Sky Blue Notebook: Kerr Is NWSL Player of the Month

Sam Kerr plaer of the month

By TOM SLATER

sky blue logoSky Blue striker Sam Kerr is one of the most exciting players in the National Women’s Soccer League. She’s electric, has great finesse and she’s got a certain Australian swagger.

For the straight second month Kerr, 23, was named the NWSL Player of the Month.

Whenever she touches the ball, something good seems to happen. A goal, an assist, a perfectly timed pass, an electrifying run with the ball. It gives fans a chance to see something great every game Sky Blue plays.

Like Wednesday night.

Minutes into the second half against Orlando, Kerr sent the crowd into rapture with a wonderfully executed bicycle kick from six yards out to give Sky Blue a 2-1 lead.

But the goal didn’t stand up as the Pride scored twice late for a 3-2 win.

“It is great news to hear that Sam has won Player of the Month in back-to-back months,” Sky Blue Coach Christy Holly said. “This is fantastic recognition for all of the hard work and tremendous drive that she shows our team. Sam is constantly improving her own game as well as those players around her, and we are excited to see the next stage of her development within Sky Blue.”

Kerr registered three goals and one assist during June, all of which came in spectacular fashion. She become only the second player in league history to win the monthly award in consecutive months, joining the former Seattle Reign forward Kim Little.

In addition to her goals, Kerr was part of league history when she assisted on a goal by Raquel Rodriguez 24 seconds into the match against the Portland Thorns on June 17 — the fastest goal in the NWSL.

Individual honors aside, Sky Blue (5-6-1. 16 points) has struggled to finish the last two games, leaving six points on the table. They had leads against Chicago on the road and Orlando at home before losing both times on a late goals.

The opponent on Saturday (3:30 p.m. Eastern, Lifetime Network) is first-place North Carolina (8-3-0, 24). The Courage have led the standings from Day 1 and have racked up some impressive individual honors. Ashley Hatch, Samantha Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper all were picked for the NWSL Top XI for June.

The two clubs met in May with the Courage winning, 2-0, on goals from Lynn Williams and Mewis. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was the star of the game with a team-record 11 saves, several of which were spectacular.

“We show that we can play and we belong towards the top,” Holly said. “We have to learn from our lessons. We fully understand that this is part of the journey that we’re on. But we have to learn from our lessons.”