On Monday, U.S. Soccer announced the five nominees for 2016 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year. This year's nominees include forwards Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan, midfielders Tobin Heath and Carli Lloyd and defender Becky Sauerbrunn. Today we wrap up our making the case series with WNT defender and co-captain, Becky Sauerbrunn.
U.S. Women’s National Team defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who alongside Carli Lloyd was named co-captain of the WNT in January, had one of her strongest years on the field.
A rock-solid presence in the middle of the defense, Sauerbrunn started all 23 games in which she saw action, played 1,897 minutes – most on the team – and added three assists in 2016, one more than she had to date in her entire seven-year career with the USA. Sauerbrunn was also only one of two players who played every minute for the USA at the 2016 Olympics.
She became the 35th woman to play 100 times for her country when she reached the milestone against Canada on Feb. 21 at the Olympic Qualifying Championship Game where she assisted on Lindsey Horan’s game-winning goal.
At club level, Sauerbrunn played every minute of all 14 games she started for FC Kansas City in 2016 and was a vital member of a defense that allowed the second lowest number of goals this season.