It’s only been a month since the Red Stars season came to an end and the void is just too real. [Editor note: oh god it’s like a great big sucking gulf of NOTHING in my chest where my heart should be. When does the new season start? -JBG] If you find yourself missing the Red Stars you can check out our site awards for 2017 and relive some of the more fun moments of 2017.
Offensive Player of the Year: Christen Press
The captain set a new Red Stars record this year with her eleven goals, but equally impressed with her 4 assists as well. Whether playing lower as an attacking mid for her squad, or more isolated up top, Press was a force to be reckoned with on the pitch in 2017. But it’s all the little things she does that make all the difficult things look so easy.
Like this one.
Runner-up: Vanessa DiBernardo
With 3 goals and 2 assists, Chicago had to go without a player of her caliber down the stretch in a playoff push, and it showed. Her role in Chicago’s midfield has proven crucial and her absence was truly missed in the latter half of the season.
Defensive Player of the Year: Casey Short
If Casey Short was a college, she would be both your number one choice and your safety school. Whether it was up or down the flank, Short owned the left side this season. In her second season as a Red Star, Short has continued to evolve her game as an outside back with improvements to her possession and first touch. Her confident play and ability to cover so much ground has made her a staple on Chicago’s backline and now on the National Team.
Oh, and she’s probably faster than you.
Runner-up: Katie Naughton
She is the most improved player this year, but watching her confidence grow each week this season was something special. Her vision and decision making in the center back role helped for the emergence of Julie Ertz the midfielder this season.
Goal of the Year: Christen Press
Assist of the Year: Sofia Huerta
Both players linked up for assists and goals this season while playing up top together, but it was this goal against Orlando that is the winner of Goal and Assist of the year.
There is nothing more dangerous or more pleasing to the eye than Christen Press taking on a goal keeper 1 v 1. From the first touch, to stretching the defense and keeper, to the shot. This goal marked a sweet summer of soccer for Chicago. Lots happened for this goal to occur, including Jen Hoy posting up her defender while laying off the pass to Huerta, but this practically no look lob to Press from Huerta is one for the highlight reel.
Goal: Julie Ertz, Assist: Yuki Nagasato
It was the final home game for the Red Stars and it defied gravity and physics – and it was a game winner.
Defensive Play of the Year: Katie Naughton
It was a game that didn’t end particularly well, but that doesn’t make this defensive play any less spectacular. Naughton’s goal line clearance in the 2017 semifinal against North Carolina kept the Red Stars (and your hopes) in the game heading into halftime.
K A T I E— Chicago Red Stars (@chicagoredstars) October 8, 2017
N A U G H T O N
MVP: Julie Ertz
If you had Julie Ertz pegged as being converted into a midfielder for the Red Stars in 2017 while re-emerging as the National Team star she is - but in the defensive mid role - go play the lottery right now.
Needed a goal? Julie Ertz. Needed an assist? Julie Ertz. Needed someone to intercept the ball? Julie Ertz. Needed someone to slide tackle? Julie Ertz. Needed someone to run the midfield? Julie Ertz. Needed someone to be a brick wall that the opposition just smacked into? Julie Ertz.
Julie Ertz the
destroyer Midfielder is everything you never knew you wanted, and here’s to an even better and brighter 2018.
Runner-up: Casey Short
There was no one more consistent or dominate in their position on the pitch for the Red Stars this year than Casey Short. She has become Chicago’s prototypical heart, hustle, and muscle player on and off the field.
12th Woman Award: Alyssa Mautz
With a jam-packed roster full of talent, the 2017 starting line-up for the Red Stars was a difficult one to breakthrough. During an undefeated stretch of 7 games this year, Chicago had played some of their best games, and Mautz played a significant role whether in the starting lineup or off the bench. During the streak, it included 2 wins against shield winners NC Courage, where Mautz scored one of her two goals this season.
Her veteran presence didn’t go unnoticed this season, as the long time Red Star celebrated her 100th appearance with Chicago this year.
The most important awards that will ever be awarded
Work hard, play hard. We believe in that here at Hot Time as well. So while we assigned the ‘appropriate’ awards, here are the ‘real’ awards that will probably make people debate to the death.
Style Icon of the Year: Sarah Gorden
Sarah Gorden gave of us some defensive depth this season, but also reminded us why she is our Style Icon of the Yr. Whether it’s sporty or formal, Gorden keeps it fresh and trendy – and is always rockin’ the J’s as a good Chicagoan should.
Runner-up: Sofia Huerta
Runner up for Style icon because she keeps it Gucci is Sofia Huerta.
Social Media of the Year: Stephanie McCaffrey
Back in our 2017 preview we mentioned that your social media follow of the year should’ve been Steph McCaffrey. NO REGRETS. McCaffrey had the best social media this season hands down. Her Instagram caption game was strong, her tweets were funny, and she also kept readers engaged on her blog Sporting Chic.
Runner-up: Samantha Johnson
Backline Gangsta by day, Straight up model by night, follow dreamonrose on IG if you don’t already.
Chicago AF Award: Katie Naughton
As she helped boss the backline with Sam Johnson, Naughton earned our Chicago AF award this year. She’s an Elk Grove native and can usually be spotted repping other hometown teams along with the Red Stars.
Runner-up: Jen Hoy
Not who you thought? That’s exactly why Jen Hoy snuck in as runner up for the Chicago AF award. With the Red Stars since the NWSL inaugural season. Hoy has become as Chicago as Lake Shore Drive.
What an incredible event with my @chicagoredstars gals. Thank you so much to everyone who helped bring it to life. New kits are officially out and they're !! Special s/o to @the.annex @multimarz @chicagoredstars and, of course, the talented @thecraighensel for this shot. @caseymcoulter you were definitely missed #MKOT #MyKindOfTown #CRSNeverSleeps
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