The National Women’s Soccer League’s July Team of the Month has been announced. Portland Thorns midfielder and July Player of the Month Lindsey Horan and Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni each make their fourth Team of the Month appearance, after playing critical roles in the midfield for both of their teams’ undefeated runs in July. Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe receives the honor for the first time since March. Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr earns a spot in the Team of the Month lineup for the first time this season after a four-goal month, alongside two Red Stars teammates, defender Katie Naughton (first-time honoree) and midfielder Yuki Nagasato (June, July).
With three players earning the honor, the Chicago Red Stars take the lead in representation on the July Team of the Month. This marks the first time this season that the league-leading North Carolina Courage have not solely claimed or been tied for the highest number of players on the roster.
The July Team of the Month was selected by the NWSL Media Association. The team lines up in a 4-3-3 formation.
GK: Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC
— NWSL (@NWSL) August 3, 2018
Adrianna Franch made five saves in July, as the Portland Thorns went undefeated on the month. In two appearances, Franch conceded just one goal and helped the Thorns to a clean sheet victory over Utah Royals FC. This season, Franch has also earned Player of the Week Honors (Week 14) and back-to-back Save of the Week recognition (Week 14 and Week 15), and this marks her first Team of the Month honor of 2018.
D: Katie Naughton, Chicago Red Stars
Katie Naughton played every minute of all four of the Chicago Red Stars’ July games. Naughton anchored the Chicago defense in July, making 17 clearances, earning seven interceptions, and winning 21 duels, as the Red Stars went 3-1-0 on the month. This is Naughton’s first Team of the Month honor of the 2018 season.
D: Rachel Corsie, Utah Royals FC
Rachel Corsie makes the July Team of the Month after becoming the first field player to be recognized for Save of the Week honors this season, earning the award for her critical defending for Utah Royals FC in Week 16 and Week 17 play. Corsie finished the month with 17 clearances, four interceptions, and 19 wins in duels. This is Corsie’s first 2018 appearance on the Team of the Month.
D: Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage
With her July recognition, North Carolina center back and captain Abby Erceg makes her third straight appearance in the Team of the Month. Erceg remains the only Courage player to have played every minute of the season after logging another 360 minutes in North Carolina’s four games in July. Erceg maintained an 82.33% passing accuracy in that time, the highest pass completion percentage of any player in this lineup. Erceg additionally won 24 total duels, made 23 clearances in the month, and recorded 243 touches on the month.
D: Theresa Nielsen, Seattle Reign FC
Theresa Nielsen played all 360 minutes of the Reign’s four games in July as her team went 2-1-1 on the month. In that time, Nielsen got 294 touches on the ball, made 18 interceptions, tallied eight clearances, and won 24 duels. In addition to holding down the Reign’s backline throughout the month, Nielsen created six offensive chances for her team, more than any other defender on this roster (by a margin of five).
M: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC
Lindsey Horan has now been named to the Team of the Month four times (March, May, June, July), tying her for the most Team of the Month honors with fellow midfielder McCall Zerboni of the North Carolina Courage. Horan showed her versatility this month, dominating in both offensive and defensive statistics, across the league and for the Thorns. In two appearances, Horan won 25 duels, got off seven shots (five on goal), recorded 184 touches, and made seven clearances.
M: Yuki Nagasato, Chicago Red Stars
Yuki Nagasato secures a place in the Team of the Month for the second straight month after adding two more goals to her season tally and recording a July Team of the Month high of three assists in on the month. Nagasato was pivotal to the Red Stars midfield throughout July, as she won nine fouls, created 10 chances, and completed 114 passes with a passing accuracy of 80.08%. Nagasato also made three interceptions and won three tackles to round out the month.
M: McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage
McCall Zerboni continues to be a Team of the Month staple as she makes the roster for the fourth straight month. The Courage midfielder played all 90 minutes in three of the North Carolina Courage’s June games. In that time, Zerboni got 206 touches on the ball, completed 119 passes, won nine fouls, and created four chances. She continued to prove her importance to the league-leaders’ midfield success, adding eight interceptions, five clearances, and six successful tackles.
F: Sam Kerr, Chicago Red Stars
Sam Kerr’s July goal tally leads among her fellow honorees on the Team of the Month roster. The Chicago forward scored four goals, notably netting a hat trick and a game winner in two of her four games in the month. In July, Kerr became the first NWSL player to score a hat trick this season and the first NWSL player in history to reach (and surpass) 50 career goals. Kerr finished the month with 31 shots on goal, 15 of which were on target. She created 12 chances, won 10 aerial duels, and sent four successful crosses in 197 total touches on the month. Kerr was also recognized for Player of the Week honors in Week 15, at the beginning of July.
F: Rachel Daly, Houston Dash
The Dash forward earns her third Team of the Month recognition of the season (March, May, July) after an impressive month on her team’s front line. Daly found the back of the net three times in July. She went the full 90 in all four games for the Dash, and got off 12 shots (five on frame), created four chances, won 21 duels, and completed 81 passes.
F: Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC
The Seattle Reign forward earns her second Team of the Month nod of the 2018 season (March, July) after scoring twice and making a pair of assists in 270 minutes, leading the offensive charge for the Reign. Rapinoe leads the attacking contingent of the Team of the Month with her 223 touches on the ball on the month. She also won 25 duels and created nine chances. Rapinoe continues to lead the league in shots on target this season, adding four on-frame shots in July.
The NWSL Team of the Month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.