The National Women’s Soccer League has handed out several awards following the completion of its 2015 season.
• Defender Of The Year
Becky Sauerbrunn, FC Kansas City
Honored for the third consecutive year, the St. Louis native appeared in every minute in the 11 matches she played with Kansas City and was part of FCKC’s four-match shutout streak from August 8-27.
Sauerbrunn also was a key member of the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 2015 World Cup winning journey in Canada, playing in every minute in the tournament.
• Goalkeeeper Of The Year
Michelle Betos, Portland Thorns FC
Betos, 27, becomes the first Thorns player to win a league award – making 45 saves and posting a 1.286 goals-against-average in 14 appearances for Portland this season.
The New York City native recorded two shutouts while earning a 5-7-2 record with the Thorns and was in net for all but one of Portland’s victories. Her 1,260 minutes ranked third in the league among goalkeepers and is a career high for Betos, whose previous high was 632 minutes in seven appearances for Seattle Reign FC in the 2013 season.
In addition, Betos became the first goalkeeper in NWSL history to score a goal – a 95th-minute equalizer when she headed in a corner kick from midfielder Allie Long in a 1-1 draw with FC Kansas City on June 19.
• Rookie Of The Year
Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars
Colaprico, 22, started all 20 games for the Red Stars this season and played all but 24 minutes this season – massing 1,776 minutes. The Freehold Township, N.J. native scored one goal this season – the only tally in a 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC on May 2 – and helped Chicago earn 33 points with an 8-3-9 for a second-place finish to the regular season.
Colaprico is the second consecutive Red Stars player to be named WSL Rookie of the Year after defender Julie Johnston claimed the honor in 2014.
•Manager Of The Year
Laura Harvey, Seattle Reign FC
This is the second Coach of the Year award for Harvey, 35, who also won the award following the 2014 season. A native of Nuneaton, England, Harvey lead Seattle to a 13-3-4 record and a second straight NWSL Shield.
The Reign finished the 2015 regular season with the No. 1-ranked offense in the league – having scored 41 goals in 20 games – as well as the No. 2-ranked defense, conceding 21 goals – just one more than FC Kansas City.