CHICAGO (Sept. 20, 2018) –The National Women’s Soccer League announced today, the Best XI and Second XI selections for the 2018 NWSL season.
NWSL Shield winners, the North Carolina Courage, are well represented with Abby Erceg, Abby Dahlkemper, McCall Zerboni and Crystal Dunn voted on the Best XI, while Lynn Williams, Merritt Mathias, and Debinha all made the Second XI list.
The Courage and Portland Thorns FC are 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|
The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) is a nine-team Division-I women’s professional soccer league featuring national team players from around the world. The clubs are the Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, Orlando Pride, Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Sky Blue FC, Utah Royals FC and the Washington Spirit.