Just one day after being named to her first-ever USWNT roster, Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe received more accolades, as she was crowned the NWSL’s Goalkeeper of the Year for 2019. Bledsoe outpaced Reign FC’s Casey Murphy and Sky Blue FC netminder Kailen Sheridan to win the award.
“I think the level of goalkeeping this year especially was incredible,” said Bledsoe via a team press release. “Huge shout out to Kailen Sheridan and Casey Murphy. They were incredible this year. I’m honored just to be in the top three and to win it... yeah it’s exciting. I think it speaks a lot to the Spirit and the year that we had.”
Bledsoe played nearly every second of this season, logging 2,149 minutes in goal for the Spirit. The only reason she didn’t play every minute of the season was to allow rookie Shae Yanez to make her debut in a late-season game against the Orlando Pride. Bledsoe was a key factor in the Spirit posting 9 shutouts as a team this year. Despite an attack-minded playing style and an inexperienced back four, the Spirit conceded just 25 goals this year, second only to the North Carolina Courage.
Bledsoe had a league-leading 86 saves, and was consistently one of the best players in the NWSL in 2019. She was named to the NWSL Team of the Month three separate times (May, June, and August), as well as being the league’s Player of the Week twice and winning Save of the Week three times. She’s on quite the roll, as she also won the Goalkeeper of the Year in Australia’s W-League for her play with Sydney FC, who went on to win the title this past winter.