Nominees Set for 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

 Photo: USsoccer.com

Photo: USsoccer.com

U.S. Soccer has announced the five nominees for the 2017 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award. This year’s field features midfielders Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan and Samantha Mewis and forwards Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe.

Voting for the candidates closes on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 11:59 p.m. ET. The winners will be announced throughout the month of December.  

All five players played prominent roles for the WNT during a 2017 calendar that featured a 16-game schedule and matches against seven of the top nine teams in FIFA’s Women’s World Rankings. They also led on their club teams, earning playoff appearances, championships and league-wide awards as a result. 

Finishing on a hot streak, Morgan and Ertz topped the list of goal scorers for the WNT this year with seven and six goals, respectively. All their goals came in the final eight games of 2017. Rapinoe (five) and Horan (four) were tops on the team in assists. Rapinoe also scored three times while Horan had one goal. For Mewis, 2017 represented a year of growth that saw the 25-year-old become a leader in the center of the midfield while starting every match and playing the second-most minutes on the team. All five players had excellent NWSL seasons as well, with Mewis being named to the NWSL Best XI, and the other four nominees named to the NWSL Second XI.

A new voting process was put in place starting in 2014. Votes will be collected from National Team coaches and staff, WNT players who have earned a cap in 2017, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athlete Council, National Women’s Soccer League coaches, select college head coaches and select media members. 

Only one of the nominees has won the award before, with Morgan earning the honor in 2012. Ertz (neé Johnston) and Horan have previously received the Young Female Player of the Year award, with Ertz winning in 2012 and Horan in 2013.

The U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year has been awarded since 1985, when midfielder Sharon Remer (known then as Sharon McMurtry) earned the inaugural honor.