CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced Tuesday the list of finalists for Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year presented by Coppertone® from Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, Goalkeeper of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year and Best XI. Vote now here.
Chicago Red Stars have four players nominated for three different awards – Alyssa Naeher (Goalkeeper of the Year), Arin Gilliland (Defender of the Year), Julie Johnston (Defender of the Year), and Christen Press (MVP).
2016 NWSL Awards – Finalists for Chicago Red Stars
Goalkeeper of the Year Nominee – CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Alyssa Naeher – Chicago Red Stars
After being acquired by Chicago in the offseason, Alyssa Naeher started 13 games for the Red Stars and finished tied for first in NWSL with six clean sheets. A huge presence in the net for Chicago, Naeher earned NWSL Player of the Month honors for May after allowing one goal in four matches and posting three shutouts. Additionally, Naeher, along with the Red Stars back line, set a then NWSL record 485-minute shutout streak from April 16 to May 22. Chicago finished tied for the second fewest goals allowed this season.
Defender of the Year, presented by Coppertone – CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Arin Gilliland – Chicago Red Stars
In just her second year in the league, Arin Gilliland joins a list of strong candidates – including teammate Julie Johnston – up for 2016 Defender of the Year. Along with Naeher, Johnston, and the Red Stars defense, Gilliland set a then NWSL record 485-minute shutout streak from April 16 to May 22. A strong, fast and instinctive defender, Gilliland has the talent to stop opposing team’s strongest attackers while continuing to be an offensive threat for Chicago. She started all 20 matches and totaled two assists in 1,719 minutes for the Red Stars.
Julie Johnston – Chicago Red Stars
Julie Johnston stepped into a new role in 2016, leading a young back line and continuing to show why she is one of the best defenders in the NWSL. The Red Stars defense finished the season conceding just 20 goals, strong enough for the second fewest in league. With the help of goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and the rest of the Red Stars defense, Johnston and company created a new NWSL record 485-minute shutout streak from April 16 to May 22. The U.S. international played every minute of the 12 games in which she appeared this season and was a driving force behind the Red Stars recording eight shutouts – tied for the league lead.
MVP – CLICK HERE TO VOTE
Christen Press – Chicago Red Stars
Despite missing matches due to the Olympics, Press led the league with the best goals-per-game average (0.57), finishing with eight goals. The Red Stars captain came up big throughout the season for her team, including notching three game-winning goals. A constant pressure on opponents’ back lines, Press found numerous opportunities to shoot on frame – with 39 shots on goal, good enough for first in league.