READY FOR NWSL PLAYOFFS
Acquired by Chicago from Boston for the 2016 season, Naeher started in all 13 games she appeared on this year, recording six clean sheets and tied for first place in the league. She is up for the 2016 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year award. Naeher has also started three games for the USA this year and has a 3-0-0 record while allowing only one goal
In just her second NWSL season, Mewis started all 14 games she played for Western New York this year and scored five goals, third-most on the team. She has played in 10 games for the WNT in 2016 and scored her first international goal this year – a long-range shot from just inside the box against Puerto Rico during Olympic Qualifying.
When the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs commence on Friday, Sept. 30 (8 p.m. ET on FS1) as the Washington Spirit host the Chicago Red Stars, and on Sunday, Oct. 2 (5 p.m. ET; FS1) when the Portland Thorns welcome the Western New York Flash, 11 U.S. Women’s National Team players will see action with their respective teams as they compete against each other for a chance to claim the coveted NWSL Championship trophy.
The NWSL recently completed its historic fourth season, and amidst tough competition and passionate rivalries, four teams rose above the rest: Portland Thorns FC, Washington Spirit, Chicago Red Stars and Western New York Flash.
The Thorns lead the way with five WNT players, while the Red Stars have three, the Spirit has two and Western New York has one. All 11 players are of course key contributors to their clubs, which only strengthens the already existing bond between a domestic professional league in the USA and the National Team.
We take a look at the WNT players on each playoff team and look back at their NWSL regular season performances:
Portland Thorns FC
- Tobin Heath: Heath’s excellent year on the field has certainly drawn acclaim for her play both for club and the National Team. In 14 games played this season for PTFC, Heath set up 10 goals, a new Thorns and NWSL record for most assists in a single year, which has placed her in the running for the 2016 NWSL Most Valuable Player award. A handful of those assists were for her club and country teammates, Allie Long and Lindsey Horan. In addition to her assists record, Heath has scored one goal for Portland, and scored four goals while recording seven assists for the USA. The latter includes this perfect pass to Carli Lloyd in the WNT’s most recent game against the Netherlands on Sept. 18 in Atlanta.
- Lindsey Horan: Horan, who just completed her first regular season in the NWSL after playing professionally in France for three years, started and appeared in 15 games for the Thorns, scoring five goals. Out of those five, her most important one probably came this past Sunday when her diving header found the back of the net for the game-winning goal in the 3-1 Portland victory against SBFC that clinched the 2016 NWSL Shield. Horan has scored two goals for the USA this year, adding four assists and appearing in all but one game.
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