McCall Zerboni is among 12 players nominated for the Ally Award. (USA Today Sports)
As the first official partner of the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, Ally Tuesday announced nominations for the inaugural Ally Award.
This award recognizes the athlete that embodies the idea of “teammate,” supporting and motivating rookies and veterans alike.
The 12 nominees portray the character and leadership that have helped elevate the NWSL globally. While existing honors have recognized goal scorers, top rookies and other highlight reel players, this award seeks to celebrate the too often unheralded aspects of sport.
“Our core belief is that everyone deserves an ally, and the inaugural nominees for this award display that ethos every day with their relentless preparation, inspiring play and indomitable spirit,” Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally, said in a statement. “We’re honored not only to work directly with the Players Association to create this award, but also to recognize the achievements of such outstanding athletes. We look forward to seeing this award continue to support the players.”
Part of that support includes a monetary prize, with the winner taking home $10,000. Second- and third-place finishers in the voting will each receive $7,500. NWSL teams were given selection criteria last month, with nominees selected by each over the last few weeks as the league approaches midseason.
“The Ally Award goes far beyond the typical quantifiable values such as goals, assists or saves,” NWSLPA executive director Meghann Burke said in a statement. “The best teammates don’t always have the chance to fill up the stat sheet, but their passion, drive and determination energizes the entire squad. These nominees represent the best of what our players have to offer, and we’re grateful for Ally’s continued support.”
The Ally Award nominees are: Ali Riley (Angel City); Zoe Morse (Chicago Red Stars); McCall Zerboni (Gotham FC); Jane Campbell (Houston Dash); Desiree Scott (Kansas City Current); Meredith Speck (North Carolina Courage); Lauren Barnes (OL Reign); Erin McLeod (Orlando Pride); Abby Smith (Portland Thorns); Nadia Nadim (Racing Louisville); Jodie Taylor (San Diego Wave); Anna Heilferty (Washington Spirit).
The Players Association will vote on the winner in September, with the winner and finalists being announced prior to the NWSL Championship game in October.