Founded back in 2012, NWSL is the most famous, competitive, intense, and professional women’s soccer league. The league has ten players now, but at the start, it just had eight. And the competition format is interesting as well. Because at the end of the season, the team with the highest points is awarded the precious NWSL shield.
The league’s popularity is growing more after every passing year in the US. And because of fans and watchers across the globe, the competition has got more fierce. To help you better understand which player has won viewers’ hearts, below is the list of the best Top 10 Soccer Players from the past season!
10. Paige Monaghan
Paige Monaghan is a 24-year old American professional soccer and basketball player. She always had a keen interest in playing soccer, and hence she is one of the famous team members of the Sky Blue FC. Monaghan managed to score 68 goals in just 45 appearances in high school and earned the NJ.com’s 2014 NJAC Girls Soccer Player of the Year Award.
Initially, Paige got an offer to join NWSL in the year 2019 December. She is also an Under 23 level United States Youth International. In the year 2020, she played every minute of all four matches. Monaghan is on our list of top 10 Soccer players because of her ability to hit goals even in challenging gameplay.
Adding more to the achievement list, she was also offered the Budweiser Woman of the Week tag in the fourth week of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Paige scored 2 goals along with an assist in just 23 appearances itself.
9. Kristie Mewis
Kristen Anne Mewis is a 29-year-old famous American professional soccer player. At the National Women’s Soccer League, she plays as a midfielder for Houston Dash. In the beginning, Mewis attended Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, where she first played with the soccer team.
In high school, Kristie managed to score 74 goals and 34 assists, which is a significant number in itself. Mewis’s younger sister Sam is also a professional soccer player. Both the sisters played together at the 2008 FIFA Under 17 Women’s World Cup and the 2010 FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup.
Moreover, Kristie was also the United States Soccer Federation’s Young Female Athlete of the Year in 2008. Kristie Mewis was in the headlines the last year because of her scoring goal against an international opponent. Before settling to the Houston Dash, Kristie played for five different teams in the league. And her total goal score for last year was 2, and both goals were fascinating to watch!
8. Bethany Balcer
Bethany Balcer is a 23-year-old American professional soccer player. She is playing as a forward for OL Reign based in Tacoma, Washington, at the National Women’s Soccer League. Back then, Balcer used to play collegiate soccer at Spring Arbor University and was a two-time NAIA National Champion.
Apart from these awards, Balcer also won NAIA National Player of the Year thrice and the First-Team All-American four times. In her high school, she was the leading scorer who helped her join the Reign FC on a supplemental contract in 2019.
Even though Bethany made her first NWSL debut as a substitute, she is the first-ever NAIA player to sign for the NWSL club. With two amazing goals from the past season, the young member is all set to ace the 2021 championship. To date, Bethany played 4 games for 341 minutes and started with some exciting moves and kicks.
7. Lynn Raenie Williams
Lynn Raenie Williams is a 27-year-old popular American professional soccer player. She is currently playing for the North Carolina Courage in the National Women’s Soccer League. Before this, Williams played for Western New York Flash and Western Sydney Wanderers in the Australian Westfield league.
Lynn Williams won all-league and all-area honors for the whole four years while she attended Bullard High School. In school, she hit a high record of 117 career goals and 47 assists. In 2011, Lynn was named to the ESPN RISE All-American third team as she scored 50 goals. Lynn even scored 11 goals and was one of the famous breakout stars of NWSL’s 2016 session.
Apart from this, she was also awarded the Player of the Year tag by the Fresno Bee. 2016 was the best year of Lynn, as she was named NWSL’s Most Valuable Players because of her performance. Last year, Lynn managed to score 3 goals in the whole championship, and all the fans are looking forward to her exciting gameplay in 2021.
6. Sophie Schmidt
Sophie Diana Schmidt is a 32-year-old Canadian professional soccer player. She is currently playing as a midfielder for Houston Dash at the National Women’s Soccer League. A bronze medalist and the winner at Rio 2016 Olympics, Schmidt has a great understanding of the gameplay. Previous to Houston Dash, Sophie used to play for German club FFC Frankfurt and Sky Blue FC in the NWSL.
Because of her Canadian National Team commitments, Sophie wasn’t able to attend the University of Portland in 2006. But after that, she gave her best shot and played for the Portland Pilots from 2007 till 2009. In these three years, Schmidt played over 14 games and hit seven goals and seven assists. In 2013, Sophie joined Sky Blue FC in the new National Women’s Soccer League, wherein she played two seasons and hit 8 goals.
Fast forward to 2020, the player hit 3 goals in the whole season and emerged to be the best players on the team. Apart from all these, Sophie also represented Canada at both the Under-17 and Under-20 levels and was the Canadian team captain at the 2006 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Championship.
5. Ifeoma Onumonu
Ifeoma Chukwufumnay Onumonu is a 26 years old American professional and a young soccer player. She is currently playing for Sky Blue club of the National Women’s Soccer League. Onumonu used to play for Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC, and Boston Breakers previous to this club.
Ifeoma was seen playing with her colleagues at the University of California. She also represented the US on the Under 23 Women’s National Team. In her rookie season, she appeared almost eighteen times for Boston.
Fast forward in 2019, the young lady signed with Reign FC as a National Team Replacement Player. But because of her incredible performance in that season, in 2020, she got an opportunity to join the Sky Blue FC. In the last challenge cup, Onumonu kicked off 3 goals!
4. Veronica Latsko
Veronica Anne Latsko is a 25-year-old American soccer player. She is currently playing at the forward position for the Houston Dash in the NWSL. Alongside NWSL, she is also playing for Sydney FC in the Australian W-League.
In her four-year college career at the University of Virginia, Latsko never failed to miss any game. In total, she made 93 appearances for the Cavaliers. Veronica was selected by the Houston Dash in the year 2018.
Her first debut was against the Chicago Red Stars, and she kicked in the game very well. Her first-ever career goal was the game-winning goal itself for Houston. In the first year of NWSL itself, she managed to score four goals. Yet, in the last Championship League, Latsko scored three goals, and all of them were amazing to watch!
3. Shea Groom
Shea Ellesse Groom is a 27-year-old American professional soccer player. She is currently playing at the forward position for Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League. Previous to this, Groom played soccer with her colleagues for Texas A&M Aggies and then began her professional career in 2015 with FC Kansas City.
After joining the Kansas City club, Shea was further traded to Sky Blue FC in 2018 and then joined Seattle Reign FC in 2019. Groom led the girl’s soccer team during her high school period at Liberty. In 2010, she was awarded Missouri’s Player of the Year tag.
Shea was also named Player of the Week for the 13th week of the 2015 NWSL season for hitting one goal and two assists against the Boston Breakers. In the last championship, Groom gave an excellent performance by hitting 3 goals in the whole season!
Débora Cristiane de Oliveira, popularly known as Debinha, is a 30-year-old Brazilian football player. She is currently playing at the forward position for the North Carolina Courage in the NWSL. In 2018, Debinha hit 8 goals, helping her team win the NWSL shield for two straight years.
In that year itself, she was named to the 2018 NWSL Second XI. Moreover, she was among the four NWSL players called up in France to represent Brazil in the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Fast forward in 2020, Debinha scored four goals in the whole season!
1. Christine Sinclair
Christine Margaret Sinclair is a 37-year-old, popular Canadian Soccer player. She is also the captain of the Canadian National Team. Professionally, Christine plays for the Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer League. Before that, she even played for FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash in the WPS.
Being one of the few players to make it to the NWSL championship twice, Christine is also a CONCACAF champion and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. She is the most-capped international footballer who has given her best in every match played. Sinclair is also a 14-time winner of the Canada Soccer Player of the Year award, which clearly shows her ability and love for the game.
Back on January 11, 2013, at the inaugural season of NWSL, Christine started playing for the Portland Thorns FC through player allocation. And during the lock-down season, the player managed to kick-off six goals, which was a real help for Thorns. No doubt, why Sinclair is at the top, as she was the lady behind helping the Thorns win the NWSL Fall Series!
The Bottom Line
The NWSL Challenge Cup will begin on April 9, 2021. The past season was played in June due to the COVID shutdown and with no viewers around. In this season, the Medical Task Force is well prepared to bring back this thrilling experience to all the fans. And we as an audience are looking forward to relishing this competition all over again!