Howard made eight appearances for the national team in 2014, including the team's matches during the World Cup this summer. His 16 saves during the national team's loss to Belgium in the second round set a tournament record.
Howard, 35, has 104 appearances for the national team in his career. This was the sixth year in which the goalkeeper was a finalist for the award and his first time winning it.
Howard also won US Soccer's Male Athlete of the Year, continuing the trend of one player winning both awards that started after 2008, when he won player of the year from U.S. Soccer but Landon Donovan took Futbol de Primera honors.
Howard, who has also played for English Premier League club Everton since 2006, is the second goalkeeper to win the award. In August, Howard announced that he would be stepping away from the US men's national team for a sabbatical, and would not return until Sept. 2015.
He received 363 points in voting by a panel of journalists, including 101 first-place votes. His total beat out both Jermaine Jones' 160 points and Clint Dempsey's 147.
Jones, a midfielder, has ten appearances for the national team this year, and has helped his New England Revolution squad advance to the MLS Cup against the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Dempsey appeared in nine matches for the US men's team, scoring three goals. His MLS team, the Seattle Sounders, lost to the Galaxy in the league's Western Conference Championship.
- Christopher Woody