The NWSL announced the 2018 Best XI and Second XI on Thursday afternoon. The Best XI and Second XI are a result of votes from September 16-18 among players, media, fans and owners/GMs/coaches.
Voting breakdown: Fans (20%), Owners/GMs/Coaches (20%), Media (20%) and Players (40%).
2018 NWSL Best XI
Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch
Defenders: Emily Sonnett, Becky Sauerbrunn, Abby Erceg, Abby Dahlkemper
Midfielders: Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, McCall Zerboni
Forwards: Crystal Dunn, Sam Kerr, Megan Rapinoe
2018 NWSL Second XI
Goalkeeper: Lydia Williams
Defenders: Merritt Mathias, Julie Ertz, Emily Menges, Steph Catley
Midfielders: Debinha, Carli Lloyd, Christine Sinclair
Forwards: Lynn Williams, Rachel Daly, Sofia Huerta
A look at the regular season stats of the 2018 NWSL Best XI:
Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch made 14 starts in 2018, posting three clean sheets. She made 45 saves, conceded 14 goals and held a save percentage of 76.3%.
Portland Thorns FC defender Emily Sonnett played 1,755 minutes over 20 games in 2018 and her 104 clearances ranked third in the NWSL. She recorded 14 blocks, 35 interceptions, 18 tackles won and 68 duels won. She also had one goal and one assist, and held a 77.8% passing accuracy (886 passes).
Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn played 1,720 minutes over 20 appearances in 2018, as Utah’s finished the season allowing the third-fewest goals in the league. She was the league’s most efficient passer (minimum 400 pass attempts) with an 86.23% passing accuracy over 1,046 passes. Her 18 blocks ranked 5th in the NWSL and 90 clearances ranked 10th in the NWSL. She also had 20 tackles won, 78 duels won, and 49 interceptions.
North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg played every minute (2,160) in 2018, one of five players to do so, as the Courage allowed the fewest goals in the league and earned 11 clean sheets. She made 110 clearances (2nd in the NWSL), 21 blocks (4th), 50 interceptions and 19 tackles won. She won 116 duels, including 81 aerial duels, which ranked 5th in the league. She held an 81.9% passing accuracy (1047 passes) and added two goals and two assists.
North Carolina Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper appeared in 19 games in 2018 for the league’s best-ranked defense. She made 60 clearances, 11 blocks, 20 interceptions, eight tackles won and 39 duels won. She held a passing accuracy of 79.3% (885 passes).
In 17 games, Portland Thorns FC midfielder Tobin Heath finished the regular season with seven assists (tied for second-best in the NWSL) and seven goals in 17 shots on target. She also recorded 28 chances created and 26 successful crosses/corners, while holding a passing accuracy of 76.4% (534 passes).
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan played 1,980 minutes over 22 games as the Thorns went 12-6-6 (42 points) and finished second in the NWSL. She scored 13 goals (3rd in the NWSL) and added two assists, scoring at a rate of 152.3 minutes per goal in 30 shots on target. She led the league in total touches (1,852) and duels won (297), including aerial duels (141), which was also first in the league. She also had 47 tackles won (tied for 4th in the NWSL), 42 headed clearances (3rd). She recorded 25 chances created and held a passing accuracy of 75.2% (1,293 passes).
North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni played 1,800 minutes over 20 games for the Courage, as North Carolina posted a 17-1-6 record (57 points) and finished first in the league. She led the league in tackles won with 63 and finished second in interceptions with 70. She won 203 duels, third best in the NWSL, 47 of which were aerial duels. She finished 10th in total touches with 1,422. She also added three goals in eight shots on target and 25 chances created. She held a passing accuracy of 75.9% (995 passes).
North Carolina Courage forward Crystal Dunn appeared in 22 games in her first year with the Courage, scoring eight goals and five assists. She finished the regular season second in the NWSL in chances created with 47 and led the league in dribbles completed (46). She also won 127 duels and 41 tackles.
Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr played 1,704 minutes over 19 games for the Red Stars as the team finished fourth in the NWSL with a 9-5-10 record (37 points). Her 16 goals lead the league, and she added four assists. Her 40 chances created tied for 9th in the NWSL. She scored at a rate of 106.5 minutes per goal in 47 shots on target. She won 129 duels, tied for 12th in the league, 70 of which were aerial duels, 9th in the NWSL.
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe played 1,315 minutes over 16 games for the Reign as they finished third in the NWSL with an 11-5-8 record and 41 points. She scored seven goals (tied for 10th) and had six assists (tied for 4th in the league). She scored at a rate of 187.9 minutes per goal in 37 shots on target. Her 41 chances created ranked 8th in the NWSL and 27 successful crosses/corners ranked 6th in the NWSL. She won 114 duels, 31 in the air.
Additional end of season statistical league leaders are available here.