CHICAGO (Oct. 7, 2016) – The National Women’s Soccer League announced Friday the Best XI selections for the 2016 NWSL season.
NWSL Shield winners Portland Thorns FC led the way with three selections to the squad followed by the Chicago Red Stars and Western New York Flash with two members each on the team.
Seven players earned their first selection to the Best XI this year led by NWSL MVP Lynn Williams, who at 23 is the youngest player on the squad – 147 days younger than the next youngest player, Chicago Red Stars defender Arin Gilliland.
Williams and her Best XI and club teammate Jessica McDonald are both set to feature in the 2016 NWSL Championship Game on Sunday, Oct. 9 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston in a match broadcast nationally at 5 p.m. ET live on FOX Sports 1.
Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris also highlights the first-time selections as she becomes the first player on an NWSL expansion club to earn the honor.
Four players were voted to the Best XI for the second consecutive year – highlighted by FC Kansas City defender Becky Sauerbrunn, who earned her fourth straight selection to the squad. Seattle Reign FC defender Lauren Barnes, Portland Thorns FC midfielder Allie Long and Chicago Red Stars forward Christen Press were the other players to repeat as selections from the 2015 Best XI.
|Goalkeeper||Ashlyn Harris||Orlando Pride||USA||62 saves|
|Defender||Lauren Barnes||Seattle Reign FC||USA||1,775 minutes|
|Defender||Arin Gilliland||Chicago Red Stars||USA||1.00 team GAA|
|Defender||Emily Menges||Portland Thorns FC||USA||0.95 team GAA|
|Defender||Becky Sauerbrunn||FC Kansas City||USA||1.00 team GAA|
|Midfielder||Tobin Heath||Portland Thorns FC||USA||Goal, 10 assists|
|Midfielder||Allie Long||Portland Thorns FC||USA||6 goals, 2 assists|
|Forward||Jessica McDonald||Western New York Flash||USA||10 goals, 7 assists|
|Forward||Kealia Ohai||Houston Dash||USA||11 goals, 4 assists|
|Forward||Christen Press||Chicago Red Stars||USA||8 goals|
|Forward||Lynn Williams||Western New York Flash||USA||11 goals, 5 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, alphabetically by last name):
|Goalkeeper||Alyssa Naeher||Chicago Red Stars||USA||1.00 GAA|
|Defender||Julie Johnston||Chicago Red Stars||USA||1.00 team GAA|
|Defender||Ali Krieger||Washington Spirit||USA||1.05 team GAA|
|Defender||Christie Rampone||Sky Blue FC||USA||1,800 minutes|
|Defender||Casey Short||Chicago Red Stars||USA||1,781 minutes|
|Midfielder||Danielle Colaprico||Chicago Red Stars||USA||Goal, 2 assists|
|Midfielder||Vanessa DiBernardo||Chicago Red Stars||USA||7 assists|
|Midfielder||Jess Fishlock||Seattle Reign FC||Wales||Goal, 4 assists|
|Midfielder||Kim Little||Seattle Reign FC||Scotland||6 goals, 2 assists|
|Forward||Crystal Dunn||Washington Spirit||USA||2 goals, 5 assists|
|Forward||Shea Groom||FC Kansas City||USA||8 goals|