Women's Sports: National Women’s Soccer League MVP Sam Kerr signing in Europe

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Kerr holds multiple titles including NSWL career goals (77), tying for first in assists (24) and breaking her own NWSL single-season scoring record this year with 18 goals all whilst leading Chicago to second place. She also scored the lone goal in a semifinal against Portland.

The 26-year-old played for the Western New York Flash in 2013-14 and Sky Blue FC from 2015-17 before joining the Red Stars. Also playing for the Australian national team, Kerr scored five times in four matches at this summer’s World Cup, but the team fell to Norway on penalties in the round of 16. 

But sources close to the situation say the Australian forward notified the Red Stars of her intensions Friday. The Red Stars have not responded to requests for comment. Kerr’s notification comes the same day NWSL unveiled a number of financial upgrades, including a 19 percent increase in the salary cap and the introduction of allocation money, which enables each of the nine clubs to offer above-average contracts while minimizing the impact on the salary cap.

With all of Kerr’s achievements, both for her team and on a personal level, the NWSL is reluctant to let her go amidst the growth of women’s soccer worldwide which has resulted in competitive salaries for top players. Despite all 23 members of the U.S. World Cup championship squad competing in the NWSL this season, there are definite interests in exploring opportunities outside of the US.

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An unidentified inside source said Kerr is looking for “a new opportunity and the next challenge” after seven years in the United States. She also wants “to leave a mark in Europe,” where the women’s game is picking up speed in major soccer-playing countries, such as France, England and Spain.

Amongst the European clubs interested include Real Madrid (FC Tacon); Chelsea; and Paris Saint-Germain. Kerr’s decision is expected in the coming weeks.

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