An intriguing question has been posed. Who is the Seattle Women’s Player of the Year? Of course there are the easy answers, such as Alex Morgan, the Baby Horse that knows how to score and assist her teammates. Megan Rapinoe, who stepped up her game in the Olympics and continues to provide excellent service to her fellow footballers. Or to some, Hope Solo, who has been the face of the USWNT until the youngsters started taking over that role. Or how about Sydney Leroux, the consummate player off the bench? Her time with the Sounders Women clearly helped her confidence and sharpened her skills up front.
But what about some of the collegiate players who graced the field when the National Teamers were off playing elsewhere in their Waldo shirts? What about the players that were called into USWNT camp but didn’t make the very small 18 player roster for the Olympics? Stephanie Cox, Kate Deines, Veronica Perez, Keelin Winters, Lindsay Elston come to mind.
Hope Solo - w/ Sounders 261 Minutes, 1 Goal Against - w/ United States a Gold Medal and all that
While off the field Solo is a bit controversial due to being quite outspoken her presence on the Sounders Women opened the doors to the signings of the rest of the quality players. She was the star when camp opened. In the Olympics she game up a few more goals than expected but still helped the team to victory.
Alex Morgan - w/ Sounders 253 Minutes, 2 Goals, 2 Assists - w/ USA a Gold Medal and Balloun d'Or Finalist
Morgan emerged as a potent goal scorer. The young star is currently 3rd among USWNT players for goals scored in a year with two matches still to play. With the Sounders she added dynamism and flare that attracted the attention of soccer fans, not just women's soccer fans. While a finalist for being the best female player in the world that is almost entirely due to her national team performance.
Stephanie Cox - 1057 minutes, 1 Goal, 1 Assist
Stephanie Cox had been a national team starter, a solid defensive player for the USWNT that lost her spot to younger players, but continued graciously on as a Sounder, facing tough questions from the press, and signing autographs for anyone who asked. She is an excellent representative of the women’s game. Her solid play helped the Sounders Women reach the playoffs last season. Her experience helped the rave green back line become solid and seasoned. Heck, she even scored, which is fantastic for a defender.
Veronica Perez -1215 minutes, 12 Goals, 2 assists
"Goal A Game" Perez would not just be a star for the Sounders Women, but also move on to a pro side in Iceland that won that nation's national cup. The dynamic forward would mix in with Morgan and Leroux while scoring as frequently as either of them. She led the team in goals, minutes and points and is an emerging star for Mexico.
This leaves off quality players like Sydney Leroux, Katie Dienes, Keelin Winters and Annie Sittauer who had stellar seasons across their different teams. It also leaves a choice about what means more to Seattle's women's soccer fans - local team success or national team greatness.
Editor's note: this story was cowritten by soundermom and Dave Clark.