Sky Blue’s Kerr Named NWSL MVP

Sam Kerr, Sky Blue
Sam Kerr celebrates one of her four goals vs. Seattle. Photo by Jeffrey Auger

There were many remarkable moments for Sky Blue FC’s Sam Kerr during the 2017 National Women’s Soccer League season.

Scoring 17 goals in 22 appearances this season, the Australian international was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Kerr’s goal total also set an NWSL record, eclipsing the 16 goals scored by Kim Little when she played for Seattle Reign in 2014. In addition, all of Kerr’s goals were scored from the run-of-play.

Kerr’s MVP season also saw her claim the top spot on the league’s 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 a 3-2 comeback win at Yurcak Field. The 12-minute hat trick was the fastest in league history.

On August 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 an improbable 5-4 comeback victory 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-goal 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 effective 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.