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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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2018 Media Survey
Kerr is favored to win MVP and Golden Boot
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored an NWSL-record 17 goals last season. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored an NWSL-record 17 goals last season. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

Meg Linehan and Celia Balf contributed to this report.

Ready for more predictions? On Monday, we shared the results of the first-ever NWSL GM Survey — now it’s the media’s turn to have their say.

We asked the NWSL Media Association, made up of writers from across the country that cover the league on a regular basis, to share their picks for this year’s champions, Most Valuable Player, best leader, future coach and more. Twenty members of the association participated during the survey window (February 26 to March 2). The full list of writers who completed the survey is available at the end of this post.

Sam Kerr, heading into her first season with the Chicago Red Stars, is favored to repeat as MVP (35% of the vote) and Golden Boot winner (50%). Kerr is also named best forward (79%), best international (70%) and the player you would pick to start an NWSL team (35%).

Sky Blue FC midfielder Carli Lloyd is the top choice to take the game-winning penalty in the NWSL Championship. Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico, Houston Dash defender Amber Brooks and Washington Spirit midfielder Tori Huster are tied for most underrated player.

The North Carolina Courage are picked to win the NWSL Championship, with Seattle Reign FC second on that list. New Seattle coach Vlatko Adonovski is the pick for best coach in the NWSL.

Percentages are based on the number of answers to each question, not the number of those who participated in the survey.

 

 

 

1. Who will win the NWSL Championship?

North Carolina Courage

North Carolina Courage | 35%

Seattle Reign FC | 15%
Washington Spirit | 10%
Portland Thorns FC | 10%
Orlando Pride | 10%
Utah Royals FC | 10%
Chicago Red Stars | 10%


2. Which four teams will make the playoffs?
Portland Thorns FC | 90%
North Carolina Courage | 85%
Orlando Pride | 60%
Utah Royals FC | 60%

Seattle Reign FC | 50%
Chicago Red Stars | 40%
Washington Spirit | 15%


3. Which team will be the most improved in 2018?
Washington Spirit | 70%

Houston Dash | 10%

Also receiving votes: Orlando Pride, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Utah Royals FC


4. Who is the best coach in the NWSL?
Vlatko Andonovski, Seattle Reign FC | 50%

Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC | 20%
Paul Riley, North Carolina Courage | 15%

Also receiving votes: Jim Gabarra, Washington Spirit; Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns FC; Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride


5. Who will be named Most Valuable Player?

Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 35%

Marta, Orlando Pride | 15%
Sam Mewis, North Carolina Courage | 10%
Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride | 10%
Mallory Pugh, Washington Spirit | 10%

Also receiving votes: Crystal Dunn, North Carolina Courage; Carli Lloyd, Sky Blue FC; Kelley O’Hara, Utah Royals FC; Amy Rodriguez, Utah Royals FC


6. Who will win the Golden Boot?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 50%

Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride | 20%
Amy Rodriguez, Utah Royals FC | 10%
Crystal Dunn, North Carolina Courage | 10%

Also receiving votes: Marta, Orlando Pride; Elise Thorsnes, Utah Royals FC


7. Who will be named Rookie of the Year?
Andi Sullivan, Washington Spirit | 58%

Savannah McCaskill, Sky Blue FC | 31.5%

Also receiving votes: Frannie Crouse, North Carolina Courage; Rebecca Quinn, Washington Spirit


8. Who is the best goalkeeper in the NWSL?
Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC | 47%

Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars | 16%
Lydia Williams, Seattle Reign FC | 11%
Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC | 11%

Also receiving votes: Nicole Barnhart, Utah Royals FC; Katelyn Rowland, North Carolina Courage; Abby Smith, Utah Royals FC


9. Who is the best defender in the NWSL?
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 60%

Emily Sonnett, Portland Thorns FC | 20%
Emily Menges, Portland Thorns FC | 10%

Also receiving votes: Alanna Kennedy, Orlando Pride; Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars


10. Who is the best midfielder in the NWSL?

Sam Mewis, North Carolina Courage | 42%

Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars | 26%
Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC | 10.5%

Also receiving votes: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC; Marta, Orlando Pride; Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC; McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage


11. Who is the best forward in the NWSL?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 79%

Marta, Orlando Pride | 16%
Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride | 5%


12. Who is the toughest player in the NWSL?
McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage | 45%

Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC | 15%

Also receiving votes: Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars; Abby Dahlkemper, North Carolina Courage; Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage; Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars; Tori Huster, Washington Spirit; Kelley O’Hara, Utah Royals FC; Amy Rodriguez, Utah Royals FC; Angela Salem, Portland Thorns FC


13. Which player is the best leader in the NWSL?
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 45%

Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns FC | 20%
Yael Averbuch, Seattle Reign FC | 15%
Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride | 10%

Also receiving votes: Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride; McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage


14. Who is the best international player in the NWSL?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 70%

Marta, Orlando Pride | 20%

Also receiving votes: Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC; Nahomi Kawasumi, Seattle Reign FC


15. Who is the most underrated player in the NWSL?
Amber Brooks, Houston Dash | 11%

Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars | 11%
Tori Huster, Washington Spirit | 11%

Also receiving votes:

Andressinha, Portland Thorns FC; Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC; Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC; Nahomi Kawasumi, Seattle Reign FC; Sarah Killion, Sky Blue FC; Adriana Leon, Sky Blue FC; Jessica McDonald, North Carolina Courage; Emily Menges, Portland Thorns FC; Angela Salem, Portland Thorns FC; Kailen Sheridan, Sky Blue FC; Emily Sonnett, Portland Thorns FC; Beverly Yanez, Seattle Reign FC; McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage


16. Which substitute makes the most impact when she enters a game?
Jessica McDonald, North Carolina Courage | 22%

Katie Johnson, Sky Blue FC | 16%
Margaret Purce, Portland Thorns FC | 11%

Also receiving votes: Camila, Orlando Pride; Shea Groom, Sky Blue FC; Ashley Hatch, North Carolina Courage; Adriana Leon, Sky Blue FC; Carli Lloyd, Sky Blue FC; Maegan Kelly, Utah Royals FC; Denise O’Sullivan, North Carolina Courage; Francisca Ordega, Washington Spirit; Hayley Raso, Portland Thorns FC


17. Which active international player would you most like to see join the NWSL?
Dzsenifer Marozsán, Germany | 26%

Wendie Renard, France | 21%
Lieke Martens, Netherlands | 10.5%

Also receiving votes: Lucy Bronze, England; Asisat Oshoala, Nigeria; Charlyn Corral, Mexico; Eugénie Le Sommer, France; Pernille Harder, Denmark; Ali Riley, New Zealand; Mana Iwabuchi, Japan; Ada Hegerberg, Norway


18. If you were starting a team today and could sign any player in the NWSL, who would it be?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 35%

Sam Mewis, North Carolina Courage | 15%
Mallory Pugh, Washington Spirit | 10%
Marta, Orlando Pride | 10%

Also receiving votes: Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars; Tobin Heath, Portland Thorns FC; Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC; Rose Lavelle, Washington Spirit; Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride; Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars


19. Which active player would you like to see become an NWSL head coach in the future?

Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 35%

Yael Averbuch, Seattle Reign FC | 20%
McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage | 10%

Also receiving votes: Vanessa DiBernardo, Chicago Red Stars; Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC; Meghan Klingenberg, Portland Thorns FC; Carli Lloyd, Sky Blue FC, Allie Long, Seattle Reign FC; Kelley O’Hara, Utah Royals FC; Amy Rodriguez, Utah Royals FC


20. Which player would you most like to see take the game-winning penalty in the NWSL Championship?

Carli Lloyd, Sky Blue FC | 20%

Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns FC | 15%
Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC | 10%
Christen Press, Houston Dash | 10%
Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride | 10%
Marta, Orlando Pride | 10%

Also receiving votes: Crystal Dunn, North Carolina Courage; Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC; Mallory Pugh, Washington Spirit; Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride; Jodie Taylor, Seattle Reign FC


 

The list of NWSL Media Association writers who participated in the survey are:

RJ Allen, Backline Soccer
Jason Anderson, Black and Red United
Courtney Andros, Final Third Soccer
Charles Boehm, various outlets
Chelsey Bush, Equalizer Soccer
Jen Cooper, Keeper Notes
Ray Curren, Equalizer Soccer
Jennifer Gordon, Equalizer Soccer
Tim Grainey, Equalizer Soccer
John Halloran, American Soccer Now
Sandra Herrera, Hot Time in Old Town
Dan Lauletta, Equalizer Soccer
Kevin McCauley, SB Nation
Howard Megdal, various outlets
Neil Morris, WRAL Sports Fan
Michelle Morrison, Final Third Soccer
Anne Peterson, Associated Press
Jonathan Tannenwald, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Kieran Thievam, Women’s Soccer Zone
Stephanie Yang, Stars and Stripes FC


 

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