Portland, Oregon — Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan has been named the 2018 NWSL Most Valuable Player, the league announced Friday. The award was voted on by club officials, players, media and fans.
Horan played 1,980 minutes over 22 games to lead the Thorns to an 12-6-6 (42 points) overall record good for second place in the NWSL.
NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy presented the award to Horan at Providence Park on Friday.
“Obviously, it’s a huge honor for me. I think this year has been incredible for our team. It’s been a roller coaster ride and we have dealt with so much adversity and injuries, etc., so credit to my team and what they have done this year to get us to this point,” Horan said at the press conference. “I thank them and I’m so grateful for them, and this staff too. They have pushed me hard every single day and have got me to this point, so it’s just an honor to receive this award with my team behind me and my staff behind me. Again, the players that were up for this — McCall [Zerboni], Pinoe [Megan Rapinoe], Sam [Kerr] and Lynn [Williams] — they are incredible and it’s just an honor to be amongst them as well.”
— NWSL (@NWSL) September 21, 2018
“Really happy for her,” Thorns head coach Mark Parsons said at the coaches press conference ahead of the championship. “The people across the league, media, players, and coaches have shown her appreciation for what she’s done this season, because it’s been nothing short of exceptional. I have said it a few times now I think she’s the only one capable of having the impact across so many different areas on and off the ball; offensive and defensive sides this season. … I said it in ‘16, I said it at ‘17, and I’ll say it again now, she is at a very, very elite level and I think she’s just getting started, she really is and she’ll say that herself.”
— NWSL (@NWSL) September 21, 2018
Horan scored 13 goals (third in the NWSL) and chipped in two assists, scoring at a rate of 152.3 minutes per goal in 30 shots on target. Six of Horan’s goals she finished with her head. The midfielder led the league in total touches (1,852) and duels won (297), including aerial duels (141). Horan finished fourth in the league for tackles won (47) and third in the league for headed clearances (42). She topped the season off with 25 chances created and held a passing accuracy of 75.2% (1,293 passes).
In July, Horan earned Player of the Month honors for the first time after she scored three goals and added an assist to lead her team to an undefeated 3-0 run during the month of July. Although she didn’t play in the Thorns 2-1 win over Sky Blue FC due to national team duty, in the two games she did play in July she led her team to a 4-0 win over Utah Royals FC and then a 3-1 victory vs. the Houston Dash. Horan was also named to the Team of the Month five times this season.
Horan is the first MVP to have not won the Golden Boot that season.
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr finished second in MVP voting. Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe was third. North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni was fourth. Courage forward Lynn Williams was fifth.
The list of five finalists was decided after a preliminary round of voting by owners, general managers, coaches, players and media. The finalists were then voted on by fans, owners, general managers, coaches, players and media.
Preliminary Round: Owners/GMs/Coaches (25%), Media (25%) and Players (50%)
Final Round: Fans (20%), Owners/GMs/Coaches (20%), Media (20%) and Players (40%)
Full list of NWSL MVPs
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: Sam Kerr, Sky Blue FC
2018: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC