speech, Sylla recognized Clemson as being home to both a strong soccer program and a special community. He also gave special praise to coach Mike Noonan.

“First of all, I want to say thank you to God for giving me everything and a special thank you to Clemson University for giving a young man who comes from Africa a great (chance),” Sylla said. “I’m very grateful to the Clemson community and also coach Noonan. Thank you, Coach Noonan, for everything you have done for me.

“I’m very thankful. I know, me and you, this season was not easy, but thankfully we ended up accomplishing everything that we have been praying for. Also, I want to say thank you to my teammates. They are very special to me. They did a lot for me. Without them, I couldn’t be here. I’m very thankful to my family.

“Thank you for all the people who voted for me. I congratulate these two (fellow finalists). They are classy players also. They deserve to be here. And thank you, St. Louis, Missouri for hosting this amazing event. Thank you for everything.”

Sylla helped lead the Clemson program to its second national championship in three seasons with the Tigers’ 2-1 victory over Notre Dame on December 11. The Dakar, Senegal native finished the year with 13 goals, 10 assists, and 36 total points — the latter two categories placed him in the top 10 nationally.

Sylla was drafted 55th overall by Houston Dynamo FC in the 2023 MLS Draft. He was also named the MVP of the ACC Tournament as well as the College Cup this past season.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire