Chelsea’s Fran Kirby wins FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year
Kirby also won the inaugural award in 2018.
Jane Campbell certainly made things exciting (and continued to make her case for the Olympics), even as the Portland Thorns and Houston Dash played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.
Portland dominated time of possession, forcing Campbell to make six saves throughout the game, including this dive to deflect a Crystal Dunn rocket.
That save would allow for Houston to strike first in first half stoppage time as Shea Groom sent this one home with her left foot.
Later, Campbell would again prove that she’s one of the best goaltenders in the NWSL today, making this diving save off of a header by Simone Charley.
Eventually, one would sneak past Campbell, as Christine Sinclair took one straight up the middle to even it up 1-1 late in the game.
USWNT head coach Vlatko Andonovski has been vocal about using NWSL games to evaluate potential USWNT players, having himself been a former NWSL coach. Campbell appears to be one of those players who has benefited from exceptional club play.
She’s been called up to multiple USWNT camps since Andonovski took over the USWNT in 2019. Houston Dash coach James Clarkson has even stated that he believes Campbell will become the number one goalkeeper for the USWNT if she continues to improve the way she has.
“I think she’s the best goalkeeper in the world… You can see her game has continued to improve,” he said. “Her work ethic off the field is incredible.”
“She came out for a few crosses in the second half and plucked them out of the air,” Clarkson added, praising Campbell’s play against Portland. “That brings confidence to the whole team.”
Portland head coach Mark Parsons had plenty to say about the game as well, calling Houston a “very, very good team.”
“They’re constantly adjusting throughout the game to try and impose their strips and for me I was really excited coming in,” Parsons said. “I loved the battle. I said to James [Clarkson] at the end ‘this was probably the best game I’ve seen in the league for a month or so.’”
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