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Seven NC Courage Players on NWSL’s Best XI and Second XI

By NC Courage Communications, 09/20/18, 4:00PM EDT


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.


Position Player Club Country Note
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):


Position Player Club Country Note  
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.