<
no logoTBA
no logoTBA
OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
>
2018 NWSL GM Survey
The Courage are picked to win the title this season
Last season, the North Carolina Courage went 16-7-1 in the regular season and made it to the NWSL Championship, where they fell to Portland Thorns FC 1-0. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)
Last season, the North Carolina Courage went 16-7-1 in the regular season and made it to the NWSL Championship, where they fell to Portland Thorns FC 1-0. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

Who will win the NWSL Championship this year? Most Valuable Player? Golden Boot? Let the predictions begin.

This preseason, NWSL Media surveyed the league’s front office staff for their answers to 20 different questions on a variety of topics. In addition to the end of season predictions, teams were also asked to vote for the best player at each position, future coach, best leader, toughest player and more.

The North Carolina Courage, who added Crystal Dunn to their roster this offseason, are picked by most (37.5%) to win the NWSL Championship this year.

While Marta finished second in last season’s MVP voting, she holds the edge in this survey with 37.5% of those responding predicting the Orlando Pride forward to be named MVP this year. Reigning MVP/Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr is favored to be the league’s top scorer in her first season with the Chicago Red Stars.

Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit) and Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC) went 1-2 in the 2018 NWSL College Draft, and are in the same order on the question of who will be named the 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year.

Eight different players are picked for most underrated player in the NWSL. Sky Blue FC has the most players on that list with three: Shea Groom, Sarah Killion and Raquel Rodriguez.

A survey of the NWSL Media Association was also conducted. The results will be shared later this week.

All respondents were not able to vote for members of their own teams. Percentages are based on the number of answers to each question, not the number of those who received the survey.

1. Who will win the NWSL Championship?

North Carolina Courage

North Carolina Courage | 37.5%

Chicago Red Stars | 25%
———–
Also receiving votes: Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Utah Royals FC


2. Which four teams will make the playoffs?
North Carolina Courage | 78%
Portland Thorns FC | 78%
Washington Spirit | 67%
Chicago Red Stars | 44%
Orlando Pride | 44%

Seattle Reign FC | 33%
Utah Royals FC | 22%


3. Which team will be the most improved in 2018?
Washington Spirit | 75%

Houston Dash | 12.5%
Utah Royals FC | 12.5%


4. Who is the best coach in the NWSL?

Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC | 33%

———–
Vlatko Andonovski, Seattle Reign FC; Rory Dames, Chicago Red Stars; Mark Parsons, Portland Thorns FC; Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC; Paul Riley, North Carolina Courage; Tom Sermanni, Orlando Pride


5. Who will be named Most Valuable Player?

Marta, Orlando Pride | 37.5%

———–
Also receiving votes: Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars; Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC; Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars; Christen Press, Houston Dash; Jodie Taylor, Seattle Reign FC


6. Who will win the Golden Boot?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 37.5%

Christen Press, Houston Dash | 25%
———–
Also receiving votes: Marta, Orlando Pride; Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride; Jodie Taylor, Seattle Reign FC


7. Who will be named Rookie of the Year?
Andi Sullivan, Washington Spirit | 67%

Savannah McCaskill, Sky Blue FC | 33%


8. Who is the best goalkeeper in the NWSL?

Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars | 75%

Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC | 25%


9. Who is the best defender in the NWSL?
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 67%

———–
Also receiving votes: Lauren Barnes, Seattle Reign FC; Emily Menges, Portland Thorns FC; Taylor Smith, Washington Spirit


10. Who is the best midfielder in the NWSL?
Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC | 37.5%

Sam Mewis, North Carolina Courage | 25%
Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars | 25%
Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC | 12.5%


11. Who is the best forward in the NWSL?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 75%

Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride | 12.5%
Christen Press, Houston Dash | 12.5%


12. Who is the toughest player in the NWSL?

McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage | 56%

Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars | 22%
———–
Also receiving votes: Abby Dahlkemper, North Carolina Courage; Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC


13. Which player is the best leader in the NWSL?
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 33%

Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars | 22%
Marta, Orlando Pride | 22%
———–
Also receiving votes: Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride; Carli Lloyd, Sky Blue FC


14. Who is the best international player in the NWSL?
Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars | 37.5%
Marta, Orlando Pride | 37.5%

Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC | 25%


15. Who is the most underrated player in the NWSL?

Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC | 12.5%
Shea Groom, Sky Blue FC | 12.5%
Sarah Killion, Sky Blue FC | 12.5%
Brittany Kolmel, Utah Royals FC | 12.5%
Emily Menges, Portland Thorns FC | 12.5%
Raquel Rodriguez, Sky Blue FC | 12.5%
Taylor Smith, Washington Spirit | 12.5%
McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage | 12.5%


16. Which substitute makes the most impact when she enters a game?
Katie Johnson, Sky Blue FC | 43%

Ashley Hatch, Washington Spirit | 29%
———–
Also receiving votes: Rachel Hill, Orlando Pride; Alyssa Mautz, Chicago Red Stars


17. Which active international player would you most like to see join the NWSL?
Kim Little, Scotland | 50%

———–
Also receiving votes: Wendie Renard, France; Pernille Harder, Denmark; Vivianne Miedema, Netherlands


18. If you were starting a team today and could sign any player in the NWSL, who would it be?
Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars | 25%
Marta, Orlando Pride | 25%

———–
Also receiving votes: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC; Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars; Christen Press, Houston Dash; Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC


19. Which active player would you like to see become an NWSL head coach in the future?
Becky Sauerbrunn, Utah Royals FC | 37.5%

Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride | 12.5%
———–
Also receiving votes: Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC; Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC; McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage


20. Which player would you most like to see take the game-winning penalty in the NWSL Championship?
Marta, Orlando Pride | 25%
Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC | 25%

Meg Linehan and Celia Balf contributed to this report.


official nwsl sponsors
cutter logo
nike logo
thorne logo
lifetime logo
budweiser logo