Thorns FC 2014 Team Awards
Photos by Craig Mitchelldyer

Thorns FC announce 2014 Club Awards

PORTLAND, Ore. – Following the conclusion of the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League season, five Portland Thorns FC players were named team award winners for the 2014 NWSL season, it was announced today.

Highlighting the team’s run to the NWSL Playoffs for a second consecutive season, Thorns FC midfielder Vero Boquete, forward Jessica McDonald and defenders Nikki Marshall, Steph Catley and Rachel Van Hollebeke all were named recipients of team awards.

All voting for team awards was completed prior to the start of the NWSL postseason.

Most Valuable Player; Supporters’ Player of the Year – Vero Boquete
Voted by Thorns FC players and staff, midfielder Vero Boquete was selected as the team’s Most Valuable Player for the 2014 season and also was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year by an online poll prior to the start of the postseason. The Spain Women’s National Team captain was named to the NWSL Best XI, finished second in league MVP voting and earned NWSL Player of the Week honors three times during the regular season. Boquete featured in 15 regular-season matches (all starts) and finished the season with four goals and six assists. Her six assists ranked tied for third in the NWSL and set a Thorns FC single-season record.

Golden Boot – Jessica McDonald
Forward Jessica McDonald finished the regular season ranked tied for third in the NWSL with 11 goals, while earning NWSL Second XI honors. One of two Portland players to appear in all 24 regular-season matches (13 starts), McDonald set a new club record for goals in a single season and registered two braces, becoming the first player in club history to accomplish the feat. She scored twice in Portland’s 3-1 win against FC Kansas City on April 26 and added a second brace in a span of just eight minutes as a substitute in a 6-1 win on the road against Washington on June 21. McDonald also holds the distinction of scoring the quickest goal in NWSL history (33 seconds) in a 1-1 draw against Chicago on July 17.

Defender of the Year – Nikki Marshall
Voted by Thorns FC players and staff, defender Nikki Marshall was the only Thorns FC player and one of five in the NWSL to start all 24 regular-season matches in 2014, while logging the fifth-most minutes in the league (2,072). Marshall is one of the only three players (Cat Whitehill, Jen Buczkowski) who has appeared in all 46 NWSL regular-season matches for their respective clubs since 2013.

Community Player of the Year – Rachel Van Hollebeke
Defender Rachel Van Hollebeke was instrumental in Thorns FC community events during the 2014 season through the club’s “Stand Together” community platform. Off the field, Van Hollebeke took an active role interacting with the young fans in the Portland community. The Del Mar, Calif., native was part of numerous community events throughout the season, spending time at Thorns FC camps and Girls Inc. soccer practices to offer inspiration and advice to youth, as well as making visits to the Providence Portland Cancer Center to spent time with patients.

Newcomer of the Year – Steph Catley
Defender Steph Catley garnered NWSL Second XI honors in her first season with Thorns FC. The Australian international made her debut for Portland on June 7 against Western New York, tallying her first point and assist for the club against FC Kansas City on July 13. Catley appeared in 14 regular-season matches (13 starts) and registered five assists. As a defender, Catley recorded a stretch of four consecutive matches with an assist, setting a club record for assists in consecutive games from July 13-23.

2014 Portland Thorns FC Club Awards
Most Valuable Player; Supporters’ Player of the Year – Vero Boquete
Golden Boot – Jessica McDonald
Defender of the Year – Nikki Marshall
Community Player of the Year – Rachel Van Hollebeke
Newcomer of the Year – Steph Catley

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