The award is voted on by U.S. women’s national team coaches, national team players who appeared in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athletes’ Council, NWSL head coaches, former players and administrators, select college coaches and select members of the media. Voting opened on Tuesday and will close on Dec. 3 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced the first week of December.
All five players played key roles for the U.S. women’s national team this year, as the team went 18-0-2 and qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Morgan scored 18 goals in 19 games to lead the United States. Ertz won the Golden Ball at the Concacaf Women’s Championship, awarded to the tournament’s best player. Rapinoe led the USWNT in assists with 12 and scored seven goals. Horan scored three goals and eight assists for the United States. After making her 2018 debut for the U.S. on June 12, Heath scored seven goals and had six assists.
In NWSL play, Horan was named 2018 NWSL MVP after scoring 13 goals in the regular season, third in the NWSL. Rapinoe was also a finalist for the award after tallying seven goals and six assists. Horan, Rapinoe and Heath were named to the 2018 NWSL Best XI. Ertz was named to the Second XI, and also nominated for Defender of the Year. Morgan registered five goals and two assists for the Pride in 2018.
Ertz was named U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year in 2017. Heath won in 2016 and Morgan won in 2012.
More NWSL stats for each player:
Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars
Chicago Red Stars defender Julie Ertz played 1,126 minutes over 14 regular season appearances in 2018. She recorded 54 clearances, 8 blocks, 22 interceptions, 9 tackles won and 63 duels won. She held a passing accuracy of 67.1% (468 passes).
Tobin Heath, Portland Thorns FC
In 17 games, Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath finished the regular season with seven assists (tied for second-best in the NWSL) and seven goals in 17 shots on target. She also recorded 28 chances created and 26 successful crosses/corners, while holding a passing accuracy of 76.4% (534 passes).
Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan played 1,980 minutes over 22 regular season games as the Thorns went 12-6-6 (42 points) and finished second in the NWSL. She scored 13 goals (3rd in the NWSL) and added two assists, scoring at a rate of 152.3 minutes per goal in 30 shots on target. She led the league in total touches (1,852) and duels won (297), including aerial duels (141), which was also first in the league. She also had 47 tackles won (tied for 4th in the NWSL), 42 headed clearances (3rd). She recorded 25 chances created and held a passing accuracy of 75.2% (1,293 passes). Horan also scored the game-winning goal for the Thorns in their semifinal win over the Reign to advance to the 2018 NWSL Championship.
Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride
Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan played 1,500 minutes over 19 regular season games in 2018. She scored five goals, two assists and 25 chances created for the Pride. She also won 94 duels, 56 of which were aerial duels, good for 12th in the NWSL.
Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe played 1,315 minutes over 16 regular season games for the Reign as they finished third in the NWSL with an 11-5-8 record and 41 points. She scored seven goals (tied for 10th) and had six assists (tied for 4th in the league). She scored at a rate of 187.9 minutes per goal in 37 shots on target. Her 41 chances created ranked 8th in the NWSL and 27 successful crosses/corners ranked 6th in the NWSL. She won 114 duels, 31 in the air.