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Kerr, Morgan among those shortlisted for CONCACAF Player of the Year

Alex Morgan is up for her second straight CONCACAF Female Player of the Year award. It would be her third in five years. Becky Sauerbrunn, right, is also in the running. (photo by Mark Thor, courtesy of Orlando Pride)

NWSL Most Valuable Player and single-season goal scoring queen Sam Kerr is up for yet another honor–CONCACAF Female Player of the Year. The Sky Blue FC striker was one of 10 players shortlisted for the award on Wednesday. Also on the list is Alex Morgan who returned from Lyon and went on a goal scoring tear for the Orlando Pride, helping the second-year club to its debut playoff appearance.

Winners will be decided based on a three-way vote split evenly between fans, media and the coaches/captains of all CONCACAF member associations. Voting is now open and the winners will be announced on December 17.

Kerr scored 17 goals for Sky Blue this season to establish a new NWSL record. She netted two hat tricks and became the first NWSL player to score four goals in a game. Morgan finished the season with 9 goals and 4 assists in only 14 appearances. She also scored 7 times for the United States including a stretch where she tallied in four consecutive matches. (Kerr’s performance for Australia is not for consideration in the CONCACAF awards.) Morgan won the award last year as well as the first one handed out in 2013.

Others shortlisted for Player of the Year include: Julie Ertz — her switch to midfield was a boost for the Red Stars and later the USWNT; Jesse Fleming — Canada and UCLA wunderkind is the only nominees with no NWSL ties; Tobin Heath — returned from back injury to helo Thorns win NWSL Championship; Carli Lloyd — USWNT and Dash regular when healthy and FIFA World Player of the Year finalist for the third consecutive year; Sam Mewis — NWSL Best XI selection and budding national team star; Megan Rapinoe — Reign/USWNT forward was in career form over the summer before being slowed by another knee injury; Becky Sauerbrunn — Ms Dependable had  another strong year anchoring the central of the defense for both club (FC Kansas City) and country; and Christine Sinclair–captain of the NWSL Champion Thorns as well as Canada

In the goalkeeping category, Ashlyn Harris can repeat after she helped the Pride reach the playoffs in 2017 and featured early for the USWNT. The US and Red Stars starter Alyssa Naeher is also on the shortlist as are Americans Nicole Barnhart, Jane Campbell, and Adrianna Franch. All three of Canada’s NWSL keepers–Sabrina D’Angelo, Stephanie Labbe, and Kailen Sheridan–were nominated. The other two are Mexican and former Breaker Cecelia Santiago and Costa Rican Dinnia Diaz.

The defender shortlist is headed by Sauerbrunn plus NWSL Defender of the Year Abby Dahlkemper and includes NWSL defenders Allysha Chapman, Meghan Klingenberg, Ali Krieger, Emily Menges, and Kelley O’Hara.

USWNT and Canada coaches Jill Ellis and John Herdman are on the coaching shortlist along with four NWSL coaches. The league’s top two finishers–Paul Riley and Mark Parsons–plus fourth and fifth finishers Tom Sermanni and Laura Harvey made the list as well.

Kerr was also nominated for her bicycle kick goal against the Pride. The Pride’s Camila also got a Goal of the Year nomination for her long-distance blast against the Dash.

The full shortlists for female and male awards and how to vote can be found here.

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