After a bang-up season with the Chicago Red Stars and some truly commanding moments with the US women’s national team, US Soccer has named Julie Ertz their 2017 female player of the year with 51.6% of the votes. The other four nominees were Megan Rapinoe, Lindsey Horan, Sam Mewis, and Alex Morgan.
Ertz was also young player of the year in 2012; now here she is a cycle later fulfilling the promise of her youth career. Ertz is arguably one of the best DM’s in the game right now and people who lament losing her at center back are an example of her versatility up the spine of any formation. Ertz is better and more dominant at the DM position though, and playing a little higher also allows her to threaten in the box, where she’s lethal on set pieces and balls in. Classic example, this diving header which somehow redirects the ball behind her body off a corner kick.
Also how about this near post flick against Canada.
Ertz was also a huge factor in Chicago’s success this season, picking up four goals and three assists for them in 22 games while commanding the space in front of the back line. She had six goals in 12 games for the USWNT. Not bad for a DM.
On the youth side, 17-year-old Sophia Smith won young female player of the year with 48.5% of the vote. The other four nominees were Savannah McCaskill, Tierna Davidson, Jaeline Howell, and Kate Wiesner. Smith scored goals for the U-18, U-20, and U-23 teams in 2017 and has been in full senior team camp, clearly with an eye on getting her primed for the post-2019 cycle.
Voting for player of the year is done by NT coaches, NT players who earned a cap in 2017, MLS, NASL, and NWSL head coaches, select media members, former players, and administrators.