Tag Archives: Golden Boot

NWSL: League-leading awards updates

Abigail Gerken - USWNT/mlsfemale
Official USWNT Reporter

By Abigail Gerken @abigailgerken22

At MLSFemale we have decided that we need to help promote our amazing female athletes in the sport we love. I am excited to start reporting about the National Women’s Soccer League and the US Women’s National Team, hopefully, to draw more attention to the growing league and national team. What better way to kick it off than an NWSL recap and awards check-in?

The first place to discuss is the standings.

NWSL standings as of July 20th, 2018:

Team Points Matches played Record
North Carolina Courage* 46 19 14-1-4
Seattle Reign 29 17 8-4-5
Orlando Pride 28 18 8-6-4
Chicago Red Stars 28 18 7-4-7
Portland Thorns FC 26 17 7-5-5
Utah Royals 22 18 5-6-7
Houston Dash 20 17 5-7-5
Washington Spirit 10 17 2-11-4
Sky Blue FC 3 15 0-12-3

*Clinched 2018 NWSL Playoff spot

The North Carolina Courage stand out on these standings because of the giant gap of 17 points that they have set between themselves and the next closest team. They lead the league in team goals with 41 (next closest is Portland with 27). This has led them to already clinch a spot in the 2018 NWSL playoffs, and are on track to win their 2nd NWSL Shield (would be tied with the Seattle Reign for most Shields).

Although the Shield race seems to be locked up, there is a tight race for the Golden Boot Award. Lindsey Horan of the Portland Thorns and Sam Kerr of the Chicago Red Stars are tied for first place with 9 goals apiece, Lynn Williams of the North Carolina Courage is right behind them with 8. Megan Rapinoe, Crystal Dunn, and Christine Sinclair are not far behind with 7 goals each.

As for Goalkeeper of the Year, one stat that could help determine who is the most valuable keeper this season is in the saves category. Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit) leads the league in saves with 84. Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue) comes in second with 60 saves. In addition to saves, Alyssa Naeher has broken out as, to what is seeming to be, her role and the USWNT new number one keeper after Hope Solo’s terminated contract in 2016. This could help place her as the Goalkeeper of the Year.

At the ESPYS, Megan Rapinoe came out on top as the best NWSL player this year. The Seattle Reign veteran has 7 goals for the year and 4 assists and is leading her team towards the top of the table. Australian forward Sam Kerr won the best international women’s soccer player. She has 9 goals this year for her club Chicago Red Stars and 24 goals in 67 caps with the Australian national team.

At the 2018 Kids Choice Sports awards Alex Morgan took home Favorite Female Athlete award because of her continued success at both the club and international level.

Which NWSL players do you think will win these awards? Chat with me on twitter @abigailgerken22 and let me know.

Featured image of Lindsey Horan: American Soccer Now

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No Niko, No Party.

Daniela Calvo - Chicago Fire/mlsfemale
Official Chicago Fire Reporter

By Daniela Calvo // @DanielaCalvo__

This Saturday, Chicago Fire fans are set to celebrate Nemanja Nikolić as he will receive his Golden Boot for capping 24 goals in the 2017 season. The ceremony will be held before the Chicago Fire face the Portland Timbers.

Nikolić’s journey with the Fire began on December 20, 2016, when he transferred from the Polish club, Legia Warsaw. During his time in Legia, Nikolić led the league in scoring with 28 goals in the 2015-2016 season; he was third in assists, he was named Player of the Year and Forward of the Year, and helped Legia win the league title.

Prior to his time in Legia, Nikolić played for the Hungarian club, Videoton FC, he spent 5 years in Videton and in the span of those 5 years he received many accolades. He either led or tied in overall scoring- with an exception in one season where he tied for third place. Additionally, he helped Videoton win the league title. At the end of his second season there, Nikolić was the runner-up for the league’s Golden Boot.

In 2008, he made his professional debut in Kaposvari RFC, a Hungarian club where he capped 16 goals for the club. He was tied for second in overall scoring that season.

Nikolić came to the MLS a winner and continued his top-scoring streak with the Fire during the 2017 season. He chose to stay in Chicago and dedicate his time to the Fire instead of joining his national team, Hungary for qualifying matches. Ultimately his dedication paid off because he won the Golden Boot and helped the Fire reach the postseason for the first time since 2012.

With 2 losses in the 2018 season, the Fire is looking for some momentum to win their first game and this pregame celebration is the catalyst the team needs to continue to party with Niko.

Featured image courtesy: Daniela Calvo

Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @DanielaCalvo__

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