Sam Kerr had a smashing year, smashing NWSL and Australian women’s international records. (Jeffrey Auger Photo)
By the time the awards season is over, Sam Kerr just might have more honors and accolades than the number of goals she scored in 2017.
And that says a lot.
The Sky Blue FC and Australian international forward scored in droves for club and country
While she did not finish among the three finalists in the FIFA Best Women’s Player cateagory — she was one of the final 10 candidates — soccer organizations and leagues closer to home realized her value.
The 24-year-old Kerr completed one of the most decorated seasons in the National Women’s Soccer League short history in 2017, if not the most honored one.
She won Most Valuable Player honors, became the league’s career goal leader (43) and the Golden Boot winner broke the season record by scoring 17 goals.
The Perth, Australia native, who also was named to the NWSL Best XI, also became the first player in league history to record two hat-tricks in a season and four goals in a match.
Not surprisingly, Kerr’s success spilled over internationally.
She was named the Asia Football Confederation women’s player of the year at the AFC Annual Awards in Bangkok, Thailand.
“Firstly, I’d just like to say congratulations to the two other nominees on a great year,” Kerr said in her acceptance speech. “Secondly, thanks to AFC for this wonderful night. It’s been a bit of a crazy year, but I just want to say thank you to every one of my support staff that helped me throughout this year; they know who they are. And most importantly to my teammates because without them none of this would have been possible, so thank you.”
While on loan with Perth Glory in the Australia W-League, Kerr was awarded the Julie Dolan Medal following the 2016-17 campaign in her native country. That honor is presented to the W-League Most Valuable Player, pacing the Perth offense with 10 goals, the second-best mark in the league.
Kerr has tallied 11 times in her last six matches for the Matildas, becoming the first Australian player to score in six consecutive games. She also was recognized by her peers as the 2017 Professional Footballers Australia female footballer of the year at a ceremony September.
She also was named the ABC Sports Personality of the year by Australian sports fans at AIS Sport Performance Awards.
Kerr’s performance helped the Matildas reach No. 4 in the FIFA women’s rankings.
With Kerr just entering her prime, the sky is the limit for the Sky Blue FC striker.
Friday: Story No. 1