ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 1, 2023) - The National Women’s Soccer League announced today that Orlando Pride forward Messiah Bright has been named Rookie of the Month, presented by Ally, and Player of the Month, presented by EA Sports, for the month of August by the NWSL Media Association and the NWSL’s on-air broadcast talent. Bright’s pair of awards marks the first time a player has been named both the NWSL’s Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month in the same monthly cycle.
The Dallas, Texas native scored three goals across four matches in August, including her first career brace. Thanks to her productive month of scoring, Bright is just the fourth rookie to win Player of the Month.
Across all competitions this season, Bright’s seven goals in 23 matches lead all NWSL rookies, while her six tallies in regular season play rank among the top-five in the league.
Opening her August scoring campaign, the 23-year-old forward scored her first 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup goal on August 9, helping the Pride to a 1-1 draw against NJ/NY Gotham FC to close out the group stage of the Cup. Pride teammate Kerry Abello assisted on the goal, finding Bright streaking down the field and putting her in position to score in the 32nd minute.
Bright’s second and third goals of the month came in a 5-0 win against the North Carolina Courage on August 20. After a goal by defender Rafaelle in the 15th minute, Bright extended the Pride’s lead to 2-0 before completing her first-ever brace performance with a second tally in the 49th minute.
The NWSL Player of the Month presented by EA Sports and the NWSL Rookie of the Month, presented by Ally are selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis, and the NWSL’s on-air broadcast talent. Votes are based on player performances from both regular season play and the 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup.