Reign midfielder Little named 2014 NWSL MVP

The Equalizer Staff August 28, 2014 41
Kim Little is the 2014 NWSL MVP.  (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Kim Little is the 2014 NWSL MVP. (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little has been named the 2014 National Women’s Soccer League MVP. The Scottish midfielder led the league in goals (16) in her first season in the NWSL. She also had seven assists in 23 matches.

Little was named NWSL Player of the Month three times this year — in April, May and July. The 24-year-old played primarily as one of Seattle’s three midfielders in coach Laura Harvey’s 4-3-3 formation, but would push up into a more advanced role when the Reign were in need of a goal.

Little has her team in Sunday’s NWSL final against FC Kansas City, having helped the Reign turn around last year’s seventh-place finish into a dominant regular-season performance that won Seattle the NWSL Shield.

“The thing about Kim that makes her as special as she is, is that she does the very simple things at the highest of qualities,” Little’s Seattle teammate Jess Fishlock said on Wednesday’s national conference call. “It’s something like that that I that makes her as good as she is.”

Seattle acquired Little’s rights from the Washington Spirit in a November 2013 trade that sent Christine Nairn to the Spirit.

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Verónica Boquete finished second in the voting, while FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez was third. Last season, FC Kansas City midfielder Lauren Holiday won the MVP award.

On Wednesday, Harvey was named NWSL Coach of the Year.

The NWSL awards are voted on by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis, team officials and NWSL players.

  • Ben

    Never in doubt

  • ReignTrain

    Kim, queen of scots. Congrats kid.

  • kernel_thai

    Hopeful she gets to the WC in Canada so the whole world can enjoy her.

    • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

      Why can’t I get any traction on my Kim Little to MLS movement? She’s better than Gyasi Zardes and he STARTS for the Galaxy.

  • Rdalford

    Well deserved. Congrats.

  • JL

    Justice. She was even more of a no-brainer than Holiday was last year.

  • Davis

    Allie Long was robbed.

    • JL

      I could name 20 players off the top of my head that were far more deserving of MVP than Long.

      • Davis

        Relax. I’m joking. Somebody needed to say something interesting in response to the most uncontroversial award ever.

        • Steglitz49

          Hear hear!

    • ian

      #JusticeForAllieLong #MVPOfOurHearts

  • Guest

    Riot averted. Good job voters.

  • guest

    Absolutely well deserved. She has magnets in her feet, that’s the only way to explain how she can dribble through 4 or 5 defends and still have the ball. And she clearly has ice running through her veins.

  • Steglitz49

    Midfielders are getting their recognition, even if they are attacking ones. Nadine Kessler (Wolfsburg) just got UEFA’s award.

  • AnnoyedChicagoFan

    I didnt know who she was and I didnt get the hype around her because the English league really isnt that strong as far as I know. But that was well deserved, All the hype was justified, she is something special at some points in the season she was being triple teamed.in some games.

  • ;)

    Wambach shoulda won it,LMFAOOO!!!

    • -_-

      what about SYD?

      • BabyHorse

        Baby Horse.

        • komodo

          Baby horse doesn’t perform at club level,Wambach is washed up ,Syd is athletic and hard-working but no skills whatsoever.

          • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

            Syd is getting better. Playing with Little is really helping her I think. If you play on the same time team as Little, you’ve got to say to yourself at a certain point…. self, I could be a lot better at soccer, look at how good this tiny scottish woman is.

  • TN

    I was surprised that Vero came in 2nd, after watching all the games she was in POR, I felt that she came in 2nd because more of her name rather than her actual play.

    • Davis

      I kind of agree. Vero is great, but I don’t think her impact was big enough to warrant 2nd place in the MVP voting.

      • Guest

        She was involved in at least two embarrassing blowouts for Thorns in an already abbreviated season. She maybe was a bright spot for Portland while there compared to others on their team but that is where you should get an internal team award. Not a league award.

        • Lorehead

          One of those was her first week with the team, along with four other starters. Teams have often been able to focus on her and shut her down without any of her teammates making them pay for it, which hasn’t been true of Little or Fishlock.

          • JL

            To be fair, Morgan did say that Riley had the Thorns playing in a formation that they had never practiced before that game. And they went into that match overconfident. I think Portland thought they had that game in the bag, and they got a rude awakening over the 90 minutes that followed.

    • necron99

      Thorns without Vero (4-3-2). Thorns with Vero (6-5-4). Not including the playoff loss. Thorns were blown out once before Vero came, and 2 times after she came. Doesn’t look much different.

  • Craigaroo

    I admit I sometimes wonder if Jess Fishlock is just as valuable to that team. Both wonderful, special players on a delightful team. I think at least I would’ve voted for Fishlock for 2nd, if it was allowed.

    • Steglitz49

      Jess is more defense and Kim is more offense, and these awards more often go to attacking, that is goal-scoring, players than those who keep the attackers at bay.

      In short, you may well be right but it takes true insight to perceive it.

      • Guest

        Fishlock leads the assists category in the league too. She is instrumental but not in the classic way I guess. Best XI I hope. There are few players in the league id choose before either of them. Jess in particular sets the tone on every team she has ever been on. Watch out Germany.

        • Steglitz49

          Jess plays for Wales (like Giggs and Bale) and we are unlikely to see her in WC-15. No Welch player was selected for the ladies’ Team Gbr in OG-12. That is why the Welch adopted Brazil as “their” team.

          • Craigaroo

            I think the guest may be referring to Fishlock going to Frankfurt. (so is Vero. Won’t it be interesting when a journalist asks Fishlock, who’s better, Vero or Little?)

          • Steglitz49

            The lure of the Champions League.

      • Craigaroo

        Sure but Fishlock is still one very good attacker as well. When the Reign need that extra threat, she can bring it. 4 goals, 8 (count ‘em, eight!) assists.

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. Jess’s stats are excellent and it is useful to compare them with the other NWSL big names such as Holiday, ARod, Taylor, Naho and Alex, not just Kim. A more relevant is with Amber Brooks because Amber scored 10 goals in 22 games for Bayern Munich before coming to Portland.

          Jess started 22/22 (1976 min) and had 4 goals, 8 assists, 1 gwg (a stat I do not like), took 1 corner, committed 23 fouls, suffered 33 and picked up 4 yellow cards but no red one.

          Amber started 19/20 (1598 min) with 1 goal and 2 assists, no gwg, took 10 corners, committed 25 fouls but only suffered 9, and also had 4 yellow and no red cards.

          The contrast between the two is fascinating but how could the player who scored 10 goals in 22 games in the DFB do so little for an NWSL team that made the play-offs, a player that Bayern had a tiff with USSoccer over because they wanted to keep, and now have taken again on loan?

          • Lorehead

            I think it comes down to their role in the system. Riley, the few times he talked about her, was talking about how he wanted her to make more passes. I’d have to review Fishlock’s games to be sure, but I’m tempted to say that Brooks plays a different role on her team, since the back line was so shaky she almost always had to run back and cover it, not forward to score. The assists are easy to explain: the Thorns missed an awful lot of shots, so it¹s her teammates’ faults they didn’t score on her passes.

          • guest

            Brooks was usually played as a DM. Fishlock is an attacking CM that is equally capable of sitting deeper and helping out defensively as she is at pushing forward in attack. Winters is more of a DM for the Reign.

          • Steglitz49

            Indeed, The 33 vs 9 fouls suffered fits with that. Ms Winters suffered 12 fouls but only committed 15 but had 5 yellow cards.

          • Lorehead

            Thanks, that’s how I remembered it too.

          • Lorehead

            In this video from last pre-season, she goes into how she scored those goals. She says that most of them were on set pieces, but also that she was in a formation with two holding mids and therefore could go forward more.

    • guest

      I very much agree with that sentiment. It was obvious in their last game against Portland just how much they missed Fishlock in the middle because it not only forced Little to drop too deep but they were lacking the not stop energy she brings to every game. Little and Fishlock compliment each other very well and seem to bring out the best in each other.

  • Lord_Littlefingers_Lash

    Kim Little to MLS!!!!!!!!!!