CHICAGO - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the list of finalists for Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Rookie of the Year and Coach of the Year which included Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, defender Emily Sonnett and midfielder Lindsey Horan.
In the final round of voting – owners, general managers, head coaches, players, media and fans will vote from now to Sept. 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET to determine the individual award winners as well as the 2018 NWSL Best XI.
FAN VOTING IS NOW OPEN: https://nwsl.us/2MzAvlt
2018 NWSL Awards - Finalists
Coach of the Year
Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns FC
In 2018, Mark Parsons and Portland Thorns FC finished in second place in the NWSL for the second straight year, earning their third straight postseason appearance, and third straight home semifinal game. Their 12-6-6 record (42 points) also marked their third straight season with 12 wins or more. The Thorns went 7-1-1 down the stretch and won the No. 2 seed in their regular season finale with a 3-1 win over Seattle Reign FC. Portland’s 40 goals and +12 goal differential were second in the NWSL.
Vlatko Andonovski, Seattle Reign FC
In his first year as coach of Seattle Reign FC, Vlatko Andonovski coached the Reign to their first playoff appearance since 2015. The Reign finished 11-5-8 with 41 points to capture third place in the NWSL and went 7-1-4 at home. The Reign finished the year with the second-best goals against average in league history (.79), allowing 19 goals in 24 games. Their 12 clean sheets tied the NWSL record.
Paul Riley, North Carolina Courage
In 2018, Paul Riley and the North Carolina Courage won the NWSL Shield for the second consecutive season. The Courage finished the regular season with a 17-1-6 record, setting NWSL records for most wins (17), points (57), fewest losses (1), most goals scored (53), fewest goals allowed (17), goals against average (.71) and largest goal differential (+36). They also became the first team in NWSL history to go unbeaten on the road for an entire season.
Rookie of the Year
Imani Dorsey, Sky Blue FC
After making her NWSL debut on June 8, Sky Blue FC forward Imani Dorsey appeared in 13 games for Sky Blue, earning 1,047 minutes and making 12 starts. She recorded 4 goals, 1 assists, 16 shots on target and 11 chances created, while posting a 74.4% passing accuracy (332 passes).
Savannah McCaskill, Sky Blue FC
Sky Blue FC midfielder Savannah McCaskill appeared in 20 matches, 17 starts, and played 1,510 minutes. She scored 3 goals and 3 assists, with 12 shots on target and a 68.5% passing accuracy (581 passes). Her 37 chances created ranked 11th in the league.
Andi Sullivan, Washington Spirit
Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan led all rookies with 1,984 minutes. In 23 games (22 starts), she held a 78.9% passing accuracy (988 passes), and added 34 interceptions, 33 tackles won and 1 assist.
Goalkeeper of the Year
Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made 14 starts in 2018, posting 3 clean sheets. She made 45 saves, conceded 14 goals and held a save percentage of 76.3%.
Aubrey Bledsoe, Washington Spirit
Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe finished tied for first in the NWSL with 108 saves, a new NWSL record. She posted 4 clean sheets and held a 78.3% save percentage, conceding 30 goals over 21 games.
Lydia Williams, Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams earned 10 clean sheets, one shy of tying the NWSL record. She made 56 saves and allowed 11 goals over 16 games, posting a save percentage of 83.6%.
Defender of the Year
Emily Sonnett, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC defender Emily Sonnett played 1,755 minutes over 20 games in 2018 and her 104 clearances ranked third in the NWSL. She recorded 14 blocks, 35 interceptions, 18 tackles won and 68 duels won. She also had one goal and one assist, and held a 77.8% passing accuracy (886 passes).
Abby Dahlkemper, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper appeared in 19 games in 2018 for the league’s best-ranked defense. She made 60 clearances, 11 blocks, 20 interceptions, 8 tackles won and 39 duels won. She held a passing accuracy of 79.3% (885 passes).
Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg played every minute (2,160) in 2018, one of five players to do so, as the Courage allowed the fewest goals in the league and earned 11 clean sheets. She made 110 clearances (2nd in the NWSL), 21 blocks (4th), 50 interceptions and 19 tackles won. She won 116 duels, including 81 aerial duels, which ranked 5th in the league. She held an 81.9% passing accuracy (1047 passes) and added 2 goals and 2 assists.
Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars
Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Ertz played 1,126 minutes over 14 appearances in 2018. She recorded 54 clearances, 8 blocks, 22 interceptions, 9 tackles won and 63 duels won. She held a passing accuracy of 67.1% (468 passes).
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC
Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn played 1,720 minutes over 20 appearances in 2018, as Utah’s finished the season allowing the third-fewest goals in the league. She was the league’s most efficient passer (minimum 400 pass attempts) with an 86.23% passing accuracy over 1,046 passes. Her 18 blocks ranked 5th in the NWSL and 90 clearances ranked 10th in the NWSL. She also had 20 tackles won, 78 duels won, and 49 interceptions.
Most Valuable Player
Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan played 1,980 minutes over 22 games as the Thorns went 12-6-6 (42 points) and finished second in the NWSL. She scored 13 goals (3rd in the NWSL) and added 2 assists, scoring at a rate of 152.3 minutes per goal in 30 shots on target. She led the league in total touches (1,852) and duels won (297), including aerial duels (141), which was also first in the league. She also had 47 tackles won (tied for 4th in the NWSL), 42 headed clearances (3rd). She recorded 25 chances created and held a passing accuracy of 75.2% (1,293 passes).
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr played 1,704 minutes over 19 games for the Red Stars as the team finished fourth in the NWSL with a 9-5-10 record (37 points). Her 16 goals lead the league, and she added 4 assists. Her 40 chances created tied for 9th in the NWSL. She scored at a rate of 106.5 minutes per goal in 47 shots on target. She won 129 duels, tied for 12th in the league, 70 of which were aerial duels, 9th in the NWSL.
Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe played 1,315 minutes over 16 games for the Reign as they finished third in the NWSL with an 11-5-8 record and 41 points. She scored 7 goals (tied for 10th) and had 6 assists (tied for 4th in the league). She scored at a rate of 187.9 minutes per goal in 37 shots on target. Her 41 chances created ranked 8th in the NWSL and 27 successful crosses/corners ranked 6th in the NWSL. She won 114 duels, 31 in the air.
Lynn Williams, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams played 1,707 minutes over 21 games for the Courage as North Carolina finished first in the NWSL with a 17-1-6 record (57 points). Her 14 goals ranked second in the NWSL, scoring at a rate of 121.9 minutes per goal in 41 shots on target. She added 5 assists and 29 chances created. She won 116 duels, 54 of which were aerial duels.
McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni played 1,800 minutes over 20 games for the Courage, as North Carolina posted a 17-1-6 record (57 points) and finished first in the league. She led the league in tackles won with 63 and finished second in interceptions with 70. She won 203 duels, third best in the NWSL, 47 of which were aerial duels. She finished 10th in total touches with 1,422. She also added 3 goals in 8 shots on target and 25 chances created. She held a passing accuracy of 75.9% (995 passes).