Best International Players in the NWSL
Which foreign athletes made it to the list of the most respected international players in the NWSL?
The National Women's Soccer League is one of the most competitive, intense, and interesting leagues to watch. It's the league of the most talented women in American soccer. As soccer's popularity begins to grow more and more in the US, the competition among the players grows as well.
With fans and watchers all over the world who have one common interest, the fierce women of the NWSL, we decided to focus on the players that are not originally from the United States, but play, or have previously played, for one of the many NWSL teams. This is a list of the best international players in the NWSL.
Marta Vieira da Silva
Marta is considered one of the best international players in the NWSL, if not the best. She holds both Brazilian and Swedish citizenships and is a forward for the NWSL team, Orlando Pride. Marta holds the record for the top goalscorer in any FIFA Women's World Cup tournament, with a total of 15 goals.
Plus, she was named the FIFA Wolrd Player of the Year for five years, as well as the Golden Ball at the Women's World Championship of 2014. Following these years she was one of the honored athletes to carry the Olympic Flag in the Rio Olympics of August 2016.
As a previous player for the Seattle Reign FC, Kim Little is considered one of the best international players to join an NWSL team, as she is originally from Scotland. During her time with the team, Laura Harvey coached the club and had warm words to say about her as a player:
"Kim is world-class. Her talent and proven experience will be a huge asset for our team in the coming seasons. Having coached Kim for nearly four years, I have no doubt that her creativity and goal-scoring ability will prove an exciting proposition for the NWSL."
Plus, during her time in the league, she scored 16 goals, progressing the team toward their Golden Boot Award win.
As a co-captain of the Seattle Reign RC, Jess Fishlock is considered one of the most disciplined international players in the NWSL. During the Welsh midfielder's first season with the team, she was named the NWSL Player of the week in the second week of the 2013 season as she started in each game.
Throughout her four years with the team, she has also won the NWSL Player of the Month twice, the NWSL Player of the Week an additional three more times, and made it to the NWSL Best XI list in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017.
Sam Kerr has one of the most successful careers as a National Women's Soccer League player as a Sky Blue FC teammate since 2015. During her first season with the team, she scored six goals during nine appearances, ranking her the number one stop on the team. Not a bad way to start off.
Recently, the Australian soccer player set a new record for the 2017 NWSL season with four goals in one match, recovering from being down 3-0 against Seattle Reign, and bringing them to victory.
Nahomi Kawasumi began her path toward becoming one of the best international players in the NWSL in 2014 with her sign to the Seattle Reign Football Club.
As a Japanese National Women's Soccer League member, she was named the NWSL Player of the Week twice within her first season with nine goals and five assists. Plus, she regained the title again in the 2016 season after scoring a brace, three goals in one game, against the Boston Breakers.
Adriana Leon is currently a Western New York Flash player, but has previously played on the National Women's Soccer League teams, the Boston Breakers as well as the Chicago Red Stars.
Throughout her careers on each of these teams, she has proven herself as one of the best international players in the NWSL. The Canada native was also named the NWSL player of the week in May of 2017 for her star performance in the match against Seattle Reign.
Lisa De Vanna
As an Australian native, Lisa De Vanna is a Sky Blue FC player within the NWSL. As one of the best international players in the NWSL, De Vanna was awarded the NWSL Player of the week in 2013, the same year she was awarded the FFA Female Footballer of the Year.
Though we are praising her for her time as an NWSL player, she has had a slew of accomplishments as a Sydney FC athlete, as well as many other clubs including Melbourne City, Orlando Price, South Melbourne, and Canberra United.
As a professional soccer player for the NWSL team, the Portland Thorns FC, Christine Sinclair is originally from Canada. She's one of the few athletes to make it to two NWSL Championships in both 2013 and 2017, and aid her team to victory in both matches, this shows that her ability is undeniable.
Plus, outside of the National Women's Soccer League, she has been a part of two other championship wins, the 2010 WPS Championship and the 2011 WPS Championship, during her time with the FC Gold Price and the Western New York Flash.
Veronica Boquete joined the Portland Thorns in 2014, which began her path toward obtaining the title of one of the best international players in the NWSL, as she is originally from Galicia.
She was Portland's first pick in the college draft, which shows a lot about her skills as a young student-athlete. She has also previously played on NWSL team, the Chicago Red Stars. In 2014, she was even considered to be the NWSL's best player.
With a nickname like "Rocky" it's easy to see why Raquel Rodriquez will finish off our list of the best international players in the NWSL. As a Costa Rican attacking midfielder, Rodriquez began her NWSL career with the Sky Blue FC in 2016.
As the team's second pick for their college draft, she went on to become the NWSL Rookie of the Year, after her first season with the team. She even scored the fastest goal in NWSL history in 24 seconds!