CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League announced its yearly awards finalists. Chicago’s Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato were nominated for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, while Casey Short is a finalist for Defender of the Year.
Kerr was once again the league’s most prolific goalscorer in 2019. She topped the scoring charts en route to an unprecedented third-consecutive Golden Boot Award. The forward smashed the record for most goals in a single season with 18, topping the previous record she set herself back in 2017. Kerr had five multi-goal games this season, including a hat-trick against Orlando in June. For her key performances, she was awarded two NWSL Player of the Month Awards and a record five NWSL Player of the Week honors.
Nagasato had her best season since joining Chicago. The 2011 World Cup Champion had NWSL career highs in goals and assists. Nagasato scored eight goals this season, including two goals in the final ten minutes of the game to earn key points for the Red Stars. Her ability to provide goals was on display as well as Nagasato led the league with eight assists this season. Nagasato was named NWSL Player of the Week once and earned a spot in the league’s Team of the Month twice.
Short made history this season. She became the only player in league history to feature on all six editions of the NWSL Team of the Month. Short was a key figure of a Chicago defense that had seven clean sheets this season, including a standout September where they had three clean sheets and allowed only two goals in five games to close out the regular season. Short was also a big contributor on offense. She finished the season with two goals and three assists.
Fans are invited to join the final round of voting from October 17 to October 22, to determine the individual award winners, Best XI, and Second XI. The final round of voting uses a weighted scale, broken down by players (40%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%) and fans (20%). All 2019 NWSL Award winners will be announced in the days leading up to and after the NWSL Championship game on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, NC.
The finalists for each of the 2019 NWSL Awards are:
MVP: Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Kristen Hamilton (North Carolina Courage), Sam Kerr, (Chicago Red Stars), Yuki Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars), Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
Defender of the Year: Lauren Barnes (Reign FC), Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage), Jaelene Hinkle (North Carolina Courage), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars)
Goalkeeper of the Year: Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Casey Murphy (Reign FC), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC)
Rookie of the Year: Bethany Balcer (Reign FC), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit), Sam Staab (Washington Spirit)
Coach of the Year: Vlatko Andonovski (Reign FC), Richie Burke (Washington Spirit), Paul Riley (North Carolina Courage)