The 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup concluded Sunday as the Houston Dash beat the Chicago Red Stars in the final. Before the title game, the league handed out awards to honor the best players from the competition. The month-long tournament produced wild moments, stunning upsets and more as the league was the first team sports league in the United States to return to action during the coronavirus pandemic.
Who took home the honors? Take a look:
Most Valuable Player
MVP went to Houston Dash star Rachel Daly, who led her team to the final with some fantastic showings. She's tied for the tournament lead with three goals, and the English international also had two assists.
Canadian shot-stopper Kailen Sheridan was out of this world for Sky Blue FC as the underdogs made it all the way to the semifinals despite not having Carli Lloyd or Mallory Pugh. Sheridan won the Golden Glove after recording 21 saves, three shutouts and a 1.00 goal against average. She came up big in regulation and in penalty kicks against the Washington Spirit in the quarterfinals and is a worthy winner.
With some notable names missing from the competition, more young players were going to get a chance to make names for themselves on the professional level, and Washington Spirit forward Ashley Sanchez did just that in winning the Future Legend award. The rookie out of UCLA recorded an assist, played in five matches and was a constant threat in attack. She was composed on the ball, produced a crazy heel-flick assist against the Portland Thorns and has future U.S. women's national team player written all over her.
The Best XI from the Challenge Cup featured five different clubs, with North Carolina having four players. Houston, Portland and Chicago each had two. The Washington Spirit had one in United States women's national team star Rose Lavelle.
Here's the full XI:
- Britt Eckerstrom (Portland)
- Julie Ertz (Chicago)
- Abby Erceg (North Carolina)
- Casey Short (Chicago)
- Jaelene Daniels (North Carolina)
- RachelDaly (Houston)
- Shea Groom (Houston)
- Rose Lavelle (Washington)
- Debinha (North Carolina)
- Lynn Williams (North Carolina)
- Lindsey Horan (Portland)
The Golden Boot award also went to Daly, with her three goals. Daly won the tiebreaker over Williams and Groom thanks to having more assists.