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Top-scorer Dunn becomes youngest-ever NWSL MVP

Crystal Dunn is the 2015 NWSL MVP. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Crystal Dunn is the 2015 NWSL MVP. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Crystal Dunn officially added the title of 2015 National Women’s Soccer League MVP to her resume on Wednesday. The NWSL Golden Boot winner scored 15 goals this season for the Washington Spirit and became the youngest player in league history to win the award at age 23.

FC Kansas City’s Lauren Holiday won the inaugural MVP award in 2013 at age 25 and Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little won the 2014 MVP award at age 24. Both players were also the league’s leading scorer that year.

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Dunn’s 0.75 goals-per-game mark is the best in league history and her 15 goals are one shy of Kim Little’s record from last season, when Little had four more games to reach the mark. Dunn also led the league this season in shots (84) and shots on goal (48) to go along with three assists in 1,711 minutes, and she was named Player of the Week a record six times this season.

The beginning of the season was a rough time for Dunn, who was one of the final two players cut from the United States’ World Cup roster in April. The U.S. went on to win the World Cup in July. Dunn spoke throughout the season about keeping her head up despite being cut and discussed that the turn of events would allow her to find herself and her game in the NWSL. She did exactly that, putting in one of the most dominating performances in U.S. women’s professional soccer history.

Last week, Dunn scored her first-ever goal for the United States in a 5-0 victory over Haiti and scored again in Sunday’s 8-0 victory over Haiti. She also tallied three assists over the two matches.

Dunn’s MVP season has her in contention for one of the 18 roster spots on the United States’ 2016 Olympics roster — should the three-time defending Olympic champions qualify. She previously played for the U.S. as a fullback but played in more advanced roles for the team in last week’s matches.

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NWSL Draft, Dunn has spent both seasons in Washington.

The NWSL awards are voted on by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis, club officials, players and fans.


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