For the first time since the NWSL began play in 2013, there is a new Defender of the Year. After winning the award in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Becky Sauerbrunn of FC Kansas City has been dethroned by Seattle Reign’s Lauren Barnes.
Barnes feels honored to be nominated
Lauren Barnes said she was honored to be nominated along some of the best defenders in professional soccer.
“It was an honor to be nominated alongside the best defenders in professional soccer. I’m humbled by this award and proud to represent my teammates, coaches, Reign ownership, our great fans and of course my family and friends. I want to thank everyone who took the time to vote and to all who support the NWSL.”
Barnes nominated with some of the best
She started in all 20 games for the Reign and played 1,775 minutes out of a possible 1,800. She helped set several league records as well. She was part of a defense that set the record with most consecutive clean sheets with five. She also helped lead a Seattle defense that didn’t allow a goal for 531 minutes. Seattle was tied for first in the league with the most shutouts, eight, and the team spent the fewest number minutes trailing at 317.
Barnes also helped on attacking side of things
Not only did Barnes help Seattle on the defensive side of the ball but she also scored a goal in the Reign’s 2-2 draw against the Red Stars on a brilliant free kick. She also assisted on two other goals this season.
The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players and media that cover the league on a consistent basis and fans.