Samantha Kerr

Sky Blue FC Forward Samantha Kerr Voted 2017 NWSL Most Valuable Player

Sky Blue FC forward Samantha Kerr was voted the National Women’s Soccer League Most Valuable Player for the 2017 NWSL season, the league announced Friday.

Kerr, 24, broke the NWSL single-season scoring record with 17 goals, eclipsing the previous mark of 16 tallies set by former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little during her MVP season in 2014. She is the fifth consecutive NWSL Golden Boot winner to also be voted MVP for the same year.

The Perth, Australia native also had with four assists and her 21 points is the second-highest single-season total in league history (two behind Little’s 23 points in 2014). Kerr finished the season with 22 appearances (21 starts) as she logged 1,918 minutes and led the league in shots (91), shots on target (54) as well as offsides (38).

The Australia international scored two or more goals in a game on three occasions in 2017 – netting a brace June 17 against Portland Thorns FC before upping the ante with a hat trick July 8 versus FC Kansas City and then becoming the first player in NWSL history to score four goals in a single match Aug. 19 against the Reign.

With her historic four-goal game, Kerr became the first player in NWSL history with two hat tricks in the same season as she also joined Nadia Nadim and Megan Rapinoe as the only players to score three goals in a game two times during their NWSL careers.

None of her 17 goals came from the penalty spot as she missed the only spot kick she attempted during the season.

That miss – which struck the crossbar – came just half a minute before Kerr scored her record-setting fourth goal on Aug. 19 in the 94th minute to lead Sky Blue FC to a 5-4 victory against Seattle as the Jersey club became the first team in NWSL history to rally from a three-goal deficit to win a match.

It was the signature moment in a year during which Kerr was named NWSL Player of the Month twice, voted to the NWSL Team of the Month four times, honored as NWSL Player of the Week on three occasions and rewrote the NWSL record books – as she became the league’s all-time scoring leader (now with 43 career goals).

List of NWSL Most Valuable Player winners:

Year Player Club
2013 Lauren Holiday FC Kansas City
2014 Kim Little Seattle Reign FC
2015 Crystal Dunn Washington Spirit
2016 Lynn Williams Western New York Flash
2017 Samantha Kerr Sky Blue FC

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