Lindsey Horan scored 13 goals this season. (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

The National Women’s Soccer League announced Friday Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan was voted Most Valuable Player for the 2018 season.

Horan, 24, who scored 13 goals from central midfield, is the first player in six years to be voted MVP without winning the NWSL Golden Boot. She led Thorns FC and were enough for third in the NWSL Golden Boot race as Chicago Red Stars striker Sam Kerr won the scoring title (16 goals).

“It’s kind of surreal, right now, to sit here and look back and think, ‘Wow, it was all worth it,’ ” Horan said. “We all know [playing in Europe is] not for everyone, but the sacrifices I’ve made – going over to France; not knowing if it is really going to work out – I’m so thankful for that experience …

“It’s moments like this that I look back and I’m so happy that I made that sacrifice.”

Horan and her teammates have something else on their mind Saturday, defending the NWSL crown against the Supporters Shield winners North Carolina Courage.

“It’s kind of hard for me to celebrate it, right now, because the most important thing is tomorrow, the Championship game,” she said. “I will take that over everything else.

“It is such an honor, don’t get me wrong. To be amongst Sam Kerr, Pinoe [Megan Rapinoe], Lynn [Williams], McCall [Zerboni] is such an honor in itself.”

The Golden, Colo. native played 1,980 minutes over 22 games as the Thorns FC went 12-6-6 (42 points) and finished second in the NWSL. She registered 13 goals 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 percent (1,293 passes).

2018 MVP Voting Results: 

MVP FANS MEDIA CLUB PLAYER TOTAL
Lindsey Horan

30.9%

34.7%

36.7%

28.8%

32.0%

Sam Kerr

23.8%

26.2%

20.0%

27.0%

24.8%

Megan Rapinoe

20.9%

12.4%

20.0%

20.7%

18.9%

McCall Zerboni

10.9%

17.1%

0.0%

17.1%

12.4%

Lynn Williams

13.5%

9.7%

23.3%

6.5%

11.9%

List of NWSL Most Valuable Players:

YEAR PLAYER CLUB
2013 Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City
2014 Kim Little Seattle Reign FC
2015 Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit
2016 Lynn Williams Western New York Flash
2017 Sam Kerr Sky Blue FC
2018 Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC