Sam Kerr

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Sam Kerr
Sam-kerr-2017-algarve (cropped).jpg
Kerr at the 2017 Algarve Cup
Personal information
Full name Samantha May Kerr[1]
Date of birth (1993-09-10) 10 September 1993 (age 27)
Place of birth East Fremantle, Western Australia, Australia
Height 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)[2]
Playing position(s) Forward
Club information
Current team
Chelsea
Number 20
Youth career
2006–2008 Western Knights
WA NTC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2011 Perth Glory 22 (5)
2012–2014 Sydney FC 24 (13)
2013–2014 Western New York Flash 41 (15)
2014–2019 Perth Glory 49 (52)
2015–2017 Sky Blue FC 40 (28)
2018–2019 Chicago Red Stars 43 (35)
2019– Chelsea 6 (3)
National team
2008–2009 Australia U17 12 (4)
2008–2009 Australia U20 12 (4)
2009– Australia 88 (42)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22 September 2020
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 March 2020 (UTC)

Samantha May Kerr (born 10 September 1993) is an Australian soccer player who plays for Chelsea in the English FA Women's Super League. She is the current captain of the Australia women's national soccer team (the Matildas). As of 2019, Kerr is the all-time leading scorer in both the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in the United States and the Australian W-League.

Kerr started her career at age 15 with Perth Glory where she played from 2008 to 2012, before transferring to Sydney FC. In 2013, she joined the Western New York Flash for the inaugural season of the NWSL and helped lead the team to win the NWSL Shield. She later played for Sky Blue FC and the Chicago Red Stars in the same league.[3] Kerr earned her first senior international cap in 2009 at the age of 15 and has represented Australia at the 2010, 2014, and 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup tournaments. On the world stage, she has been in the Australian squad since 2009 and competed at the 2011, 2015, and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cups as well as the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Kerr was awarded the 2017 Julie Dolan Medal as the best player in Australia and is a four-time recipient of the PFA's Women's Footballer of the Year Award. She is the only female Australian footballer to be named to the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, having been nominated in 2018 and 2019.[4] Named International Player of the Year by the Football Media Association (FMA) in 2013 and 2014, Kerr was named the 2018 Young Australian of the Year in 2018. The same year, she received the ESPY Award for Best International Women's Soccer Player.[4] In 2019, she became the first Australian player — male or female — to score a hat trick at a World Cup tournament.[5]

Kerr is known for her "speed, skill, tenacity,"[6] and backflip goal celebrations.[7]

Early life[edit]

External video
video icon Sam Kerr: Birthplace of Dreams retrieved 12 November 2019

Kerr was born in East Fremantle, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia on Australia's west coast. Her Anglo-Indian father, Roger Kerr, was born in Calcutta to an English father (a featherweight boxer) and an Indian mother who played basketball.[8] Kerr's mother, Roxanne, was born in Australia and also comes from an athletic family. Her father and uncles were professional footballers in the West Australian Football League (WAFL) and another uncle J. J. Miller was a champion jockey who won the Melbourne Cup in 1966 with Galilee.[8]

Kerr played Australian rules football as a young child. Both her father and older brother, Daniel Kerr, were professional Australian rules footballers.[9][10][11] She played the sport until switching to soccer at the age of 12 due in large part to gender restrictions.[12][13]

I started at 12. Before that it was all AFL. I hated soccer when I was kid. I never had a soccer ball around the house.

— Sam Kerr[14]

Despite facing some struggles transitioning from Australian rules football to soccer,[15] at age 13, she was spotted by Perth Glory striker Bobby Despotovski who described her athleticism and raw talent as "exceptional".[16] At age 15, she made her W-League and international debuts.[17]

Club career[edit]

Western Knights, 2006–2008[edit]

Kerr first started playing soccer as a junior at Western Knights in Mosman Park. After three years at the Western Knights, she trialled for the Western Australian State Team before moving to Perth Glory.[18]

Perth Glory FC, 2008–2011[edit]

Kerr playing for Perth Glory FC, 2010

Kerr made her debut for Perth Glory FC at the age of 15 during the 2009 W-League season. She was voted Players' Player at the 2009 W-League Awards and awarded Goal of the Year for her long–range goal against Sydney FC in round 8.[19][20] During the 2010–11 season, Kerr started in all 10 matches and scored three goals.[3] She scored a brace in the first half of a match against Adelaide United on 14 January 2011 lifting Perth to a 2–1 victory.[21]

Western New York Flash, 2013–2014[edit]

In 2013, Kerr signed with the Western New York Flash for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in the United States.[22] She made 19 starts in her 21 appearances for the club and scored six goals.[3] After defeating Sky Blue FC 2–0 in the semi-finals,[23] the Flash lost 2–0 to Portland in the final.[24]

Kerr returned to the Flash for the 2014 season. Head coach Aaran Lines said of Kerr, "With her attributes – her speed, athleticism and instincts – if she continues to develop at the rate she is, Sam can become one of the best strikers in the world."[25] Kerr started in all 20 matches and was the team's leading scorer with 9 goals.[3] She was named NWSL Player of the Week for week 9 after recording a brace and assist against Portland.[26] Following the 2014 season, Kerr was traded to Sky Blue FC in exchange for Elizabeth Eddy and a first-round pick—fourth overall—in the 2015 NWSL College Draft.[27][28] The Flash used that pick to draft Sam Mewis.[29]

Return to Perth Glory, 2014–2015[edit]

In August 2014, Kerr returned to Perth Glory on a one-year deal as one of six national members to sign for Perth.[30] She would open her account in Perth's second match against Adelaide United to give Perth the lead in the second half which they would win.[31] The following match she scored a double in her teams 10–1 rout of Western Sydney Wanderers.[32] After missing out in the next four games, Kerr would go and score eight goals in the final four games of the regular season which included a hat-trick against her former team in Sydney FC.[33]

She continued her regular season form in the following season when she scored the winning goal in a 2–1 victory over Melbourne Victory in the opening round of the competition.[34] That would be the only goal that she would score in the season with her leg giving way in a non-contact ankle injury which forced her out for the rest of the 2015–16 season.[35] This wouldn't stop Perth from giving her a one-year contract extension before the start of that season.[36] In 2016–17 she scored ten goals, led the team to the Westfield W-League Grand Final, and earned the Julie Dolan Medal and the Penny Tanner Media MVP Award.[37] In 2018–19 she became the first marquee player of the W-League when she was reportedly offered 400 thousand dollars contract to stay in Perth instead of going overseas where she was offered 100 thousand less.[38] The marquee signing delivered in the 2018–19 season when she finished top of the goal scoring charts with 17 goals at above a goal a game. This included a hat-trick in the semi-final against Melbourne Victory which book Perth's spot into the grand final.[39][40]

Sky Blue FC, 2015–2017[edit]

In 2015, Kerr joined Matildas teammate Caitlin Foord at Sky Blue FC following their participation at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.[41][42] Kerr's six goals in her nine appearances ranked first on the team.[3]

During the 2016 season, Kerr made nine appearances for Sky Blue after being away with the national team in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics. She scored five goals during the regular season.[3] Kerr was named NWSL Player of the week for Week 18 after scoring two goals: an 80th-minute equaliser against the Orlando Pride and a game-winning goal against the Pride a few days later.[43]

In the 2017 season, Kerr set a new NWSL record when she scored 4 goals in a single game after being down 3–0 to Seattle Reign at halftime. Sky Blue eventually won the match 5–4. At the age of 23, Kerr sat atop the all-time NWSL goalscoring table.[44] Kerr won the NWSL Golden Boot and MVP award after finishing the 2017 season with a record-breaking 17 goals.

Chicago Red Stars, 2018–19[edit]

Kerr during a Chicago Red Stars match, 2018.

On 18 January 2018, Kerr was traded to the Chicago Red Stars along with Nikki Stanton by the Sky Blue FC in a three-team trade with the Chicago Red Stars and Houston Dash.[45] She got off to a slow start in the 2018 season with Kerr not scoring until the eighth match of the season when she contributed to a 1–1 draw against North Carolina Courage.[46] In August, she was named as NWSL Player of the Month for the third time in her career as she scored five goals throughout the month of August which included two goals against Portland Thorns FC and Orlando Pride.[47] At the end of the 2018 season, Kerr scored 16 goals and won the Golden Boot for the second consecutive season and got into the NWSL Best XI as a forward.[48][49]

At the end of the 2019 season, Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars made their first appearance in the NWSL Championship against the North Carolina Courage.[50] Several days prior to the championship game, Kerr was named the 2019 NWSL MVP, the first, and currently only, NWSL player to ever receive the award twice.[51] Kerr also received, for the third year in a row, the NWSL Golden Boot, leading the league with 18 goals and five assists, despite missing some games over the summer to play with Australia in the World Cup.[51] Kerr was also named Player of the Year by the National Women's Soccer League Players Association, who presented their own awards for the first time.[52]

At the end of the 2019 season Kerr announced that she was considering moving to a European team and had multiple offers.[53]

Chelsea, 2019–Present[edit]

Kerr with Chelsea in February 2020

On 13 November 2019, Chelsea announced Kerr would be joining the club for the second half of the 2019–20 FA WSL season on a 2.5 year contract.[54] Kerr made her Chelsea debut against Reading on 5 January 2020[55] and scored her first goal against Arsenal on 19 January.[56]

At the 2020 Women's FA Community Shield on 29 August 2020, profligate Kerr squandered a series of goal scoring opportunities before being substituted in Chelsea's 2–0 win over Manchester City.[57]

International career[edit]

Kerr in action for Australia against the United States, 2012.

In February 2009, fifteen-year-old Kerr made her international debut for Australia's senior national team in a friendly against Italy as a 76th minute substitute.[58] She scored her first international goal at the age of 16 during the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup final against North Korea.[59][60]

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup, Germany[edit]

In May 2010, Kerr was named to the Matildas squad to compete at the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup, the qualifying tournament for the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Germany.[61] After scoring in the second match of the group against South Korea,[62] she scored the opening goal of the final against North Korea before seeing Australia taking out the title via the penalty shoot-out.[63] The same year, she represented Australia at the 2010 Peace Queen Cup.[64]

In 2011 at age 17, Kerr was named to Australia's 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup squad by head coach Tom Sermanni as one of seven players who were under twenty years of age.[65][66] She made her World Cup debut coming on as a substitute in the 79th minute of Australia's first group stage match against Brazil.[67] She was a starter for the team's second group stage match against Equatorial Guinea helping Australia win 3–2[68] and the team's final group stage match and 2–1 win against Norway.[69] Australia finished second place in their group and advanced to the knockout stage where they were defeated 3–1 by Sweden.[70]

2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, Canada[edit]

Kerr during the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup quarterfinal against Japan in Edmonton, 2015.

After injuring her knee in December 2014 and undergoing surgery,[71] Kerr worked hard with fitness coach Aaron Holt to recover ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup in Canada.[72] During the Matilda's first group stage match against the United States, Kerr was the team's starting striker. The United States won 3–1.[73] During the team's second group stage match, she helped Australia defeat Nigeria 2–0.[74] During the match, Kerr was elbowed in the face by Ugo Njoku, which ultimately resulted in a three-game suspension for Njoku.[75] Kerr recovered and started during Australia's final group stage match against Sweden, a 1–1 draw.[76] Australia's finished second in their group and advanced to the round of 16 where they defeated Brazil 1–0.[77] Though Australia reached the quarterfinals for the first time ever, they were defeated by 2011 champions Japan 1–0.[78]

2016–2018[edit]

In July 2017, Kerr was the top goalscorer at the inaugural Tournament of Nations in the United States. She scored a hat-trick in Australia's 4–2 victory over Japan,[79] and also scored a goal against Brazil, leading Australia to win the tournament.[80] Prior to this tournament, Kerr had scored 8 goals in her first 49 games for the national team. Her hat-trick against Japan was the beginning of a run of 11 goals in 6 games. Kerr was named 2017 AFC Women's Footballer of the Year.[81]

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, France[edit]

Kerr at the 2019 World Cup

In February 2019, Kerr was named captain of the national team by newly appointed head coach Ante Milicic.[82] Two months later, she was one of five nominees for the BBC Women's Footballer of the Year award.[83] During the team's first group stage match at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France, she opened up an early lead against Italy after scoring a goal off a penalty kick rebound, though Australia ultimately lost 1–2 in stoppage time. Kerr's goal was her first at a World Cup tournament and she celebrated by punching the corner flag to honor Tim Cahill, the all-time leading goalscorer for the men's national team.[84][85] During the team's second group stage match against Brazil, though Kerr was in an offside position when Monica Hickmann Alves headed the ball into her own goal, video assistant referees (VAR) deemed that Kerr wasn't interfering and the goal was counted for Australia. Australia won 3–2.[86] Kerr scored four goals in the team's 4–1 win against Jamaica and was named Player of the Match.[87] She is the first Australian footballer — male or female — to score a hat-trick at a World Cup tournament[88] and the tenth footballer to score four goals.[89] Australia finished second in their group and advanced to the knockout stage where they were defeated by Norway in a penalty shoot-out.[90] Kerr's five goals at the tournament ranked fourth highest behind Ellen White of England and Americans Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe who all scored six.[91]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of August 29, 2020[92]
Club Season League National Cup1 League Cup2 Continental3 Other4 Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Perth Glory 2008–09 W-League 7 1 7 1
2009–10 5 1 5 1
2010–11 10 3 10 3
Total 22 5 22 5
Sydney FC 2012–13 W-League 12 9 12 9
2013–14 12 4 12 4
Total 24 13 24 13
Western New York Flash 2013 NWSL 21 6 21 6
2014 20 9 20 9
Total 41 15 41 15
Perth Glory 2014–15 W-League 10 11 10 11
2015–16 4 1 4 1
2016–17 13 10 13 10
2017–18 9 13 9 13
2018–19 13 17 13 17
Total 49 52 49 52
Sky Blue FC 2015 NWSL 9 6 9 6
2016 9 5 9 5
2017 22 17 22 17
Total 40 28 40 28
Chicago Red Stars 2018 NWSL 20 16 20 16
2019 23 19 23 19
Total 43 35 43 35
Chelsea 2019–20 FA WSL 4 1 1 0 2 0 7 1
2020–21 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0
Total 4 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 8 1
Career total 223 149 1 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 227 149

1Women's FA Cup.

2FA Women's League Cup.

3UEFA Women's Champions League

4Women's FA Community Shield

International goals[edit]


Goal
Date Location Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1 21 May 2010 Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China  South Korea 3–0 3–1 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup [62]
2 30 May 2010 Chengdu Sports Centre, Chengdu, China  North Korea 1–0 1–1 [93]
3 28 October 2010 Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany  Germany 1–0 1–2 Friendly [94]
4 7 March 2014 GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus  France 1–3 2–3 2014 Cyprus Cup [95]
5 12 March 2014 Paralimni Stadium, Paralimni, Cyprus  Italy 1–0 5–2 [96]
6 21 May 2015 Jubilee Oval, Sydney, Australia  Vietnam 5–0 11–0 Friendly [97]
7 8–0
8 6 August 2016 Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, Brazil  Germany 1–0 2–2 2016 Summer Olympics [98]
9 30 July 2017 Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States  Japan 1–1 4–2 2017 Tournament of Nations [99]
10 2–1
11 3–1
12 3 August 2017 StubHub Center, Carson, United States  Brazil 6–1 6–1 [100]
13 16 September 2017 Penrith Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Brazil 2–0 2–1 Friendly [101]
14 19 September 2017 McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Australia  Brazil 1–1 3–2 [102]
15 3–1
16 22 November 2017 AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia  China PR 1–0 3–0 [103]
17 3–0
18 26 November 2017 Simmonds Stadium, Geelong, Australia  China PR 3–1 5–1 [104]
19 4–1
20 28 February 2018 Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufeira, Portugal  Norway 3–1 4–3 2018 Algarve Cup [105]
21 5 March 2018 Albufeira Municipal Stadium, Albufeira, Portugal  China PR 2–0 2–0 [106]
22 10 April 2018 Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan  Vietnam 5–0 8–0 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup [107]
23 6–0
24 13 April 2018 Amman International Stadium, Amman, Jordan  Japan 1–1 1–1 [108]
25 26 July 2018 Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, United States  Brazil 3–0 3–1 2018 Tournament of Nations [109]
26 2 August 2018 Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois, United States  Japan 2–0 2–0 [110]
27 13 November 2018 McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Australia  Chile 1–0 5–0 Friendly [111]
28 3 March 2019 Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Australia  South Korea 1–0 4–1 2019 Cup of Nations [112]
29 3–1
30 6 March 2019 AAMI Park, Melbourne, Australia  Argentina 1–0 3–0 [113]
31 4 April 2019 Dick's Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, United States  United States 3–4 3–5 Friendly [114]
32 9 June 2019 Stade du Hainaut, Valenciennes, France  Italy 1–0 1–2 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup [115]
33 18 June 2019 Stade des Alpes, Grenoble, France  Jamaica 1–0 4–1 [116]
34 2–0
35 3–1
36 4–1
37 9 November 2019 Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta, Australia  Chile 1–0 2–1 Friendly [117]
38 2–0
39 7 February 2020 Campbelltown Stadium, Sydney, Australia  Chinese Taipei 6–0 7–0 2020 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament [118]
40 6 March 2020 McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Australia  Vietnam 1–0 5–0 [119]
41 5–0
42 11 March 2020 Cẩm Phả Stadium, Cẩm Phả, Vietnam  Vietnam 1–0 2–1 [120]

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Sydney FC
Western New York Flash
Perth Glory
Chelsea

International[edit]

Australia

Individual[edit]

Records[edit]

In popular media[edit]

In 2013, Kerr was featured in an hour-long episode of ESPN's Aussies Abroad entitled, The Matildas, which profiled four Australian national team players (Kerr, Lisa De Vanna, Kyah Simon, and Caitlin Foord) and their experience playing internationally.[145][146] She was featured along with her national teammates in the EA Sports' FIFA video game series starting in FIFA 16, the first time women players were included in the game.[147]

Kerr was featured on the cover of the July 2011 issue of Australian FourFourTwo along with four of her national team teammates: Melissa Barbieri, Kyah Simon, Thea Slatyer, and Sarah Walsh.[148] In March 2018, she was featured in Vogue Australia as a 2018 Game Changer.[149] In 2019, she was featured on the cover of the Australian version of the FIFA 19 video game.[89] In September 2020, she was announced as the second-highest rated female player in FIFA 21 with a 92-rated card, which was only beat by Megan Rapinoe's 93 rating.[150]

Kerr has an endorsement deal with Nike.[151] In 2019, she starred in a commercial, Dream Further, that aired during the Champions League Final and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup and also featured Gerard Piqué, Alex Scott, Neymar Jr., Crystal Dunn, and Lieke Martens.[152] The same year, her trademark backflip was featured in the Nike ad, Dream Crazier along with other women athletes like Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and Diana Taurasi and aired during the 91st Academy Awards.[153] She is a brand ambassador for Coca Cola-owned Powerade.[154]

Personal life[edit]

Kerr is in a relationship with her former Perth Glory, Sky Blue FC, and Chicago Red Stars teammate Nikki Stanton.[155] A supporter of the West Coast Eagles along with her brother Daniel Kerr, she was made the club's number-one ticket holder in 2019 and 2020.[156]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™ – List of Players" (PDF). FIFAdata.com. FIFA. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
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Further reading[edit]

  • Grainey, Timothy (2012), Beyond Bend It Like Beckham: The Global Phenomenon of Women's Soccer, University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0803240368
  • Lloyd, Carli (2016), When Nobody was Watching: My Hard-fought Journey to the Top of the Soccer World, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, ISBN 0544814622
  • Marthaler, Jon (2018), U.S. Women's Professional Soccer, ABDO, ISBN 1532170327
  • Stay, Shane (2019), The Women's World Cup 2019 Book: Everything You Need to Know About the Soccer World Cup, Books on Demand, ISBN 1782551921
  • Theivam, Keiran and Jeff Kassouf (2019), The Making of the Women's World Cup: Defining stories from a sport’s coming of age, Little, ISBN 1472143310
  • Various (2019), Stand Up for the Future, Penguin Random House, ISBN 0143794396
  • Williams, Jean (2007), A Beautiful Game: International Perspectives on Women's Football , A&C Black, ISBN 1845206754

External links[edit]