NWSL announces winners of 2022 Best XI Awards
NEW YORK – The National Women’s Soccer League announced the recipients of the 2022 Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team awards. The recognition honors the top 22 players in the league.
The Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team are based on weighted voting scale comprised of players (50%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%) and fans (10%).
2022 NWSL Best XI First Team
Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan (SD)
Defenders: Alana Cook (RGN), Naomi Girma (SD), Sofia Huerta (RGN), Carson Pickett (NC)
Midfielders and Forwards: Sam Coffey (POR), Lo’eau LaBonta (KC), Alex Morgan (SD), Debinha (NC), Mallory Pugh (CHI), Sophia Smith (POR)
2022 NWSL Best XI Second Team
Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch (KC)
Defenders: Kelli Hubly (POR), Hailie Mace (KC), Tatumn Milazzo (CHI), Becky Sauerbrunn (POR)
Midfielders and Forwards: Kerolin (NC), Jess Fishlock (RGN), Rose Lavelle (RGN), Diana Ordóñez (NC), Megan Rapinoe (RGN), Ebony Salmon (HOU)
About the 2022 Best XI First Team
GK – Kailen Sheridan: Notching the best goals-against average of her career, Sheridan stopped 56 shots in 18 matches for a 0.95 goals-against clip. She also stopped three of four penalty-kick attempts throughout the regular season, good for the most saved shots from the spot this season.
D – Alana Cook: Starting in all of the regular season matches she appeared in this year, Cook’s lockdown defending, which included 78 clearances, 14 blocks and 47 interceptions, helped OL Reign to a 11-4-7 record.
D – Naomi Girma: A four-time Best XI of the Month selection this season, the 2022 Rookie of the Year candidate finished the regular season with 95 clearances, 24 interceptions and 20 tackles in 20 games.
D – Sofia Huerta: Appearing in 19 regular season matches, Huerta completed more than 675 passes, blocked 10 shots and intercepted 21 feeds to help OL Reign to its third NWSL Shield in club history.
D – Carson Pickett: Earning spots on four Best XI of the Month rosters this year, Pickett enjoyed another stellar season on the Courage back line, completing 71 percent of tackles and 86 percent of passes out of North Carolina’s defensive half.
M – Sam Coffey: A 2022 Rookie of the Year nominee, Coffey’s breakout season with Portland Thorns FC was marked by an 83 percent pass rating, a 70 percent tackle clip in 19 matches
M – Lo’eau LaBonta: During a highly productive season in the Current midfield, LaBonta enjoyed a career-best scoring campaign with seven goals in 20 regular season matches.
F – Alex Morgan: The 2022 NWSL Golden Boot winner, Morgan tallied a career-high 15 goals to lead the league in scoring this season and became the third player in NWSL history to record a four-goal game.
F – Debinha: The Brazilian international notched seven goals, including two braces and a hat trick, to help the Courage to a 4-1-1 record through the team’s final six games, finishing third in scoring.
F – Mallory Pugh: Rounding out the top five scorers during the regular season with 11 goals in 16 games, Pugh led the Red Stars’ scoring effort for the second year in a row.
F – Sophia Smith: One of five MVP candidates this season, Smith finished second in the Golden Boot race with a career-best 14 goals, setting a new single-season record for Portland Thorns FC.