Courage's Kerolin first South American player to win NWSL MVP

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Brazil forward Kerolin of the North Carolina Courage has been named the 2023 National Women's Soccer League's Most Valuable Player, the league said Friday.

Kerolin, who scored a career-high 10 goals in 19 games during her second NWSL season and finished as the Golden Boot runner-up, is the first South American-born player and fourth international to win the league's highest individual honor.

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Kerolin, 23, who played at the Women's World Cup, led North Carolina to the third seed in the NWSL's six-team playoffs, where the Courage were eliminated in the opening round.

The other finalists for the award were Samantha Coffey and Sophia Smith of the Portland Thorns FC, the Kansas City Current's Debinha, and the San Diego Wave FC's Naomi Girma.