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Fuel Soccer Talk: Kerr gives assist for MVP to the team; US Youth Soccer rolls out new program; How to strengthen your knees

Kerr’s MVP award the result of hard work and excellent teammates

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr was named the 2019 NWSL Most Valuable Player, the league announced Friday. This marks Kerr’s second career MVP recognition. She also won the award in 2017 while playing for Sky Blue FC and becomes the only two-time MVP in league history. The award was voted on by the club officials, players, media, and fans.

Kerr played 1,862 minutes over 21 games during a season that also saw her spend part of the summer representing Australia in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she scored five goals. Her NWSL-record 18 goals this season were a key factor in helping lead the Red Stars to a 14-8-2 (44 points) overall record and second-place finish in the league.

While this is an individual award, soccer is a team game – something every young player should keep in mind – and Kerr stressed team in her comments about winning the MVP award. “I don’t do this by myself,” emphasized Kerr at the press conference. “18 goals doesn’t just come from one player so thank you to my teammates. I love playing for Chicago. I love the girls, I love the team, and they allow me to be the best player I can be. This is a huge team effort and this all really means nothing unless we win on Sunday. So let’s win the trophy girls.”

Red Stars head coach Rory Dames praised his “star” player’s work ethic – another thing young players should keep in mind.

“People see the football side of her and the social media presence of her, but they don’t actually get to experience a day-to-day with her,” he said. “The energy that she brings and the positive attitude she brings is contagious. It’s pressed through the group. She’s worked hard to be able to do what she’s done this year. Came back after a difficult World Cup and had a great response. I think how much she cares about this group and the players and this city definitely shines through.”

US Youth Soccer’s pro soccer player appearance request goes live

US Youth Soccer, the largest youth sport organization in America and the leader in youth soccer, in July of this year announced an exclusive partnership with the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association (NWSLPA). The partnership is aimed at developing programs focused on growing the game of soccer and increasing awareness of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) and its players while cultivating the personal development of participating NWSL players. Through this exclusive partnership, US Youth Soccer became the recognized “Official Player and Personal Development Partner of the NWSLPA.”

This first element of this partnership, creating opportunities to further connect professional female soccer players with the various communities in which they were raised, live and compete, is now live! Through networking opportunities, clinics, camps, and speaking engagements, participating players from the NWSLPA will continue serving as positive role models within their communities as they encourage younger players.

To learn more, and to request a professional player appearance, please visit the USYS Player Appearance website and submit a request!

Video Lesson: Ways for players (and even parents) to strengthen your knees

Send story ideas and comments to Terry Jacoby at tajacoby@comcast.net