Sam Kerr, Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead are frequent names showcased weekly for their excellent skill in finding the net- but what about those who stand between the posts? Not enough is said about the players that collect the clean sheets, so here is their moment to shine.
With the WSL becoming ever more competitive season upon season, the talent from all players is increasing, meaning teams are even more hungry for goals. Those that will be faced with this challenge the greatest will be the goal keepers, in which there are two stand out players for the upcoming season you won’t want to miss.
Manuela Zinsberger- Austria and Arsenal
Number one on the list is Arsenal’s No.1, who has had an impressive run since her arrival in May 2019, in which she has become a vital cog in the red army machine. Her past season in an Arsenal shirt has proved to be her best, where she picked up the WSL’s Golden Glove Award, after keeping a remarkable 13 clean sheets. Zinsberger’s distribution makes her a key part of the Gunners starting XI, with her communication from the back and excitement when her team score being just a few expressions of her character both on and off the pitch.
More recently, she is best known internationally for her great streak in the 2022 Euro’s, saving 11 out of 14 shots for Austria, highlighting the continuation of her fine form- even with the added player of representing her country! Other teams need to be prepared for her great protection of the net this upcoming season, especially if she pulls off more fantastic performances- like her triple save against Spurs in the 2020/2021 season, making it the Save of the Season in 2020/2021. Manu’s contract lasts until 2023, with many gooners hoping it to be extended!
Save of the season 2020/2021:
Mary Earps- England and Manchester United
Best known as a European Championship winner, an impressive 13 saves, 4 clean sheets and only 2 goals conceded over the 6 matches played, makes her a force to be reckoned with this upcoming season.
Despite her debut under Phil Neville as a Lioness in 2017, she believed her national call ups were no more so focused on her United career. By putting all her efforts into her club, she then became a crucial part of Sarina Wiegman’s squad. Since her signing in July 2019, she has showcased her brilliant ability in not only being an excellent shot stopper, but also an outstanding communicator and role model, providing a breath of fresh air for any centre-backs in front of her.
With a contract lengthened until 2023, with the potential addition of a year, United fans will hope for more saves similar to the crucial fingertip in the Euro 2022 final against Spain shown below, will be in this upcoming season.
Although there are many impressive existing and upcoming players in the WSL, these two sure are keepers- but who would you want defending your goal?