Cary, NC (September 28, 2018) – 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year Abby Erceg has inked a new contract with the North Carolina Courage, the club announced today, ensuring the captain of the 2018 NWSL Champions will return in 2019. Per club policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.
“Re-signing was an easy decision,” said Erceg. “Taking into consideration our success, the culture of the team and the support we receive, it left me very little option other than to sign for as long as I possibly could. I’m excited for the seasons ahead.”
Erceg was instrumental this season in helping the NC Courage capture the historical treble. In July the Courage won the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup defeating five-time UEFA Champions League champion Olympique Lyonnais. The feat was followed in August by capturing the club’s second consecutive NWSL Shield followed by the NWSL Championship in on September 22, making the NC Courage the best team in the history of United States women’s soccer.
“Fantastic for our club to ink our leader and defensive general,” said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. She is a thoroughbred in every department and has been an integral part of the Courage success story. Look forward to continuing the journey with such a fabulous player, selfless leader and true professional.”
In addition to playing a key role as club captain, Erceg has been invaluable as a rock at the back of the Courage defense.
During the 2018 NWSL season, Erceg proved her durability by earning the distinction as the only member of the Courage to play every minute of the season (26 matches, 2,340 minutes).
As part of a Courage defense that set a regular-season league record by only allowing 17 goals, Erceg recorded 125 clearances, 22 blocks and 53 interceptions.
The New Zealander won 73.3 percent of tackles, 68.7 percent of duels and 65.6 percent of aerial duels. In the last there years, Erceg is the only player in the NWSL to have a regular season with 100-plus clearances and 80-plus aerial duels won.
Erceg even chipped in two goals and two assists to help the Courage compile the most prolific offensive attack in NWSL history.
With the history of professional women’s soccer rewritten, the Erceg and the NC Courage have closed the book on the greatest season to date and will begin to build for more success in 2019.