The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) presents six annual awards to individual players. The Golden Boot award is presented to the top scorer at the end of the regular season, while the Most Valuable Player, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Coach of the Year awards are voted on by various league constituents. As of 2021, these awards are voted upon in two rounds: in the first round, players (50%), owners/general managers/coaches (25%), and media (25%) vote to determine the nominees; in the second round, players (50%), owners/general managers/coaches (20%), media (20%), and fans (10%) vote among the nominees to determine the winners.[1]

In addition, the league also presents two teams of the season awards, the NWSL Best XI and the NWSL Second XI, to individual players. As of 2021, the teams of the season awards are voted on by players (50%), owners/general managers/coaches (20%), media (20%), and fans (10%).[2] Voters for the teams of the season awards are required to name one goalkeeper, four defenders, and a combination of six midfielders and forwards.

Most Valuable PlayerEdit

Season Player Club Ref
2013   Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City [3]
2014   Kim Little Seattle Reign FC [4]
2015   Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit [5]
2016   Lynn Williams Western New York Flash [6]
2017   Sam Kerr Sky Blue FC [7]
2018   Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC [8]
2019   Sam Kerr Chicago Red Stars [9]
2021   Jess Fishlock OL Reign [10]

Golden BootEdit

Season Player Club Goals Ref
2013   Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City 12 [3]
2014   Kim Little Seattle Reign FC 16 [11]
2015   Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit 15 [12]
2016   Lynn Williams Western New York Flash 11 [13]
2017   Sam Kerr Sky Blue FC 17 [14]
2018   Sam Kerr Chicago Red Stars 16 [15]
2019   Sam Kerr Chicago Red Stars 18 [16]
2021   Ashley Hatch Washington Spirit 10 [17]

Defender of the YearEdit

Season Player Club Ref
2013   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City [3]
2014   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City [18]
2015   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City [19]
2016   Lauren Barnes Seattle Reign FC [20]
2017   Abby Dahlkemper North Carolina Courage [21]
2018   Abby Erceg North Carolina Courage [22]
2019   Becky Sauerbrunn Utah Royals FC [23]
2021   Caprice Dydasco NJ/NY Gotham FC [24]

Goalkeeper of the YearEdit

Season Player Club Ref
2013   Nicole Barnhart FC Kansas City [3]
2014   Alyssa Naeher Boston Breakers [25]
2015   Michelle Betos Portland Thorns FC [26]
2016   Ashlyn Harris Orlando Pride [27]
2017   Adrianna Franch Portland Thorns FC [28]
2018   Adrianna Franch Portland Thorns FC [29]
2019   Aubrey Bledsoe Washington Spirit [30]
2021   Aubrey Bledsoe Washington Spirit [31]

Rookie of the YearEdit

Season Player Club Ref
2013   Erika Tymrak FC Kansas City [3]
2014   Julie Johnston Chicago Red Stars [32]
2015   Danielle Colaprico Chicago Red Stars [33]
2016   Raquel Rodríguez Sky Blue FC [34]
2017   Ashley Hatch North Carolina Courage [35]
2018   Imani Dorsey Sky Blue FC [36]
2019   Bethany Balcer Reign FC [37]
2021   Trinity Rodman Washington Spirit [38]

Coach of the YearEdit

Season Player Club Ref
2013   Vlatko Andonovski FC Kansas City [3]
2014   Laura Harvey Seattle Reign FC [39]
2015   Laura Harvey Seattle Reign FC [40]
2016   Mark Parsons Portland Thorns FC [41]
2017   Paul Riley North Carolina Courage [42]
2018   Paul Riley North Carolina Courage [43]
2019   Vlatko Andonovski Reign FC [44]
2021   Laura Harvey OL Reign [45]

Teams of the YearEdit

2013Edit

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Nicole Barnhart FC Kansas City 10 shutouts
Defender   Christie Rampone Sky Blue FC 1.20 GAA
Defender   Leigh Ann Robinson FC Kansas City 5 assists
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City 1.00 GAA
Defender   Brittany Taylor Western New York Flash 3 goals, 4 assists
Midfielder   Lori Chalupny Chicago Red Stars 5 goals, 4 assists
Midfielder   Jess Fishlock Seattle Reign FC 4 goals
Midfielder   Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City 12 goals, 9 assists
Midfielder   Diana Matheson Washington Spirit 8 goals, 3 assists
Forward   Sydney Leroux Boston Breakers 11 goals, 2 assists
Forward   Abby Wambach Western New York Flash 11 goals, 8 assists

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Adrianna Franch Western New York Flash
Defender   Rachel Buehler Portland Thorns
Defender   Caitlin Foord Sky Blue FC
Defender   Ali Krieger Washington Spirit
Defender   Lauren Sesselmann FC Kansas City
Midfielder   Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign FC
Midfielder   Desiree Scott FC Kansas City
Midfielder   Erika Tymrak FC Kansas City
Forward   Alex Morgan Portland Thorns
Forward   Lianne Sanderson Boston Breakers
Forward   Christine Sinclair Portland Thorns

2014Edit

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Alyssa Naeher Boston Breakers 106 saves
Defender   Kendall Fletcher Seattle Reign FC .83 team GAA
Defender   Ali Krieger Washington Spirit 1 goal
Defender   Christie Rampone Sky Blue FC 1 goal, 2 assists
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City 8 shutouts
Midfielder   Verónica Boquete Portland Thorns FC 4 goals, 6 assists
Midfielder   Jess Fishlock Seattle Reign FC 4 goals, 8 assists
Midfielder   Kim Little Seattle Reign FC 16 goals, 7 assists
Forward   Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City 8 goals, 7 assists
Forward   Nahomi Kawasumi Seattle Reign FC 9 goals, 5 assists
Forward   Amy Rodriguez FC Kansas City 13 goals, 3 assists

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Hope Solo Seattle Reign FC 5 shutouts
Defender   Lauren Barnes Seattle Reign FC .83 team GAA
Defender   Stephanie Catley Portland Thorns FC 5 assists
Defender   Stephanie Cox Seattle Reign FC .83 team GAA
Defender   Julie Johnston Chicago Red Stars Rookie of the Year
Midfielder   Carli Lloyd Western New York Flash 8 goals, 5 assists
Midfielder   Allie Long Portland Thorns FC 9 goals, 3 assists
Midfielder   Heather O'Reilly Boston Breakers 9 goals, 5 assists
Forward   Christen Press Chicago Red Stars 6 goals
Forward   Jessica McDonald Portland Thorns FC 11 goals, 1 assist
Forward   Jodie Taylor Washington Spirit 11 goals, 2 assists

[46]

2015Edit

Announced September 24, 2015[47]

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Michelle Betos Portland Thorns FC 45 saves
Defender   Lauren Barnes Seattle Reign FC 1,800 minutes
Defender   Julie Johnston Chicago Red Stars 1.10 team GAA
Defender   Amy LePeilbet FC Kansas City 1,800 minutes
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City 1.00 GAA
Midfielder   Jess Fishlock Seattle Reign FC 8 goals, 2 assists
Midfielder   Kim Little Seattle Reign FC 10 goals, 7 assists
Midfielder   Allie Long Portland Thorns FC 10 goals, 4 assists
Forward   Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit 15 goals, 3 assists
Forward   Christen Press Chicago Red Stars 10 goals, 2 assists
Forward   Beverly Yanez Seattle Reign FC 9 goals

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Nicole Barnhart FC Kansas City 8 shutouts
Defender   Stephanie Cox Seattle Reign FC 1,800 minutes
Defender   Kendall Fletcher Seattle Reign FC 2 goals, 2 assists
Defender   Arin Gilliland Chicago Red Stars 1.10 team GAA
Defender   Leigh Ann Robinson FC Kansas City 1,800 minutes
Midfielder   Danielle Colaprico Chicago Red Stars 1,776 minutes
Midfielder   Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City 2 goals, 2 assists
Midfielder   Carli Lloyd Houston Dash 4 goals
Midfielder   Keelin Winters Seattle Reign FC 1,654 minutes
Forward   Sofia Huerta Chicago Red Stars 6 goals, 3 assists
Forward   Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign FC 5 goals, 5 assists

2016Edit

Announced October 7, 2016[48]

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Ashlyn Harris Orlando Pride 62 saves
Defender   Lauren Barnes Seattle Reign FC 1,775 minutes
Defender   Arin Gilliland Chicago Red Stars 1.00 team GAA
Defender   Emily Menges Portland Thorns FC 0.95 team GAA
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City 1.00 team GAA
Midfielder   Tobin Heath Portland Thorns FC Goal, 10 assists
Midfielder   Allie Long Portland Thorns FC 6 goals, 2 assists
Forward   Jessica McDonald Western New York Flash 10 goals, 7 assists
Forward   Kealia Ohai Houston Dash 11 goals, 4 assists
Forward   Christen Press Chicago Red Stars 8 goals
Forward   Lynn Williams Western New York Flash 11 goals, 5 assists

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Alyssa Naeher Chicago Red Stars 1.00 GAA
Defender   Julie Johnston Chicago Red Stars 1.00 team GAA
Defender   Ali Krieger Washington Spirit 1.05 team GAA
Defender   Christie Rampone Sky Blue FC 1,800 minutes
Defender   Casey Short Chicago Red Stars 1,781 minutes
Midfielder   Danielle Colaprico Chicago Red Stars Goal, 2 assists
Midfielder   Vanessa DiBernardo Chicago Red Stars 7 assists
Midfielder   Jess Fishlock Seattle Reign FC Goals, 4 assists
Midfielder   Kim Little Seattle Reign FC 6 goals, 2 assists
Forward   Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit 2 goals, 5 assists
Forward   Shea Groom FC Kansas City 8 goals

2017Edit

Best XI

Announced October 12, 2017[49]

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Adrianna Franch Portland Thorns FC 11 shutouts, 80 saves, .83 GAA
Defender   Casey Short Chicago Red Stars 1 goal, 3rd-best defense in NWSL
Defender   Abby Dahlkemper North Carolina Courage 121 corner kicks taken, 2 assists
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn FC Kansas City 157 clearances, 24 blocks, 1 goal, 2 assists
Defender   Ali Krieger Orlando Pride 99 clearances, 49 interceptions, 2 assists
Midfielder   Jess Fishlock Seattle Reign FC 7 goals, 2 assists
Midfielder   Sam Mewis North Carolina Courage 6 goals, 3 assists
Midfielder   McCall Zerboni North Carolina Courage 3 goals, 1 assist
Forward   Marta Orlando Pride 13 goals, 6 assists, 64 chances created
Forward   Sam Kerr Sky Blue FC 17 goals, 4 assists, 2 hattricks, 1 4-goal game
Forward   Christen Press Chicago Red Stars 11 goals, 4 assists

Second XI

Announced October 10, 2017[50]

POSITION PLAYER CLUB NOTE
Goalkeeper   Katelyn Rowland North Carolina Courage 39 saves, 8 shutouts
Defender   Steph Catley Orlando Pride 2,032 minutes played
Defender   Abby Erceg North Carolina Courage 1 goal, 2 assists
Defender   Meghan Klingenberg Portland Thorns FC 6 assists
Defender   Emily Menges Portland Thorns FC 2,063 minutes played
Midfielder   Danielle Colaprico Chicago Red Stars 1,903 minutes played
Midfielder   Julie Ertz Chicago Red Stars 4 goals, 3 assists
Midfielder   Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC 4 goals, 2 assists
Midfielder   Sofia Huerta Chicago Red Stars 6 goals, 4 assists
Forward   Alex Morgan Orlando Pride 9 goals, 4 assists
Forward   Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign FC 12 goals, 1 assist

2018Edit

Announced September 20, 2018[51]

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Adrianna Franch Portland Thorns FC
Defender   Emily Sonnett Portland Thorns FC
Defender   Abby Dahlkemper North Carolina Courage
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn Utah Royals FC
Defender   Abby Erceg North Carolina Courage
Midfielder   Tobin Heath Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder   Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder   McCall Zerboni North Carolina Courage
Forward   Crystal Dunn North Carolina Courage
Forward   Sam Kerr Chicago Red Stars
Forward   Megan Rapinoe Seattle Reign

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Lydia Williams Seattle Reign
Defender   Emily Menges Portland Thorns FC
Defender   Merritt Mathias North Carolina Courage
Defender   Steph Catley Seattle Reign
Defender   Julie Ertz Chicago Red Stars
Midfielder   Carli Lloyd Sky Blue FC
Midfielder   Christine Sinclair Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder   Debinha North Carolina Courage
Forward   Lynn Williams North Carolina Courage
Forward   Sofia Huerta Houston Dash
Forward   Rachel Daly Houston Dash

2019Edit

Announced October 24, 2019[52]

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Aubrey Bledsoe Washington Spirit
Defender   Abby Dahlkemper North Carolina Courage
Defender   Ali Krieger Orlando Pride
Defender   Becky Sauerbrunn Utah Royals FC
Defender   Casey Short Chicago Red Stars
Midfielder   Julie Ertz Chicago Red Stars
Midfielder   Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder   Rose Lavelle Washington Spirit
Forward   Tobin Heath Portland Thorns FC
Forward   Sam Kerr Chicago Red Stars
Forward   Christen Press Utah Royals FC

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Alyssa Naeher Chicago Red Stars
Defender   Lauren Barnes Reign FC
Defender   Abby Erceg North Carolina Courage
Defender   Kelley O'Hara Utah Royals FC
Defender   Emily Sonnett Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder   Bethany Balcer Reign FC
Midfielder   Crystal Dunn North Carolina Courage
Midfielder   Yūki Nagasato Chicago Red Stars
Forward   Kristen Hamilton North Carolina Courage
Forward   Carli Lloyd Sky Blue FC
Forward   Megan Rapinoe Reign FC

2021Edit

Announced November 17, 2021[53]

Best XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Kailen Sheridan NJ/NY Gotham FC
Defender   Caprice Dydasco NJ/NY Gotham FC
  Alana Cook OL Reign
  Sarah Gorden Chicago Red Stars
  Carson Pickett North Carolina Courage
Midfielder/Forward   Ashley Hatch Washington Spirit
  Jess Fishlock OL Reign
  Eugénie Le Sommer OL Reign
  Margaret Purce NJ/NY Gotham FC
  Trinity Rodman Washington Spirit
  Angela Salem Portland Thorns FC

Second XI

POSITION PLAYER CLUB
Goalkeeper   Bella Bixby Portland Thorns FC
Defender   Sofia Huerta OL Reign
  Emily Menges Portland Thorns FC
  Emily Fox Racing Louisville FC
  Meghan Klingenberg Portland Thorns FC
Midfielder/Forward   Bethany Balcer OL Reign
  Lindsey Horan Portland Thorns FC
  Mallory Pugh Chicago Red Stars
  Rachel Daly Houston Dash
  Sydney Leroux Orlando Pride
  Ifeoma Onumonu NJ/NY Gotham FC

Most selectionsEdit

As of November 19, 2021. Only players with multiple total selections are included.
Players still active in the NWSL
Nat Player Best XI Second XI Total
  Becky Sauerbrunn 7 0 7
  Jess Fishlock 5 1 6
  Julie Ertz 2 4 6
  Christen Press 4 1 5
  Ali Krieger 3 2 5
  Megan Rapinoe 1 4 5
  Crystal Dunn 2 2 4
  Lauren Holiday 2 2 4
  Lindsey Horan 2 2 4
  Emily Menges 1 3 4
  Sofia Huerta 0 4 4
  Carli Lloyd 0 4 4
  Abby Dahlkemper 3 0 3
  Tobin Heath 3 0 3
  Sam Kerr 3 0 3
  Lauren Barnes 2 1 3
  Adrianna Franch 2 1 3
  Casey Krueger 2 1 3
  Kim Little 2 1 3
  Allie Long 2 1 3
  Christie Pearce 2 1 3
  Alyssa Naeher 1 2 3
  Abby Erceg 1 2 3
  Steph Catley 0 3 3
  Danielle Colaprico 0 3 3
  McCall Zerboni 2 0 2
  Nicole Barnhart 1 1 2
  Leigh Ann Brown 1 1 2
  Kendall Fletcher 1 1 2
  Sydney Leroux 1 1 2
  Jessica McDonald 1 1 2
  Emily Sonnett 1 1 2
  Lynn Williams 1 1 2
  Arin Wright 1 1 2
  Bethany Balcer 0 2 2
  Stephanie Cox 0 2 2
  Rachel Daly 0 2 2
  Meghan Klingenberg 0 2 2
  Alex Morgan 0 2 2
  Christine Sinclair 0 2 2

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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