After a record-breaking season, Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr has been named the 2017 NWSL Most Valuable Player, the league announced Friday. The award was voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on consistent basis and fans.
In 22 games, Kerr scored 17 goals — besting former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little’s previous record of 16 set in 2014 — and four assists. Five of her 17 goals were game-winners, with more than a few coming in late, dramatic fashion. Her 43 career goals are the most in NWSL history.
On July 8, she became the NWSL’s all-time leading scorer — by scoring a hat trick in the final 12 minutes to lead Sky Blue FC back from down 2-0 to a 3-2 win over FC Kansas City. At the time, it was just the second time in NWSL history that a team recovered from a two goal deficit to win a game and just the eighth time in league history that a team won when trailing after 75 minutes.
On August 19, Kerr became the first player to score four goals in one game. Once again, her feat came in dramatic comeback fashion as Sky Blue recovered from a 3-0 halftime deficit, and then a 4-3 deficit in the 85th minute, to win 5-4 after Kerr scored her goal in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time. Kerr missed a potential game-winning penalty kick, only to head home the game-winner on a corner kick moments later. It’s the first time in NWSL history a team has ever won after being down by three goals.
Kerr won back-to-back Player of the Month honors in May and June and was named to the Team of the Month four times this season. She also won Player of the Week three times: for the three goal game, four goal game, and a two goals/one assist game in a 3-1 win at Portland in June.
Her 21 total points are second in league history to Little’s 23 points (16 goals, 7 assists) in 2014. Kerr also won the 2017 Golden Boot as the league’s top scorer.
Every Sam Kerr goal and assist during the 2017 season
Assist 1: May 13 vs. Houston Dash, 3-1 win | 53′ | Goal: Leah Galton
Goal 1: May 13 vs. Houston Dash, 3-1 win | 87′ | Assist: McKenzie Meehan
Goal 2: May 27 vs. Orlando Pride, 2-1 win | 43′ | Assist: Daphne Corboz
Assist 2: May 27 vs. Orlando Pride, 2-1 win | 82′ | Goal: Maya Hayes
Assist 3: June 17 vs. Portland Thorns FC, 3-1 win | 1′ | Goal: Raquel Rodriguez
Goal 3: June 17 vs. Portland Thorns FC, 3-1 win | 70′ | Assist: Maya Hayes
Goal 4: June 17 vs. Portland Thorns FC, 3-1 win | 88′ | Assist: Madison Tienan
Goal 5: June 28 vs. Orlando Pride, 2-3 loss | 46′ | Assist: Maya Hayes
Goal 6: July 1 vs. North Carolina Courage, 1-0 win | 84′ | Assist: Maya Hayes
Goal 7: July 8 vs. FC Kansas City, 3-2 win | 78′ | Assist: Kelley O’Hara
Goal 8: July 8 vs. FC Kansas City, 3-2 win | 81′ | Assist: Daphne Corboz
Goal 9: July 8 vs. FC Kansas City, 3-2 win | 90′ | Assist: Taylor Lytle
Goal 10: July 15 vs. Chicago Red Stars, 2-2 draw | 90′ | Assist: Sarah Killion
Goal 11: July 22 vs. Seattle Reign FC, 4-5 loss | 76′ | Assist: Daphne Corboz
Goal 12: Aug. 19 vs. Seattle Reign FC, 5-4 win | 48′ | Unassisted
Goal 13: Aug. 19 vs. Seattle Reign FC, 5-4 win | 68′ | Assist: Daphne Corboz
Goal 14: Aug. 19 vs. Seattle Reign FC, 5-4 win | 71′ | Assist: Sarah Killion
Goal 15: Aug. 19 vs. Seattle Reign FC, 5-4 win | 94+’ | Assist: Taylor Lytle
Goal 16: Aug. 26 vs. Boston Breakers, 1-0 win | 5′ | Assist: Nikki Stanton
Assist 4: Sept. 24 vs. North Carolina Courage, 1-1 draw | 75′ | Goal: Raquel Rodriguez
Goal 17: Sept. 30 vs. Boston Breakers, 4-3 win | 34′ | Assist: Maya Hayes