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Washington Spirit veteran defender Sam Staab was recently announced as a finalist for this season’s NWSL Defender of the Year award. After completing her third Iron Woman season earlier this month, playing every regular season minute of the year, Staab earns her first shortlist nod for the prestigious award.
Early this season, Staab set a new league mark for most consecutive regular season starts, passing teammate and fellow defender Amber Brooks’ 72 such starts in April. Staab now sits at 90 consecutive starts, starting every match of her NWSL career. In the Spirit’s final match of 2023, Staab also surpassed 8,000 minutes played.
For her stellar performance in March/April and May of this season, Staab was named to each of the first two NWSL Best XI of the Month teams. Staab has now earned Best XI of the Month honors five times in her four regular seasons. Playing alongside an entirely new Spirit back line in 2023, Staab anchored the defense and helped the team to five total clean sheets, including three in the side’s first seven regular season matches.
Fans can vote for Sam Staab to be the NWSL’s Defender of the Year by visiting here. She is up for the high honor with fellow finalists Naomi Girma (San Diego Wave FC), Sarah Gorden (Angel City FC), Ali Krieger (NJ/NY Gotham FC) and Kaleigh Kurtz (North Carolina Courage).