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2022 NWSL Award Predictions

North Carolina Courage Defender, Carson Pickett, Is Part of the 2022 NWSL Award Predictions

On October 14, the finalists for the NWSL awards were announced. Five awards will be given to the best performers on the field and the sidelines from the 2022 regular season. The following are my 2022 NWSL award predictions.

The Predictions for the 2022 NWSL Award Predictions

Most Valuable Player

Nominees – Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Alex Morgan (San Diego Wave), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars), Sophia Smith (Portland Thorns)

Prediction – Alex Morgan

Alex Morgan is one of the most recognizable faces in American soccer. The 33-year-old striker was one of the biggest reasons for the on-the-field success of the wave in their inaugural season. Morgan won the Golden Boot after leading the league with 16 goals this year. She also registered two assists and 20 key passes. San Diego could end up winning a title in their first season thanks to the play of Morgan’s veteran leadership. An example of this was Morgan’s goal and assist in the 2-1 win on the road against Portland Thorns FC on October 16, 2022.

Defender of the Year

Nominees – Alana Cook (OL Reign), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage), Becky Sauerbrunn (Portland Thorns)

Prediction – Carson Pickett

In her fifth season in NWSL, Carson Pickett had a career year. She was tied for the league lead with six assists (one of those assists happened in a 3-1 win over the Portland Thorns FC) and also made 51 key passes. Additionally, she played 1,731 minutes in 20 matches played and was a major component of the Courage’s late-season push for the playoffs after being at the bottom of the table. Thanks to her play on the field she earned her first national team call-up this past June.

Goalkeeper of the Year

Nominees – AD Franch (Kansas City Current), Kailen Sheridan (San Diego Wave), Phallon Tullis-Joyce (OL Reign)

Prediction – Phallon Tullis-Joyce

The OL Reign’s last line of defense had a spectacular year season. Starting every match she kept nine clean sheets and had a 0.86 goals against average and 65 total saves. Five of those saves were voted save of the week. She has also named to the best XI for the month of May and was on the All-Tournament Team for the Challenge Cup.

Rookie of the Year

Nominees – Sam Coffey (Portland Thorns), Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave), Diana Ordóñez (North Carolina Courage)

Prediction – Naomi Girma

Naomi Girma has been nominated for three awards this year including MVP and Defender of the Year. While I predict she will fall just short of those, I think Rookie of the Year is in the bag. As the Wave’s first-ever draft selection, she established herself as the Captain of the Inaugural squad. In terms of in-season accolades, she has been named rookie of the month twice and was on four best XIs of the month. It’s not very often in any sport that a first-year player makes such an immediate impact on a franchise.

Coach of the Year

Nominees –  Laura Harvey (OL Reign), Matt Potter (Kansas City Current), Casey Stoney (San Diego Wave)

Prediction – Casey Stoney

Casey Stoney is well known for her time as a player in her native England. She was captain of the English National Team and had 130 caps for the Lionesses. As San Diego’s first head coach, she leads the Wave to an incredible first regular season performance. With 36 points from a 10-6-6 record, the Wave finished in third place and competed for the shield till the final match of the season. With her squad in the semifinal this weekend it’s still possible that Stoney could end up completing the 2022 season with a championship.

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