FC KANSAS CITY ANNOUNCES TEAM AWARD WINNERS
Yael Averbuch won the “Goal of the Year” award
KANSAS CITY, MO (September 14, 2015) – FC Kansas City announced today the winners of this year’s team awards. A total of five players were voted by teammates, coaching staff, front office and Season Ticket Holders after the Blues secured a spot in the 2015 NWSL final with a 3-0 win over Chicago in the semifinal. Kansas City will be defending their championship on Thursday, October 1st in a rematch of last year’s final when they square off against the Seattle Reign FC at Providence Park, home of the Portland Thorns FC. The game will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and tickets are available online.
Goal of the Year: Yael Averbuch vs. Western NY Flash
FC Kansas City acquired midfielder Yael Averbuch during the offseason after having played for the Washington Spirit last year. During her first season, she played in 18 games and started 13 in which she scored two goals, both of them coming from free kicks. The most memorable one took place at Swope Soccer Village when she scored the Blues’ second goal of the night with a beautiful finish from 30-yards out to the top right corner despite goalkeeper Chantel Jones’ efforts. WATCH Yael's goal.
Rookie of the Year: Shea Groom
The Liberty, Missouri native was selected by FC Kansas City in the second round (12th overall) of the 2015 National Women’s Soccer League College Draft after a very successful collegiate career with Texas A&M. Shea Groom made her debut on April 12th at Sporting Park and scored her first professional tally against the Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium. Groom finished the season with four goals and two assists before suffering a right foot injury that left her out for six weeks. WATCH SHEA GROOM’S PLAYER PROFILE.
Newcomer of the Year: Heather O’Reilly
FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and Olympic gold medalist Heather O’Reilly was acquired by FC Kansas City via trade with the Boston Breakers before the start of the 2015 season. She immediately earned a spot in Coach Vlatko Andonovski’s starting lineup and played a total of 11 games this season totaling two goals and three assists. WATCH HEATHER O’REILLY’S STORY.
Defender of the Year: Becky Sauerbrunn and Amy LePeilbet
Both of FC Kansas City’s starting center backs receive the exact same amount of votes. After missing most of last year’s campaign due to injury, U.S. Women’s National Team veteran Amy LePeilbet returned to play every single minute this year alongside NWSL two-time Defender of the Year Becky Sauerbrunn to finish the season averaging only one-goal per game and earning nine shutouts. Sauerbrunn was also the only player in the USWNT roster to play every minute during the FIFA World Cup in Canada this past summer. WATCH BECKY’S STORY.
Golden Boot: Amy Rodriguez
For the second year in a row, A-Rod finished the regular season as the team leader despite missing nine games during the FIFA Women’s World Cup. She scored a total of six goals and recorded four assists to help the Blues earn a spot in the NWSL Playoffs for the third consecutive year. Yesterday, she scored twice in the semifinal against Chicago to give the Blues a chance to defend their championship in the NWSL final. WATCH A-ROD’S STORY.
FC Kansas City Honorary Award: Jen Buczkowski
Midfielder Jen Buczkowski has played an important role for the Blues ever since the team was established in 2013. She finished this year’s campaign as the only player to have started all 66 regular season games in National Women’s Soccer League history. This season, she also scored one goal and recorded two assists.
Most Valuable Player: Amy LePeilbet
Amy LePeilbet fully recovered from two torn ACL’s to lead FC Kansas City’s defense to a one-goal per game average and nine shutouts this season. In addition, she played every single minute and scored two goals to help the team earn a playoff spot for the third consecutive year. WATCH AMY’S PLAYER PROFILE.