CHICAGO — The National Women’s Soccer League Team of the Month for September was announced on Wednesday. A record of six Red Stars, Casey Short, Sam Kerr, Yuki Nagasato, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian, and Alyssa Naeher were named to the team.
Naeher was stellar in goal this month. She allowed only two goals through five games played while earning a clean sheet in three consecutive games. During a two-game span against Sky Blue and Washington, Naeher had consecutive games with six saves. In the match against the Spirit, Naeher had the save of the week when she stopped a penalty kick in a 2-1 victory.
Ertz captained the Red Stars and commandeered a lights-out Chicago defense. The defense held offenses to only two goals in five games. Ertz was crucial against the Utah Royals in the regular-season finale with a goal-line clearance that would prove to be vital in Chicago’s 2-1 win that sealed a home semifinal match in Chicago’s fifth consecutive playoff appearance.
Brian makes her first-ever appearance in the NWSL Team of the Month. She started in all fives en route to a perfect record in September with Chicago. Against Sky Blue, she got her first-ever league goal, helping the Red Stars defeat Sky Blue FC 3-0.
Short makes her sixth-consecutive appearance and becomes the first player in league history to be a member of every Team of the Month for a season. Defensively, Short helped the Red Stars record three clean sheets in five games this month while only allowing opposing offenses to score two goals. During that time, Short continued to prove herself as an offensive threat for the Red Stars as well. She tallied her third assist of the season from a perfectly slotted ball to Savannah McCaskill in the 65th minute to give the Red Stars a 3-0 victory over Houston. Just four days later, Short scored a heroic stoppage-time goal to secure a vital three points on the road versus Orlando.
Kerr has been a consistent offensive threat for the Red Stars all season. Her five goals in the month of September help to maintain her spot as the favorite to win an unprecedented third Golden Boot award. Kerr also assisted on three Red Stars goals this month, moving her to the top of the NWSL’s all-time assist list with 24. Kerr’s goal in the 49th minute versus Washington was her 18th on the season, breaking the previous NWSL record she set back in 2017.
The NWSL’s assist leader, Nagasato added three assists to bring her season total up to eight. The international connection was very fruitful as all three of her assists provided Sam Kerr with goals. Nagasato also contributed to the Red Stars outscoring opponents 12-2 by scoring a goal in each of the final three games of the regular season. In the 85th minute versus Utah, Nagasato scored the game-winner and helped the Red Stars bid for a home-field advantage during playoffs.
The Red Stars become the first team in league history to feature six players on one Team of the Month squad. Chicago’s Short and Kerr also make history with the most all-time appearances on the Team of the Month squad with 10 each.
The Red Stars return to SeatGeek Stadium on October 20th at 2:30 pm CT for their fifth consecutive semifinal appearance.
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