National Women’s Soccer League Announces 2018 Best XI
The National Women’s Soccer League announced Thursday the Best XI selections for the 2018 NWSL season.
NWSL Shield winners North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC led the way with four selections each to the squad followed by the Chicago Red Stars, Seattle Reign FC and Utah Royals FC with one member each on the team.
The Courage and Thorns FC are both set to feature in the 2018 NWSL Championship on Saturday, Sept. 22 at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. in a match broadcast nationally at 4:30 p.m. ET live on Lifetime.
Five players were voted to the Best XI for the second consecutive year – highlighted by Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who earned her sixth straight selection to the squad. Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr, North Carolina Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper, Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni were the other players to repeat as selections from the 2017 Best XI.
Three players earned their first selection to the Best XI this year including North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg, Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan and Portland Thorns FC defender Emily Sonnett.
Erceg was also one of three players – along with Horan and Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe – that made the leap to the Best XI after making the Second XI last season.
|Goalkeeper||Adrianna Franch||Portland Thorns FC||USA||1.00 GAA|
|Defender||Emily Sonnett||Portland Thorns FC||USA||1 goal, 1 assist|
|Defender||Becky Sauerbrunn||Utah Royals FC||USA||1,720 minutes|
|Defender||Abby Erceg||North Carolina Courage||NZL||2 goals, 2 assists|
|Defender||Abby Dahlkemper||North Carolina Courage||USA||1,710 minutes|
|Midfielder||Tobin Heath||Portland Thorns FC||USA||7 goals, 7 assists|
|Midfielder||Lindsey Horan||Portland Thorns FC||USA||13 goals, 2 assists|
|Midfielder||McCall Zerboni||North Carolina Courage||USA||3 goals, 1 assist|
|Forward||Crystal Dunn||North Carolina Courage||USA||8 goals, 5 assists|
|Forward||Sam Kerr||Chicago Red Stars||AUS||16 goals, 4 assists|
|Forward||Megan Rapinoe||Seattle Reign FC||USA||7 goals, 6 assists|
The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players, media that cover the league on a consistent basis and fans.
The NWSL Second XI is comprised of the next leading vote getters at each position that did not make the Best XI (listed by position):
|Goalkeeper||Lydia Williams||Seattle Reign FC||AUS||10 Clean Sheets|
|Defender||Merritt Mathias||North Carolina Courage||USA||3 goals, 2 assists|
|Defender||Julie Ertz||Chicago Red Stars||USA||1,126 minutes|
|Defender||Emily Menges||Portland Thorns FC||USA||1,305 minutes|
|Defender||Steph Catley||Seattle Reign FC||AUS||3 assists|
|Midfielder||Debinha||North Carolina Courage||BRA||8 goals, 2 assists|
|Midfielder||Carli Lloyd||Sky Blue FC||USA||4 goals, 1 assist|
|Midfielder||Christine Sinclair||Portland Thorns FC||CAN||9 goals, 6 assists|
|Forward||Lynn Williams||North Carolina Courage||USA||14 goals, 5 assists|
|Forward||Rachel Daly||Houston Dash||ENG||10 goals, 2 assists|
|Forward||Sofia Huerta||Houston Dash||USA||5 goals, 4 assists|
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