By all accounts 2020 has been a bizarre year. One of the most bizarre things? The United States Women’s National Team only played nine matches. The first of those matches came all the way back on January 28th when the USWNT kicked off Concacaf Olympic Qualifying against Haiti.
The USWNT flew through Olympic qualifying with ease. They beat Haiti 4-0, Panama 8-0, Costa Rica 6-0, Mexico 4-0, and Canada 3-0. They also won the She Believes Cup, winning all three matches despite some tougher competition. The USWNT beat England 2-0, Spain 1-0, and Japan 3-1. Their final match was a friendly rematch of the 2019 World Cup Final. The US put in another dominant performance and beat the Netherlands by the same 2-0 scoreline they won by in France.
Now it is time for U.S. Soccer to name the 2020 Female Player of the Year. Five players were honored with a nomination, including two players from Portland Thorns FC: Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Christen Press (Manchester United), Samantha Mewis (Manchester City), Crystal Dunn (Portland Thorns FC), and Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC).
Let’s take a look at the Thorns players’ 2020 resumes.
Dunn for the USWNT Wrapped
2020 Appearances: 9
2020 Minutes Played: 702
All-Time USWNT Caps: 105
All-Time USWNT Goals: 24
Dunn was the only USWNT player to play and start all nine of the team’s matches this season. She registered 702 minutes for the team, second most behind only Dahlkemper. Dunn was also the only player to start all five of the Concacaf Olympic Qualifying matches. As we all know, Dunn plays out of position for the National Team. But she was as solid as ever at left back. She was a key cog in a defense that only allowed one goal all year. She was also crucial in possession. She attempted the second most passes on the team and completed the second most (Dahlkemper was first in both categories).
Dunn participated in the NWSL Challenge Cup but did not play in the Fall Series. She played five matches for the North Carolina Courage, four of which she started. She was an integral part of Paul Riley’s box midfield that ran over every team in its way… in the group stage. We all fondly remember the Thorns knocking off the high-flying Courage, but that’s not important right now.
Total passes for the #USWNT in 2020: Abby Dahlkemper - 489, Crystal Dunn - 423, Julie Ertz - 358.— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) November 29, 2020
Accurate passes for the #USWNT in 2020: Abby Dahlkemper - 432, Crystal Dunn - 355, Becky Sauerbrunn - 288. pic.twitter.com/Ja8p9fKLNL
Dunn provided solid two-way performances throughout the Challenge Cup. She completed 77.8% of her tackles and 76.9% of her passes. On the surface this isn’t a passing percentage to write home about. But it’s important to take into account the type of penetrative passes that Dunn is attempting.
Dunn completed three successful crosses and seven key passes in the Challenge Cup. She also added a goal against Sky Blue FC in the Courage’s last group stage match.
Horan for the USWNT Wrapped
2020 Appearances: 5
2020 Minutes Played: 503
2020 Goals: 7
All-Time USWNT Caps: 86
All-Time USWNT Goals: 19
Horan scored a career high seven goals for the USWNT this season. She is tied for most goals (7) and assists (3) for the USWNT in 2020 with fellow nominee Christen Press. The majority of these goals came in Concacaf Olympic Qualifying, where she scored in four of the five qualifying matches. This led the team in goals in the competition and was good for second overall.
Horan scored two goals against Haiti, her first-ever hat trick against Panama, one against Costa Rica, and one against Canada in the final. She also scored the decisive goal against Japan to secure the title for the USWNT.
The midfielder was a force to be reckoned with for the National Team this season. She took the most shots (25) and was tied with Megan Rapinoe for the most chances created (10).
Chance creation for the #USWNT in 2020: Megan Rapinoe (@mPinoe) and Lindsey Horan (@LindseyHoran) are tied with 10. Lynn Williams is third (@lynnraenie) with 8, Sam Mewis is 4th with 6 pic.twitter.com/f8poHjZ6Nt— NWSL Analitica (@NwslAnalitica) November 29, 2020
Horan played in both the Challenge Cup and the Fall Series. She scored two goals and provided three assists. She was integral in the Thorns’ Fall Series win, registering all three of her assists in the competition while also completing seven key passes and setting the tempo of the Portland offense.
The 2020 US Soccer Female Player of the Year Award will be given to a new recipient this year. None of the five nominees have ever had this honor bestowed upon them. Both Dunn and Horan have very good resumes. Horan’s Olympic Qualifying performances were exceptional. But the favorite for the award has to be Samantha Mewis.
Mewis was a key cog in the National team, scoring four goals and assisting once. She played all five matches for the North Carolina Courage in the Challenge Cup before she moved to Manchester City where she has really found her form.
All of these players are deserving of the award and Stumptown Footy would like to congratulate the players for their nomination.
Who do you think will take home the 2020 US Soccer Female Player of the Year Award? Let us know in the comments.