Kerr Caps Off Record-Breaking Season with NWSL’s Top Recognition
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) officially announced on Friday that Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been voted the 2017 NWSL Most Valuable Player.
Kerr, 24, had an outstanding 2017 campaign for Sky Blue FC, claiming the NWSL Golden Boot after finishing the season with 17 goals over 22 appearances. Her 17 goals eclipsed the previous NWSL record of 16 that was set by former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little in 2014. Making the total even more impressive is the fact that not one of her goals came from the penalty spot.
In addition to breaking the NWSL single-season goal record, Kerr also claimed the top spot on the career list when she scored her 35th goal on July 8 against FC Kansas City, a match where she registered a second-half hat trick in just 12 minutes to lead Sky Blue FC to an improbable 3-2 comeback win at Yurcak Field. The 12-minute hat trick was the fastest in league history. On Aug. 19, Kerr became the first player in NWSL history to score two hat tricks in a single season when she led Sky Blue FC to another incredible comeback victory, this time a 5-4 win over Seattle Reign FC at Yurcak Field. She registered a total of four goals in the second half of that match-up, becoming the first player in NWSL history to score four goals in a single match.
In addition to those three and four-tally performances, she added a third multiple-goal match when she scored a brace against Portland Thorns FC earlier in the season. Also, she finished the year with four assists, which was just one shy of the Sky Blue FC team-best mark. On the season, she was named NWSL Player of the Month twice, voted to the NWSL Team of the Month four times and honored as the NWSL Player of the Week on three occasions.
Kerr closed out the 2017 season with five game-winning goals, tallying against eight of the nine other clubs in the NWSL. She was particularly devastating in the second half, recording 14 of her 17 goals after the intermission. Sky Blue FC was victorious in all but two of the matches where Kerr registered a goal this year.
Additionally, Kerr was selected to the NWSL Best XI and named the Sky Blue FC Team Most Valuable Player in 2017. She becomes the first Sky Blue FC player to be voted NWSL Most Valuable Player, and just the second to receive individual league accolades after Raquel Rodriguez was honored as the NWSL Rookie of the Year in 2016.
After finishing the 2017 campaign with 17 goals and four assists, Kerr became the first player in NWSL history to reach 50 career points, and she now sits on 58 points overall. For her five-year career, she has registered 43 goals and 15 assists.
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The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players, fans and media who cover the league on a consistent basis.