The inaugural NWSL Team of the Month as selected by the NWSL Media Association for April 2017 was announced Thursday. Among the players named: 2016 NWSL MVP Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage) and April Player of the Month Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers).
The U.S. women’s national team has seven players on the squad. Canada (Stephanie Labbé), Brazil (Debinha) and Wales (Jess Fishlock) are also represented. Washington Spirit defender Estelle Johnson is the only non-international named to the team.
North Carolina leads the way with three players named to the Team of the Month. Washington has two players and the Boston Breakers, Chicago Red Stars, FC Kansas City, Seattle Reign FC, Portland Thorns FC and Houston Dash all have one player included.
Take a look at the full roster, which lines up in a 3-5-2 formation.
— NWSL (@NWSL) May 4, 2017
GK: Stephanie Labbé (Washington Spirit)
Labbé has made 17 saves over the first three games of the season, second-best in the NWSL. In her first game, she made eight saves vs. the North Carolina Courage, including stopping shots from Jess McDonald, Lynn Williams and Debinha over a span of eight minutes. Watch: Labbé’s saves vs. North Carolina
D: Estelle Johnson (Washington Spirit)
Johnson has played every minute so far for the Spirit and has 188 touches and eight tackles won (second-best in the league) over the 270 minutes.
D: Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)
Sauebrunn has made five tackles while recording 70 or more touches in two of this season’s first three games. She has also contributed on offense, earning an assist on FC Kansas City’s first goal of the season, sending a long ball that Sydney Leroux one-timed past Boston goalkeeper Abby Smith in Week 1. Watch: Sauerbrunn’s assist to Leroux
D: Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC)
Sonnett leads the league with five blocks as the Thorns have posted shutouts in two of their first three games and are currently riding a league-record six-game home winning streak.
M: Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars)
Ertz scored the game-winner for Chicago in their win over FC Kansas City in Week 2. Over the course of the season so far, she has played center back, center midfield and at the top of a midfield diamond. Watch: Ertz’s first goal of 2017
M: Debinha (North Carolina Courage)
Debinha’s first NWSL goal was an 81st minute game-winning header to give North Carolina a 1-0 win over Portland in Week 2. She added an assist in Week 3 and is tied for the second in the league with seven shots on goal. Watch: Debinha’s game-winner vs. Portland
M: Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers)
Through three games in April, Lavelle helped lead Boston to a 2-1-0 record and second place in the league. She earned her first NWSL assist on Natasha Dowie’s game-winning goal vs. Sky Blue FC in Week 2 and then recorded her first NWSL goal in Week 3’s 3-0 win over Seattle Reign FC.
Lavelle’s April performance earned her Player of the Month honors, the first time a rookie has ever received the honor in her first month in the NWSL. Watch: Lavelle’s Player of the Month highlights
M: Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign FC)
Fishlock earned Week 2 Player of the Week honors for her performance in Week 2’s 5-1 over the Dash. Through three games, Fishlock has played 270 minutes and recorded one goal and one assist. Watch: Fishlock’s Week 2 Player of the Week highlights
M: Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage)
Over 270 minutes so far this season, Mewis has scored one goal and recorded a team-high 179 touches. Watch: Mewis’ Week 3 goal
F: Kealia Ohai (Houston Dash)
Ohai ended 2016 on a hot streak and has showed no signs of slowing down in 2017, recording two goals and an assist so far this season. She has been involved in all but one of Houston’s goals so far this season. Watch: Ohai’s 13 goals in her last 13 games
F: Lynn Williams (North Carolina Courage)
Williams, the reigning NWSL MVP, has a league-high nine shots on goal so far in 2017 and scored her first goal of 2017 in Week 3’s win over Orlando. She also started the play that led to Jess McDonald’s Week 3 goal. Watch: Williams’ first goal of 2017