Gotham FC’s Kailen Sheridan is one of three candidates for NWSL goalkeeper of the year. (ISI Photo)

CHICAGO – The National Women’s Soccer League Friday announced the list of 2021 NWSL Awards nominees featuring the Most Valuable Player, defender of the year, goalkeeper of the year, rookie of the year and coach of the year.

The awards are voted upon in two rounds with fans having the opportunity to participate in the final round of the process.

In the preliminary round of voting, players, owners, general managers, coaches, and the media voted on the individual awards to determine the final nominees. The preliminary round used a weighted scale, broken down by players (50 percent), owners/general managers/coaches (25 percent) and media (25 percent).

The nominees:

Most Valuable Player

Jessica Fishlock (OL Reign), Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Midge Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Angela Salem (Portland Thorns FC)

Defender of the year

Alana Cook (OL Reign), Caprice Dydasco (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sarah Gorden (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Menges (Portland Thorns FC), Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage)

Goalkeeper of the year

Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC), Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit), Kailen Sheridan (NJ/NY Gotham FC)

Rookie of the year

Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Victoria Pickett (Kansas City Current), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit)

Coach of the year

Laura Harvey (OL Reign), Scott Parkinson (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Mark Parsons (Portland Thorns FC)

Additional awards to be voted on in the final round include:
Best XI, presented by Mastercard, honoring a first and second team representing the top 22 players in the league.

Fans wishing to vote on the individual award winners, Best XI, and Best XI Second Team can access the voting ballot here. All votes must be submitted by Tuesday, November 9 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The final round of voting uses a weighted scale of players (50 percent), owners/GMs/coaches (20 percent), media (20 percent) and fans (10 percent).

These award winners will be announced in the days surrounding the NWSL Championship game, which is set to kick off Saturday, Nov. 20 at noon ET at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Ken. The contest will air live on CBS Television Network and stream live internationally on the NWSL’s Twitch channel.

The winner of the inaugural Nationwide Community Impact Award will be announced and honored at halftime of the 2021 NWSL Championship match. The league also will select and announce the Championship MVP presented during the postgame, on-field presentation.