On the penultimate day of the 2009 Women’s Professional Soccer season, the league announced its 2009 WPS year-end award winners during its Awards Gala on the eve of the 2009 WPS All-Star Game presented by U.S. Coast Guard in St. Louis, Mo.
The event was hosted by Fox Soccer Channel’s Mark Rogondino and Jenn Hildreth and featured appearances by WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci, WPS Chief Operating Officer Mary Harvey, and former President and GM of the Boston Breakers, Joe Cummings, who was honored for his contributions to WPS on stage with a special WPS All-Star Game jersey in his name. Cummings takes over as Executive Director of the NSCAA in September.
Six categories were awarded on the night, with each of the players making short speeches upon receiving the award in the following order.
2009 PUMA Golden Boot Award
Marta (F) Los Angeles Sol
2009 MedImmune Defender of the Year
Amy LePeilbet (D) Boston Breakers
“You can’t be a good defender without your teammates, so this is also an award for all my teammates. I’ve had some up-and-down years with my injuries, and it’s been great that I’ve had the opportunity once again with WPS to go out there and perform this year.”
2009 AdvoCare Coach of the Year
Abner Rogers Los Angeles Sol
“I’ve very honored to win this award with the great group of coaches that we have in this league, and I’m honored to have the chance to be the All-Star Game head coach.”
2009 Coast Guard Goalkeeper of the Year
Hope Solo (GK) Saint Louis Athletica
“For a keeper, you don’t want to have to make the tough save—so perhaps I have to organize my defense a little better. But I’m honored to win this and looking forward to a great game tomorrow.”
2009 Hint Water Sportswoman of the Year
Christie Rampone (D) Sky Blue FC
“It’s been a truly amazing first year, and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to play in WPS and that the league is back again.”
2009 Michelle Akers Player of the Year Award
Marta (F) Los Angeles Sol
“I’m very honored to receive this award. Each player in the league has it as their goal to try for an award like this. It’s very special to be a pioneer in this league in the first season. It’s been a great year, and I look forward to many good years to come.”
About Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS)
Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) is the premier women’s soccer league in the world, and the global standard by which women’s professional sports are measured.
The inaugural season kicked off on March 29 and runs through Aug. 30, 2009, with WPS teams based in the Bay Area, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey/New York, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C. The league’s eighth and nine franchises, Philadelphia and Atlanta, will begin play in 2010.
For more information, visit www.womensprosoccer.com.