Nominees set for U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Award
CHICAGO (Via U.S. Soccer) – U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for the 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award.
This year’s field features midfielders Julie Ertz and Lindsey Horan, and forwards Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe for the WNT.
Voting for the awards starts today and closes on Dec. 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced during the first week of December.
All five WNT nominees played significant roles for the Women’s National Team during a 2018 that saw the USA finish its 20-game schedule with an unbeaten 18-0-2 record. The five nominees were also impact players on the squad that qualified the USA for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Morgan finished 2018 with 18 goals in 19 games while playing 1,500 minutes, the most of anyone on the team. Ertz once again was a vital cog in the midfield, playing more than 1,000 minutes for the third time in her career while scoring four goals. In her comeback year after sitting out most of 2017 due to injuries, Heath provided consistent danger in the attacking third, scoring seven goals in eight starts while adding six assists.
Rapinoe led the USA in assists this year with 12, tying her previous high for most in a calendar year and her play on the flank was a big part of the USA’s consistent success. She scored seven goals and started all 16 games in which she played. The 24-year-old Horan had a stellar year for both club and country and won the NWSL Most Valuable Player award. She played in every game but one for the USA in 2018, tying Alex Morgan for most on the team.
Three of the nominees have won the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award before: Ertz won in 2017, Heath in 2016 and Morgan earned the honor in 2012. Ertz (neé Johnston), Heath, and Horan have previously won the U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year award, with Heath winning in 2009, Ertz in 2012 and Horan in 2013.
Votes for U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards are collected from respective National Team coaches, National Team players who have earned a cap in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer Athletes’ Council, National Women’s Soccer League head coaches for the WNT and American soccer league (MLS and USL) head coaches for the MNT, select media members and former players and administrators. In addition, select college coaches vote for the WNT award.
The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor. Abby Wambach holds the record by winning the award six times. Mia Hamm won it five times.