The 2021 NWSL MVP might not go to the golden boot winner; here are three candidates that deserve consideration

The Nationwide Girls’s Soccer League season is reaching its ultimate weeks of play and with it come the common season awards cycle. Traditionally, the golden boot winner for high scorer has finally gone on to win the league’s Most Priceless Participant Award. It is occurred six out of the seven seasons courting again to 2013. 

In 2018, then-Chicago Pink Stars ahead and Australia worldwide Sam Kerr led the league in scoring with 16 targets, however Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan took house NWSL MVP honors. It is also value noting that the league didn’t hand out awards in 2020 when the league needed to work across the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to carry the Problem Cup and Fall Sequence.


Lauren Vacation (12 targets), FC Kansas CIty

Lauren Vacation, FC Kansas CIty


Kim Little (16 targets), Seattle Reign FC

Kim Little, Seattle Reign FC


Crystal Dunn (15 targets), Washington Spirit

Crystal Dunn, Washington Spirit


Lynn Williams (11 targets), Western New York Flash

Lynn WIlliams, Western New York Flash


Sam Kerr (17 targets), Sky Blue FC

Sam Kerr, Sky Blue FC


Sam Kerr (16 targets), Chicago Pink Stars

Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC


Sam Kerr (18 targets), Chicago Pink Stars

Sam Kerr

Washington Spirit ahead Ashley Hatch is the present frontrunner for the Golden Boot prize with 10 targets this season. Houston Sprint ahead Rachel Daly and the OL Reign’s Bethany Balcer are in second and never far behind with 9 targets. Orlando Pleasure’s Sydney Leroux and NJ/NY Gotham FC’s Margaret Purce are additionally within the hunt with eight targets.

In 2019, the final time the NWSL performed a full season, there have been 108 matches performed and a pair of.61 targets scored per match. As of Friday, now we have had 172 targets scored by way of 86 video games performed, which places us precisely at a two-goal-per-match clip. The MVP Award does not essentially should go to one of the best scorer. If there’s ever been a season the place the highest scorer won’t run away with the MVP Award, then this may be it. Scientific targets have been scarce. Scoring is all the way down to the purpose the place if no person reaches 11 targets, this would be the worst scoring output for any Golden Boot winner within the younger historical past of the NWSL.

This, then, is a launching level for us to look at a few of the greatest gamers within the league this season that are not notably prolific scorers, however have been integral to their respective group’s success and deserve MVP consideration. Think about this your have a look at the darkish horse candidates for the 2021 NWSL MVP award.

1. Jess Fishlock (OL Reign, midfielder)

The Welsh worldwide has been with the membership since its inaugural season, and has been a staple in the midst of the park ever since. OL Reign are stacked with expertise this season and presently sit in second place with a ticket already booked for the postseason. 

Jess Fishlock has featured in 22 video games (20 begins) for OL Reign, with 4 assists up to now. She’s nearly outperformed her anticipated aim charge of 4.71 by scoring 5 targets this season. Her skill to arrange teammates and create her personal shot has made her menace within the assault in any given second. She covers a ton of space for the membership as she’s second on the group in aerial duels (54.8) and recoveries (129). 

OL Reign bought off to a extraordinarily tough begin, dropping 5 of their first eight video games and struggled to hover in playoff place. However Fishlock’s play on the pitch and her management off it has performed an enormous position within the turnaround.

2. Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit, midfielder)

Andi Sullivan was drafted in 2018 and has grown into the face of the Washington Spirit as a powerhouse midfielder and group captain. Sullivan has featured in 18 video games, all as a starter and leads Spirit midfielders in go completion share (83.3) and is fourth total within the league in the identical class. 

Sullivan has solely scored twice and dished out three assists (second-best on her group), however it’s her skill to interrupt strains and join with attackers on lengthy by way of balls that makes her a official menace on offense. Her duel success charge (52.1) makes her powerful to interrupt down within the midfield. She has additionally been the one to step up and take penalties for the group in latest video games.

3. Morgan Gautrat (Chicago Pink Stars, midfielder)

Morgan Gautrat has featured in 20 video games, all begins and is placing the ending touches of an MVP-caliber marketing campaign for a Chicago Pink Stars facet that finds much more success along with her on the sphere far than when off. Her two targets this season (all through penalty kicks) aren’t precisely turning heads and making headlines, however the holding midfielder has discovered success no matter who she’s paired with in the midst of the park as Chicago manages its crowded midfield choices on the roster. 

Gautrat has been capable of management tempo when on the ball and each generate assault and canopy floor defensively. She is third on the group in key passes and assists behind attackers Mallory Pugh and Kealia Watt, and third in the whole league in recoveries with 192. She is second on the group with profitable passes into the ultimate third. | The 2021 NWSL MVP won’t go to the golden boot winner; listed here are three candidates that deserve consideration


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