The NWSL released the finalists for the 2016 awards on Tuesday. There are some familar faces on the list, as well as some new blood looking to take home some hardware. Take a look at the awards at stake and who made the cut. (All photos from ISIphotos.com)
Coach of the Year
Three candidates will vie for the Coach of the Year honors. For the first time in the past two years, Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harven won't be taking home the award, nor did she even make the short list. Instead, Jim Gabarra (Washington Spirit), Mark Parsons (Portland Thorns FC) and Paul Riley (Western New York Flash, pictured) made the cut. All three have guided their respective teams to the NWSL playoffs.
Rookie of the Year
Each of these youngsters has been a revelation for their respective clubs, but only one can be dubbed the Rookie of the Year. Rachel Daly (pictured), the No. 6 selection in the 2016 NWSL draft, was so successful that she caught the attention of the England national team. Raquel Rodriguez made 17 starts in 18 appearances in her debut season with Sky Blue FC, while USWNT Rio Olympics alternate Emily Sonnett went the distance in all 15 of her appearances with the Portland Thorns.
Goalkeeper of the Year
Three Americans, Ashlyn Harris (pictured), Alyssa Naeher and Michelle Betos will all compete for the Goalkeeper of the Year trophy. Thorns keeper Betos is the reigning title-holder, while Chicago Red Stars net-minder Naeher won the award in 2014 as a member of the Boston Breakers. Will Portland's Harris join the club?
Roy K. Miller
Defender of the Year, presented by Coppertone
Becky Sauerbrunn has run the table on the Defender of the Year award ever since its inception in 2013. The FC Kansas City anchor faces challenges from four other opponents, however. A pair of Chicago Red Stars in Arin Gilliland and Julie Johnston are in the running, as is a duo from the Pacific Northwest. Portland's Emily Menges and Seattle's Lauren Barnes will also try and usurp Sauerbrunn's throne.
Roy K. Miller
Most Valuable Player
The award every NWSL player would be happy to take home, this year's crop of potential MVPs is quite deep. Two Portland Thorns teammates actually make the list, Tobin Heath (pictured) and Allie Long, proving just how strong the Thorns are. Joining them are Houston captain Kealia Ohai, who just missed out on making the playoffs. Chicago's Christen Press is also on the short list with an admirable eight goals on the season despite missing time due to the Summer Olympics. Rounding out the top five is Western NY's Lynn Williams, who already has the 2016 Golden Boot to her name with 11 goals and five assists.