NWSL Notebook: Kerr Named Player of the Month

Piscataway, NJ - Saturday May 20, 2017: Samantha Kerr during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash at Yurcak Field. Sky Blue FC defeated the Houston Dash 2-1.

By TOM SLATER

NWSL logoSam Kerr might be the most underrated player in the National Women’s Soccer League. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Kerr, the Australian international is only 23 years old.

Her last two years with Sky Blue have been interrupted by World Cups, the Olympics and injury, but Kerr has been the spark for Sky Blue early this season

Kerr has been the one bringing the play to Sky Blue opponents, using speed, guile and determination to set up teammates and score herself.

And for her efforts — her speed, guile and determination — Kerr has been named the NWSL Player of the Month for May when she scored two goals and had two assists over five games. Sky Blue (4-3-1, 13 points) won three of five games in that span and is in third place

Kerr has 28 career regular season goals, fourth on the NWSL career list and was recently named the MVP of the Westfield W-League

The Heat Is On

Playing mid-afternoon games in Houston probably isn’t the best idea.

Houston’s Rachel Daly is Exhibit A. Daley collapsed at the Dash’s 2-0 loss to the Seattle Reign over the Memorial Day weekend. On national TV. After lying on the field, Daly was taken to a local hospital, treated for heat exhaustion and eventually released.

The game kicked off at 3 p.m. Central to accommodate a Lifetime Game of the Week on Saturday afternoon. NWSL officials said the heat was factored in when the schedule was made and the two Houston games (the other was three weeks ago) were purposely scheduled for early in the season. It was 92 degrees at kickoff. If the league and network are inclined to take the welfare of the players seriously, they might want to consider Lifetime games in the evening.

A Topsy Turvy Week

Strange things happened in Week 7. A field player was awarded the Save of the Week and a defender scored the Goal of the Week.

The save went to Chicago’s Danielle Colaprico, who bailed out goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher when she headed a ball off the line after a corner kick was slotted in to Lynn Williams of North Carolina (5-3-0, 15). Colaprico also scored for the Red Stars (4-2-1, 13).

FC Kansas City’s Becky Sauerbrunn, a U.S. international defender, got the NWSL Goal of the Week when she snapped a powerful header from about 15 yards out in a 3-2

In a more traditional performance, Sauerbrunn’s teammate forward Sydney Leroux was named the Player of the Week for Week 7  after her performance in Kansas City’s win. It was the fourth Player of the Week honor of her career, and the first time since 2014. She missed all of 2016 due to the birth of her son. Leroux scored two first-half goals as Kansas City (3-2-2, 11)quickly erased an early deficit