The National Women’s Soccer League announced on September 22, 2016, that voting for the 2016 NWSL awards is officially open.
The categories for this years awards are the Golden Boot, Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year, Defender of the Year presented by Coppertone®, MVP, Best XI and Second XI.
Voting for the awards will take place in two rounds. The first round is the preliminary round, from September 22 until September 26, and will determine the finalists in each category.
The final round, which is also open to fans, is from September 27 through September 29 and will determine the winners.
Fans are encouraged to support their favorite players with hashtags on Twitter and Facebook. The hashtags to use and follow are #NWSLMVP, #NWSLDOY, #NWSLGOY, #NWSLROY, #NWSLCOY and #NWSLBestXI.
In the preliminary voting round coaches’, owners’ and general managers’ votes count for 25%, the media counts for another 25% and the players’ votes count for 50%. In the final round, the fan vote counts for 20%, coaches’, owners’ and general managers’ votes count for 20%, the media’s vote counts for 20 % and players’ votes count for 40%.
Although the fans may not get to pick the finalists, they most definitely get a voice in picking the winners.
All of the awards except for the Golden Boot, which is awarded to the player with the most goals scored this season, will be determined by vote.
The Golden Boot winner will be announced first since it will be determined in the final night of regular season, Sunday, September 25. Currently Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash) and Lynn Williams (Western New York Flash) are tied in the lead with 10 goals each, but Jessica McDonald (Western New York Flash) and Nadia Nadim (Portland Thorns FC) are trail just behind them with nine goals apiece.
Last year’s Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards winner was Crystal Dunn of the Washington Spirit, who scored 15 goals and led her team to the playoffs. Michele Betos of Portland Thorns FC won Goalkeeper of the Year, and FC Kansas City center back Becky Sauerbrunn won Defender of the Year for the third consecutive year. Danielle Colaprico of the Chicago Red Stars won Rookie of the Year, and Seattle Reign FC’s Laura Harvey won Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.
With two of the strongest teams—FCKC and the Reign—having poorer showings this season, there will undoubtedly be some new players and coaches nominated for the awards.
The winners will be announced on a schedule that spans about 11 days.
2016 NWSL Awards Announcement Schedule
Monday, Sept. 26: Golden Boot (#NWSLGB)
Monday, Oct. 3: Coach of the Year (#NWSLCOY) and Rookie of the Year (#NWSLROY)
Tuesday, Oct. 4: Goalkeeper of the Year (#NWSLGOY)
Wednesday, Oct. 5: Defender of the Year (#NWSLDOY) presented by Coppertone®
Thursday, Oct. 6: MVP (#NWSLMVP)
Friday, Oct. 7: Best XI and Second XI (#NWSLBestXI)