NEW YORK // HARRISON, NJ (October 24, 2023) – The National Women's Soccer League today announced the finalists for the 2023 NWSL Awards. Among the finalists are Gotham FC captain Ali Krieger for Defender of the Year, Jenna Nighswonger for Rookie of the Year, presented by Ally, and Juan Carlos Amorós for Coach of the Year. The 2023 NWSL Awards are voted upon in two rounds with fans having the opportunity to participate in the final round of the voting process.
In her final professional soccer season before she retires, Krieger has been in prime form. Under her tremendous leadership, Gotham FC’s defense allowed the fewest shots in the entire league this season (157), which also set a club record. The club allowed only 24 goals, which accounts for the second fewest in Gotham FC history and ties for fourth best among all 12 teams in the NWSL. In addition, the captain has won 65.6% of her duels throughout the 2023 regular season, which is best among Gotham FC field players.
Gotham FC rookie sensation Jenna Nighswonger has a strong case for NWSL Rookie of the Year presented by Ally. She has played more minutes than any other finalist (1,536) and her seven goal contributions across all competitions ties for most among league rookies this year. Nighswonger was a first-round NWSL Draft pick, and from Day 1, she has been incredible. Nighswonger converted from a star college forward into a stronghold defender for Gotham FC. Among her staggering accolades, she was named NWSL Rookie of the Month twice (May, June), named to the NWSL Best XI of the Month presented by Mastercard three times (May, July, August), and earned UKG NWSL Challenge Cup Best XI All-Tournament Team (September). Nighswonger is the only rookie to earn as many NWSL league honors this season. Additionally, the rookie notched 35 tackles, which is the most on Gotham FC, most among rookies, and third among defenders across the league.
Gotham FC Head Coach Amorós took the club from the bottom of the table to the NWSL Playoffs Semifinals in just his first season. The club completed the 2022 regular season with the largest point gain from one season to the next in club history (18 points). Amorós leads Gotham FC to its first playoff win in NWSL history and third playoff berth all-time. In addition, Gotham FC became the first No. 6 seed to win a playoff game on Sunday night, with a 2-0 victory over No. 3 North Carolina Courage.
Fans wishing to vote on the individual award winners, Best XI and Best XI Second Team can access the voting ballot here. All votes must be submitted by Friday, October 27 at 12 p.m. ET. The final round of voting uses a weighted scale of players (40%), owners/GMs/coaches (25%), media (25%) and fans (10%).
Gotham FC will face the Portland Thorns in the semifinals of the 2023 NWSL Playoffs at Providence Park on Sunday, Nov. 5 (7 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network).