USL News Release
Monday, August 3, 2009
TAMPA, FL – United Soccer Leagues announced the second set of honors for the 2009 W-League season, unveiling the All-League Team and Goalkeeper of the Year honors as well as the finalists for the U-19 Player of the Year, Defender of the Year, Coach of the Year and MVP awards as voted on by the league’s coaches and general managers.
W-League 2009 All-League Team
Goalkeeper of the Year – Michelle Betos (Atlanta Silverbacks)
In her first season in the league, Betos helped lead the Silverbacks to the regular season division title with a 10-1-1 record, posting a mark of 9-1-1 herself. She finished second in the league in goals against average at 0.188 and in shutouts with nine. She also was tied for second in wins.
Defender – Ashleigh Gunning (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
Having previously played for Cocoa and Charlotte, Gunning provided a veteran presence for the upstart squad as they went on to post an unbeaten 12-0-2 regular season record and capture the league’s regular season title. Hudson Valley allowed just nine goals in 14 games with Gunning seeing action in 13. She also provided two goals and two assists in the attack.
Defender – Ria Percival (Ottawa Fury)
After a brief taste of W-League action with FC Indiana last year, Percival moved north of the border to join the Fury and help guide the club to an 11-1-2 record with only nine goals allowed. She appeared in all 14 games, playing every minute and providing five assists on the year.
Defender – Brittany Taylor (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
In her debut season in the league, she helped guide the team to an unbeaten 12-0-2 season and capture the league’s regular season title. In the nine games she played, Taylor was a threat in the attack, coming forward for three goals on the season.
Midfielder – Gemma Davidson (Chicago Red Eleven)
After spending 2008 with New York, Davidson helped lead the Red Eleven to a 10-1-1 record on the season, finishing just one point back of unbeaten FC Indiana in the division race. She played in eight games on the year, tallying six goals and two assists.
Midfielder – Michelle French (Seattle Sounders)
A five-time All-Conference selection, French is still one of the top players in the west and had the Sounders on the verge of the postseason before their final winless three-game trip to California. She played in all 12 games and provided four goals and an assist.
Midfielder – Rosa Tantillo (Buffalo Flash)
Playing in a tough division, the expansion Flash finished second with a record of 9-2-3 on the year. Helping lead the way was Tantillo, a member of last year’s champion Pali Blues. She saw action in all 14 games and provided eight goals and two assists in the campaign.
Midfielder – Nikki Washington (Pali Blues)
With many of its top players gone from the 2008 championship side for Women’s Professional Soccer, Washington stepped in and helped lead the Blues to another unbeaten season at 9-0-3 and a second straight conference title. She tallied five goals and two assists in nine games on the campaign.
Forward – Laura Del Rio (FC Indiana Lionesses)
The 2008 league assist leader captured the scoring titles she narrowly missed out on last year by finishing the campaign with 18 goals and four assists. She helped lead the side to the league’s best offensive output of 63 goals and a 10-0-2 record, coming up just shy of the regular season title.
Forward – Amber Hearn (Ottawa Fury)
With 13 goals and two assists on the year, Hearn helped lead the Fury to an 11-1-2 record and the division title. She was tied for fourth in the league in goals and sixth in points.
Forward – Angelika Johansson (Hudson Valley Quickstrike Lady Blues)
Johansson was a key component in the club’s attack en route to winning the regular season title with a record of 12-0-2 and 40 goals. The striker found the back of net 14 times and provided eight assists, finishing second in the league in points, tied for second in goals and tied for third in assists.
W-League 2009 Individual Honors
In addition to the previously announced statistical award winners and the Goalkeeper of the Year, four other top individual honors are still to be announced. The winners of the awards will be announced Wednesday, August 5 from the following finalists in each category:
Defender of the Year Finalists: The three All-League selections Gunning, Percival and Taylor are the finalists for the honor.
U19 Player of the Year Finalists: The finalists for the award are Sarah Chapman (Tampa Bay), Chante Sandiford (Washington) and Fortuna Velaj (Connecticut).
Coach of the Year Finalists: The finalists for the award are Tony Anglin (Chicago), Fabien Cottin (Quebec City), George Fotopoulos (Tampa Bay) and Jesse Kolmel (Hudson Valley).
Most Valuable Player Finalists: The finalists for the award are Laura Del Rio (FC Indiana), Amber Hearn (Ottawa) and Angelika Johansson (Hudson Valley).