The National Women’s Soccer League announced the award winners of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret. Rachel Daly from Houston Dash was named Tournament Most Valuable Player, sponsored by Budweiser, and was awarded the Golden Boot, Kailen Sheridan from Sky Blue FC was awarded the Golden Glove, sponsored by Verizon, Ashley Sanchez was named Future Legend and Shea Groom was named Championship Game MVP, presented by Budweiser. Voting for the Tournament MVP, Golden Glove, and Future Legend was done by the media and the Golden Boot was awarded to the player with the most goals throughout the tournament, and in case of a tie breaker, most tournament assists by the tying players.
Daly played 614 minutes over seven games during the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup for Houston, tallying three goals and two assists. She scored the game-winning goal against Portland Thorns FC in the semifinal match, sending the Houston Dash to the club’s first championship game. In the championship game, Daly clinched the Golden Boot after assisting Groom’s goal late in the game. That assist put Daly ahead of Lynn Williams, who had three goals and only one assist. Through the semifinals, Daly was one of just three players in the tournament to score more than one goal in a single game, with her two goals in the team’s tournament opening match against Utah Royals FC. Daly also converted her spot kick in the penalty shootout against Utah Royals FC in the quarterfinals.
|Rachel Daly (HOU)|
|Julie Ertz (CHI)|
|Kailen Sheridan (NJ)|
Sheridan played every minute in net – 540 minutes – over six games during the tournament for Sky Blue FC. No ‘keeper has played more minutes for Sky Blue FC in NWSL history than Sheridan. Through the semifinals, Sheridan led all goalkeepers in the tournament with 21 saves and tied for the lead in the tournament with three shutouts in six games. She came out big in the quarterfinals when she saved the final penalty-kick attempt against the Washington Spirit to help Sky Blue FC earn a semifinal berth. Sheridan allowed only three goals in four preliminary-round games for a .75 GAA.
|Kailen Sheridan (NJ)|
|Bella Bixby (POR)|
|Alyssa Naeher (CHI)|
Sanchez, the fourth overall selection in the 2020 NWSL College Draft, was the youngest player to play in the tournament at 21 years old. Sanchez played 357 minutes over five games for the Washington Spirit, tallying the second highest team minutes played among attacking players. She took four shots in five games – all on target – and assisted in the Washington Spirit’s equalizing goal against Portland Thorns FC in preliminary play.
|Ashley Sanchez (WAS)|
|Morgan Weaver (POR)|
|Tziarra King (UTA)|
Groom scored the game-clinching goal in the final minutes of the Dash’s 2-0 win in the NWSL Challenge Cup as Houston lifted their first league trophy. The attacker’s performance earned her Championship Game MVP, presented by Budweiser. Overall she played 585 minutes in seven appearances, starting all seven games. Overall, she notched three goals and one assist in the tournament, tying for most goals in the tournament with Daly and Williams.