[AWARDS] Three Women’s Professional Soccer awards went to FC Gold Pride players, including Brazilian star Marta, who repeated as the winner of the Michelle Akers Player of the Year.
The Pride also won the Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year (Nicole Barnhart) and Rookie of the Year (Ali Riley).
Boston Breakers defender Amy LePeilbet was named MedImmune Defender of the Year for the second time
Michelle Akers Player of the Year
Marta (FC Gold Pride)
Scoring 19 goals in 24 games and notching five assists, Marta led FC Gold Pride to the regular-season title and a WPS record 13-game unbeaten streak during the second half of the season. Her 19 goals almost doubled last year’s record of 10.
MedImmune Defender of the Year
Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers)
A mainstay at central defense, LePeilbet helped lead the Breakers to a second-place finish in the regular season standings and a 9-3-2 record after the All-Star break. LePeilbet is a speedy and sturdy defender who regularly marks her opponent’s best offensive threat.
Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year
Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride)
She may have had one of the best defensive backlines in front of her, but Barnhart was a big reason for FC Gold Pride’s defensive dominance all season. Barnhart had eight shutouts to lead the league and was second in saves with 73.
WPS Rookie of the Year
Ali Riley (FC Gold Pride)
The left back started 23 games for FC Gold Pride and had three assists. Her solid defensive play helped FC Gold Pride lead the league in team defense with just 19 goals allowed, while her consistently aggressive runs up the left flank and dangerous crosses created opportunities and space for FC Gold Pride’s forwards throughout the season.
WPS Coach of the Year
Paul Riley (Philadelphia Independence)
Riley earned WPS Coach of the Year honors after leading the expansion Independence to a third-place regular season finish and a berth in the WPS playoffs. He put together a veteran squad that was second in the standings for much of the season and finished with a regular season record of 10-10-4 to clinch a home playoff game Sunday against Washington.
Citi Sportswoman of the Year
Natalie Spilger (Chicago Red Stars)
Natalie Spilger was selected by her peers as the Citi Sportswoman of the Year for her organization Greenlaces.org which has brought awareness to global environmental issues and energy conservation by using athletes as environmental leaders in their countries and communities.