There are three games left of the NWSL regular season, and you know what that means: awards season is approaching. While we’ll wait for the eve of the playoffs to make predictions about this year’s player honors, we’re diving head first into some head coach discussion.
Who is poised to be crowned Coach of the Year in 2023? Maybe, you think to yourself, it should be Mike Norris of the Portland Thorns, who has coached the Thorns to the top of the table in his very first season as head coach. Or maybe it’s Casey Stoney of the San Diego Wave, who have been battling for first place for stretches of their sophomore season. I say no to both of those picks.
Why? Well, Norris stepped into a team that was coming off an NWSL Championship win and retained most of their roster. And Stoney’s Wave team has been up-and-down this season, and statistically worse than last year, which was Stoney’s – and the team’s – first season. In light of all that, neither Norris nor Stoney made the cut for my shortlist this year.
So, who are my actual candidates for Coach of the Year?