Soccer: Chicago's Kerr wins MVP award but wants NWSL title

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RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Australia’s backflipping phenomenon Sam Kerr won the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Most Valuable Player prize on Friday for a second time but made clear her focus was solely on winning the championship trophy with Chicago.

The league’s three-times Golden Boot winner, who previously claimed the MVP award in 2017, said the honor was even sweeter this time around, with the Chicago Red Stars competing in Sunday’s championship match against the North Carolina Courage.

“The first one I was sitting on my couch, probably watching the semis when I found out,” said Kerr after receiving her award. “So it does feel different and a little bit better, to be honest, that you can help your team hopefully achieve something great.”

Kerr, whose Matildas endured a shock last-16 exit at this yera’s Women’s World Cup, broke her NWSL record by scoring 18 goals in the regular season and heaped praise on her Chicago team mates at a ceremony honoring her achievement.

“It’s a huge team effort,” said Kerr, before adding, “this means really nothing if we don’t win on Sunday.”

Reporting by Amy Tennery; editing by Ken Ferris