Football Ferns Abby Erceg and Katie Bowen have collected US$10,000 windfalls after their North Carolina Courage team won a pre-season cup competition in the United States.
Courage beat Washington Spirit 2-1 to take out the NWSL Challenge Cup, a competition that carried $10,000 prizes to each member of the winning squad, with $5000 going to those in the losing side.
The prizemoney this season was boosted ten-fold on previous versions of the cup, an indication of how fast the NWSL is growing in terms of popularity and revenue.
Erceg played a full 90 minutes in the final while Bowen was an unused substitute.
Saturday’s final was held three days after the midweek semi-final round while the NWSL regular season started last weekend, leading to criticism of the busy schedule for players.
“You can tell that the players were tired,” Courage captain Abby Erceg said.
“You could tell that the fatigue was setting in and it was just a matter of like who was more fit.
“I think it’s really disappointing for a final. I think you want to see two teams that are doing really well play the best football that they can.”
Erceg’s post-match interview
Click on image below to see Abby Eerceg’s post-match media conference: