Red Stars place four on top 100 female footballers list

Kerr ranked 2nd-best in the world according to The Guardian

CHICAGO – British newspaper The Guardian revealed their annual top 100 female footballers list in collaboration with The Offside Rule podcast. Four Chicago Red Stars were placed on the list.

Midfielder Yuki Nagasato ranked 96 on the list.

“Her combination and link-up play with Sam Kerr left a lasting impression,” The Guardian said. “With seven assists providing ample evidence of her creative ability.”

Nagasato scored four goals with Chicago in 2018 and was a finalist for the National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player Award and won the Chicago Red Stars Unsung Hero Award along with Danielle Colaprico.

“Yuki has real imagination when it comes to spotting a devastating pass or threading a ball through crowding defenders,” Red Stars assistant coach Craig Harrington said. “Often games are a Yuki appreciation

highlight reel.”

Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher placed 73 on the list, a debut for her in the top 100 rankings, Naeher had seven clean sheets for the Red Stars and added 10 more playing with the United States National Team.

“It is unbelievable the standard that she is able to work to and her willingness,” Harrington said. “She is always thinking to try to improve, improve, improve and improve for the team. Her performances have been brilliant.”

Next up was midfielder and Red Stars captain Julie Ertz at 32.

“Now one of the most talented and consistent midfielders in the game, Ertz has enjoyed an impressive 2018,” The Guardian said.

Ertz was an anchor for the Chicago defensive unit and won the Golden Ball for the CONCACAF Women’s Championship as the tournament’s best player. Ertz scored four goals representing the U.S. WNT in 2018.

“Julie has been magnificent, an embodiment and an example of a true leader,” Harrington said. “Defensively solid, dominant in the air and positionally brilliant. She makes a huge difference on and off the pitch to our club.”

The highest ranked Chicago Red Stars player on the list was Sam Kerr, who came in 2nd overall. Earning the top ranking out of all the players in the NWSL, Kerr was the league’s Golden Boot winner for the second consecutive season with 16 goals. She also became the first player in NWSL history to score 50 goals. She scored 29 total goals for club and country in 2018.

“She can do everything because of her mentality and how she is as a professional,” Harrington said. “She can achieve all that she wants. Her mentality is always collective. Sam has scored a lot of goals for us last season but her mentality is to help the team, work for the team, and that is what makes her such a special player.”

You can find the full top 100 list by The Guardian here

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