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:
|North Carolina Courage*||46||19||14-1-4|
|Chicago Red Stars||28||18||7-4-7|
|Portland Thorns FC||26||17||7-5-5|
|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
Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale