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NWSL ChallengeCup Final highlights

NWSL ChallengeCup Final highlights: what you missed

July 26, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
A lot has happened in the NWSL Challenge Cup tournament in the last 24 hours. But don’t worry, Live Soccer TV is here with all the highlights.

As you may already know, the Houston Dash lifted the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup trophy after defeating the Chicago Red Stars 2-0. But before that, the NWSL revealed the winners of some awards and the tournament's best IX.

Rachel Daly won the tournament MVP award going into the final with three goals and one assist to her name. She was Houston's engine going forward and proved to be key when she was needed the most.

A bit of a controversial pick, Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan was chosen over Jane Campbell, who secured her fourth clean sheet of the season – tournament best. To be fair, the award was given before the final. Sheridan had the same number of clean sheets and more saves than Campbell by that point.

The Future Legend award was handed to Washington's 2020 No. 4 overall pick Ashley Sanchez. Imagine getting an award called Future Legend. Now that must be satisfying. But knowing Ashley, she will keep looking to improve.

The last mentions before the tournament final kick-off came in the form of the NWSL Challenge Cup Best XI. Big shout out to Portland goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom who defied all odds when she went up against the North Carolina Courage. 

Vlatko Andonovski was watching all along. Not only games but practices, too. Do not be surprised if you see some new faces at future USWNT training camps.

And let us not forget a group of MVPs who kept everyone safe before, during and after the tournament before diving into the match highlights.

Like promised, here are the match highlights.

Like many predicted, the Dash showcased another impressive performance to take their first-ever NWSL trophy to H-Town. Houston led the tournament in goals (8) and assists (6). Let's go down the list of awards handed to the players.

Shea Groom was the Budweiser USA Woman of the Match recipient after a solid performance. And like Fernando Torres' goal against Barcelona in the 2012 Champions League semifinal, Groom's goal was the icing on the cake.

Campbell did end up receiving an award for the best save of the final.

Rachel Daly received the Golden Boot award for scoring a tournament-best three goals – tied with Groom and Lynn Williams – and two assists – tied with Savannah McCaskill and Veronica Boquete.  

And then came the celebrations…

We all know there are two major celebrations when professional teams win a competition. Stage celebrations.

And locker room beer madness.

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How you dance when you make history as champions of the first team sports tournament to happen in the US since the COVID-19 pause. Congrats to Houston Dash, #NWSLChallengeCup champions. @houstondash

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After the madness was over, players picked up their phones and noticed all the congratulations messages from teams, organizations, fans, friends and family members. 

The FIFA Women's World Cup official twitter account congratulated commissioner Lisa Baird, the NWSL, the teams and players, but forgot the medical teams and broadcasters. Many can attest that they did a fantastic job as well.

Philadelphia Union captain Alejandro Bedoya shared a heart-felt congratulations tweet for fellow Boston College graduate Kristie Mewis for her run in the tournament. 

Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore voiced his support for the women's game as he usually does.

And Houston Dynamo midfielder Memo Rodriguez took some of his time to cordially congratulate his Houston sisters for bringing a trophy back home.

And of course, last but not least… THE NWSL CHALLENGE CUP STAN XI! 

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