Crystal Dunn was among the seven North Carolina players named to the NWSLPA team of the year. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)
There’s something to be said about getting recognition by your peers and if the NWSL Players Association awards is any indication, then Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr will be named league MVP in the not too distant future.
She was named the NWSLPA’s player of the year, the organization announced Friday, earning 60 percent of the vote.
Kerr led the league in goal-scoring for the third consecutive season, earning the NWSL Golden Boot with a record 18 goals.
Reign FC’s Bethany Balcer was chosen as rookie of the year, recording 70 percent of the votes.
The North Carolina Courage dominated the team of the year with seven players taking spots in 11 positions. Midfielder Crystal Dunn, a Rockville Centre, N.Y., was chosen as one of three midfielders along with Carolina linemates Debinha and Denise O’Sullivan.
“We are always looking for ways to give a greater voice to our players and these winners have been recognized solely by their fellow professionals who share the field with them week in and week out,” the NWSLPA said in a press release. “The NWSL Players Association will continue to promote our members, strive to improve the environment around our players and celebrate these world class athletes at every turn.
NWSL Players Association team of the year
GK – Aubrey Bledsoe – Washington Spirit
DEF – Abbey Erceg – North Carolina Courage
DEF – Jaelen Hinkle – North Carolina Courage
DEF – Becky Sauerbrunn – Utah Royals
DEF – Casey Short – Chicago Red Stars
MID – Debinha – North Carolina Courage
MID – Crystal Dunn – North Carolina Courage
MID – Denise O’Sullivan – North Carolina Courage
FWD – Kristen Hamilton – North Carolina Courage
FWD – Sam Kerr – Chicago Red Stars
FWD – Lynn Williams – North Carolina Courage
The NWSL Players Association was formed in 2018 and is led by executive director Yael Averbuch. Current NWSL players on the executive committee are president Brooke Elby (Chicago Red Stars), vice president Tori Huster (Washington Spirit), secretary Nicole Barnhart and treasurer Emily Menges (Portland Thorns).