Sam Kerr is one of the best talents involved in women’s football at the moment and having been the star striker in the NWSL for a few seasons now, they would be crazy to let her go.
Who Is Sam Kerr?
Kerr was born in Western Australia, her dad and older brother where professional Australian rules footballers with Kerr started off playing AFL but moved to football when she was 12 years old. Kerr started her footballing career off at Western Knights where she played for two years before making the switch to Perth Glory, making her debut at the age of 15. She was voted Players’ Player at the 2009 W-League awards.
She made the switch to the United States in 2013 when she signed for Western New York Flash, making 19 starts in 21 appearances for the club scoring six goals. She headed back to Perth Glory in 2014 finishing top of the goal-scoring charts with 17. Following an impressive season with Perth and a good FIFA World Cup campaign in 2015, Kerr joined Sky Blue FC in the NWSL. After an impressive spell at Sky Blue, the forward moved to Chicago Red Stars after being traded with fellow teammate Nikki Stanton in a three-team trade with the Red Stars and Houston Dash.
NWSL or Europe?
Chicago Red Stars are on the cusp of winning their first NWSL final after beating two times winners Portland Thorns with Kerr scoring the only goal of the game. However, despite her heroics, it looks like Kerr is set on a move to Europe with a few of the top clubs rumoured to be after her signature including French powerhouse Olympique Lyonnais as well as their French counterparts Paris Saint Germain and WSL side Chelsea.
She wouldn’t be the first star to be attracted by a move away from the United States with plenty of players tasting the riches in Europe. The likes of Alex Morgan, Crystal Dunn, and Christen Press have experienced European football. The NWSL is stacked with Aussie players and the W-League has benefited from US imports trying their hand in the W-League during the offseason. But, after it was all but confirmed last week that Kerr would not be returning to the W-League to play for Perth Glory indicates that a move is to Europe is on the horizon.
The 26-year-old striker has been at the top of her game for a few seasons now, winning the golden boot in the NWSL for the last three seasons, personal goal-scoring records, winning MVP in 2017, and becoming one of the most attractive athletes to play in the American League. She was linked with a move to Europe a few months ago with Chelsea and Barcelona both wanting her but Kerr wanted to stay with Chicago Red Stars for the remainder of the season. The Australian forward claimed that she would want nothing more than to win the Championship this season and with North Carolina Courage standing in her way, that dream is almost a reality.
Chelsea has got to be the club that she chooses, a club like Lyon has no room for a player like Kerr in their squad. The reigning European champions have a star-studded forward line including Eugenie Le Sommer, Shanice Van de Sanden, Nikita Parris, and Ballon Dor winner Ada Hegerberg. How can she compete with that? Kerr has got to think realistically about where she can play football week in week out and be the star player and right now that is in the WSL.
What could this mean for the NWSL?
Looking at how it will affect the NWSL and its future, a player like err is exactly what the Women’s Soccer League wants to keep hold of in order to get more recognition, better funding, and an even better fan base. However, if a play-off final team like Chicago Red Stars is struggling to keep a player of Kerr’s calibre then it doesn’t hold much hope for the future of the Women’s Soccer League. Without the stars of the USWNT being spread across teams then you could say that the league is no longer attractive nor competitive and that is something that they need to be wary of going forward.
Kerr is the perfect person for the type of brand the Women’s Soccer League wants. She’s young, charismatic, and has an excellent career ahead of her for both club and country. Losing a player like her will really put a dampener on the league itself meaning interest could be lost.