FC Kansas City continues to garner all off the NWSL post season awards as Nicole Barnhart was voted the Goalkeeper of the Year and Becky Sauerbrunn won the Defender of the Year. Earlier in the week Lauren Holiday received the Golden Boot and Erika Tymrak won the Rookie of the Year.
Adrianna Franch from Western New York Flash and Karina LeBlanc from the Portland Thorns FC finished tied for second in the voting. Franch also finished second in the voting for NWSL Rookie of the Year.
Barnhart topped the NWSL with 10 shutouts and was right at the top in all goalkeeping stats. "It's exciting, definitely an honor to win an award like that. It's exciting to see our team getting so many of the awards," Barnhart commented. "A lot of the credit goes out to my team mates in front of me; they make my job a lot easier by not giving up lot of shots and chances to the other team."
Becky Sauerbrun, one of Nicole's team mates was voted the Defender of the Year and Leigh Ann Robinson another FC Kansas City defender finished third. Sky Blue FC defender Christie Rampone finished second.
Sauerbrunn, Robinson and the rest of the defense held opponents to the fewest shots on goal (94) in the league, 18 fewer shots than any other team.
In typical humble and understated fashion, Sauerbrunn observed "It's been a pretty good week for Kansas City with all of the individual awards."
Next week the Coach of the year and MVP as well as the Best XI will be announced. Can FC Kansas City sweep all of the individual player/coach awards?
How we voted
The NWSL awards are voted on by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis, club officials and NWSL players.
The votes are weighted:
Owners/gms/coaches - 25%
Media - 25%
Players - 50%
My votes for goalkeeper of the year:
These three were so close but all in different ways. Barnie led in shutouts, LeBlanc in wins and Franch in saves. Barnhart got my top vote for being so well rounded while playing through several injuries.
My votes for defender of the year:
Becky made everyone around her better. She regularly stopped the best forwards in the world while directing traffic and she scared a few opponents when they saw her calmly slide up the field to join the attack.
Rampone is still world class and Robinson was the best left back in the league until she moved to the right side when she became the best right back.