Megan Rapinoe among nominees for 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year Award.
U.S. Soccer today announced the five nominees for the 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award, which represents the highest honor awarded to soccer players in the United States. Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe is one of five U.S. Women’s National Team players to be nominated.
Rapinoe was consistently dangerous scoring goals and setting up teammates this year, and she led the U.S. in assists with 12, tied for her career-high in a calendar year. She started all 17 matches she played, logging 1,214 minutes (good for sixth on the team) and had seven goals. Her combined goals and assists (19) were highest on the U.S. team for any player except Alex Morgan (21). Rapinoe’s creative and dynamic flank play was one of the keys to the USA’s success in 2018, as was her leadership in a year in which she captained the team on several occasions.
She scored several significant goals for the U.S. in 2018, tallying the game-winner in the 1-0 victory over Germany in the SheBelieves Cup, and also sent in the cross that England bundled into its own net for a 1-0 win the same tournament. She scored against Mexico in two different games, in a 2-1 win vs. China PR, and against Japan in the Tournament of Nations. She also scored against Jamaica in the Concacaf Women’s Championship semifinal to help send the USA to France next summer.
Rapinoe was a finalist for NWSL MVP award in a year that saw her play 1,315 minutes in 16 games for the Seattle as the club returned to the playoffs and finished third in the NWSL. She scored seven goals for Reign FC (tied for tenth in the league), had six assists (tied for fourth), and was named to the NWSL Best XI. Rapinoe was one of 10 finalists for the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year and finished fourth in the voting, just one percentage point out of third. She won the 2018 ESPY for Best NWSL Player in the first year the award was included in the ESPY program. Rapinoe is also a nominee for the first-ever France Football Women’s Ballon d’Or.
All five nominees played significant roles for the U.S. Women’s National Team during a year that saw the USA finish its 20-game schedule with an undefeated record at 18-0-2 and qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Below is the full list of nominees:
Julie Ertz, Midfielder, Chicago Red Stars
Tobin Heath, Forward, Portland Thorns FC
Lindsey Horan, Midfielder, Portland Thorns FC
Alex Morgan, Forward, Orlando Pride
Megan Rapinoe, Forward, Seattle Reign FC
Voting for the awards starts today and closes on December 3 at 8:59pm PT. Votes are collected from U.S. National Team head coaches and staff, national team players who have earned a cap during the calendar year, NWSL head coaches, and select former players, administrators, and media members. In addition, select college coaches vote for the award. The winner of the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award will be announced during the first week of December.