The Houston Dash announced their 2017 club award winners today, with team captain Amber Brooks earning Most Valuable Player and Defensive Player of the Year honors. Players, staff, local media and fans voted on seven categories that recognized achievements on and off the field.
Forward Rachel Daly was selected as the Offensive Player of the Year, goalkeeper Jane Campbell was named the team Unsung Hero, and forward Janine Beckie was tabbed as the Humanitarian of the Year.
Brooks was one of six players in the National Women’s Soccer League who played every minute for her team this season. The defender was also a key player in Houston’s five shutouts this season, the most for the club since 2015. This was the most active season for the four-year veteran who joined the Dash from Seattle Reign FC in 2016. She scored one goal and tallied two assists in her second season in Houston.
Daly led the team in goals with five despite playing as a defender for a portion of the season. The forward’s final goal of the season was against FC Kansas City on Oct. 1 to tie the match and snap a five-game losing streak. The forward played a key role in Houston’s opening day victory over the Chicago Red Stars, when she scored an ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 quality goal and the first of two goals against the Red Stars at BBVA Compass Stadium this season.
The Unsung Hero award is given to the player who day-in and day-out brought the best out of her teammates through actions on the field. Campbell finished her rookie season with 65 saves, the most since the club’s inaugural season. The goalkeeper was nominated for the NWSL Save of the Week 10 times and claimed the award in Week 19 after she denied Seattle Reign FC forward Jessica Fishlock from the penalty spot. Campbell finished with three clean sheets this season and made her debut with the senior U.S. Women’s National Team in April at BBVA Compass Stadium.
The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to the player who used their platform to impact the Houston community off the field. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Beckie created a GoFundMe page that raised more than $15,000 for relief efforts after the storm devastated the Gulf Coast with unprecedented flooding. More than 150 contributions were made to her fund which included support from Houston Dynamo and Dash players and supporters group from numerous NWSL teams.
In the remaining categories, Daly’s goal on opening day against the Red Stars was voted as the Goal of the Year. Campbell won the Save of the Year after she denied Orlando’s Marta in the first half of a 2-0 victory at Orlando City Stadium.
2017 Houston Dash Award Winners
Most Valuable Player: Amber Brooks
Offensive Player of the Year: Rachel Daly
Defensive Player of the Year: Amber Brooks
Unsung Hero: Jane Campbell
Humanitarian of the Year: Janine Beckie
Goal of the Year: Rachel Daly vs. Chicago Red Stars on April 15
Save of the Year: Jane Campbell vs. Orlando Pride on June 24