The National Women’s Soccer League announced the tournament Best XI, presented by Google, during halftime of the championship game of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret. The Best XI was divided among five teams, with North Carolina Courage had a high of four players, followed by Chicago Red Stars, Houston Dash, and Portland Thorns FC with two players each. Washington Spirit had one selection. The Best XI selections were a result of voting conducted among players, coaches, media, and fans.
Voting breakdown: Fans (20%), Media (20%), Coaches (20%), and Players (40%).
2020 NWSL Challenge Cup presented by P&G and Secret Best XI, presented by Google
Goalkeeper: Britt Eckerstrom (POR)
Defenders: Julie Ertz (CHI), Abby Erceg (NCC), Casey Short (CHI), Jaelene Daniels (NCC)
Midfielders/Forwards: Debinha (NCC), Lynn Williams (NCC), Lindsey Horan (POR), Rachel Daly (HOU), Shea Groom (HOU), Rose Lavelle (WAS)
A look at the stats of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Best XI:
GK: Britt Eckerstrom, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Britt Eckerstrom started and played her first game of the tournament against the top-seeded North Carolina Courage in the quarterfinals on July 17, tallying 11 saves in a shutout win. In total, she recorded 14 saves, conceding only one goal throughout the tournament and had a save percentage of 93.3%.
D: Julia Ertz, Chicago Red Stars
Chicago Red Starts defender Julie Ertz was one of two players to play every minute of her starting six appearances. Her passing rate was 75.6% – completing 170 passes out of 225 – with a tackling rate of 64.3%, duel rate of 66.7%, and averaging 45 passes per 90 minutes.
D: Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg played 450 minutes in five appearances and scored one goal, which was the game-winner in a 1-0 victory against Chicago Red Stars during preliminary play. Erceg’s passing rate was 88%, completing 219 of the 249 passes made. Additionally, she had 17 clearances, 11 interceptions, a duel success rate of 80%, four blocks, and averaged 49.8 passes per 90 minutes.
D: Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars
Chicago Red Stars defender Casey Short played 270 minutes in four games, starting in all appearances. She scored a goal in the club’s 1-0 win against Utah Royals FC during preliminary play, and had a tackle rate of 87.5%, duel rate of 52.6% – successfully winning 20 out of 38 duels – and six interceptions.
D: Jaelene Daniels, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage defender Jaelene Daniels played 441 minutes in five appearances, starting all five games. Daniels had one assist in their 1-0 victory against Chicago Red Stars in a preliminary game and had a pass rate of 72.7% – successfully completing 152 of her 209 passes. Daniels additionally marked a tackle rate of 75%, duel rate of 58.5%, and 42.7 passes per 90 minutes.
M/F: Debinha, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage attacker Debinha played 419 minutes in five appearances, starting all five games. She scored one goal in the club’s 2-1 win against Portland Thorns FC in their tournament opener. Debinha was one of three players to score and assist a goal in the tournament, notching an assist in their 2-1 preliminary-round win against Washington Spirit, and placed second on the team with most shots at 14. She had a pass rate of 71.9% – successfully completing 115 of the 160 passes – tackle rate of 66.7% and an average of 34.4 pass per 90 minutes.
M/F: Lynn Williams, North Carolina Courage
North Carolina Courage attacker Lynn Williams played 416 minutes in five appearances, starting all five games. She tied with Daly and Groom for most tournament goals with three and led with most shots, taking 23 total. Williams scored a goal in North Carolina’s tournament opener against Portland Thorns FC in a 2-1 win and added a pair of goals in their 2-0 win against Washington Spirit – both games in preliminary round. Additionally, she assisted a goal in their final preliminary game where they won 2-0 against Sky Blue FC. Williams totaled a passing rate of 72.8% – completing 73 of 103 passes – tackle rate of 80% and 22.3 pass per 90 minutes.
M/F: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan played 299 minutes in four appearances, starting all four games. She scored a diving-header goal in Portland’s 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit on July 5 in preliminary play. Horan finished the tournament with a passing rate of 79.3% – completing 115 of 145 passes – tackle rate of 71.4% and averaged 43.6 passes per 90 minutes.
M/F: Rachel Daly, Houston Dash
Houston Dash attacker Rachel Daly played 614 minutes in seven appearances, starting all seven games. She tied first with Groom and Williams for most tournament goals at three, tied with two other players for most tournament assists at two and marked second with most shots, taking 14 total. Daly converted her penalty-kick attempt in the shootout against Utah Royals FC in the quarterfinals, along with the game-winning goal against Portland Thorns FC in the semifinal match, sending the Houston Dash to the club’s first championship game. She had a passing rate of 65.8% – completing 98 of 149 passes –and a tackling rate of 77.8% and averaging 21.8 pass per 90 minutes.
M/F: Shea Groom, Houston Dash
Houston Dash attacker Shea Groom played 585 minutes in seven appearances, starting all seven games. She notched three goals and one assist in the tournament, tying for tournament most goals with Daly and Williams. Groom scored a goal in the club’s tournament opener against Utah Royals FC in a 3-3 draw and added an assist in a 2-0 win against OL Reign. She scored the game-clinching goal in the championship game against the Chicago Red Stars. She had a passing rate of 63.6% – completing 103 of the 162 passes – tackle rate of 40% and 24.9 pass per 90 minutes.
M/F: Rose Lavelle, Washington Spirit
Washington Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle played 208 minutes in four appearances, starting two games. Lavelle was one of four players to score a goal for the Spirit and placed fourth in team shots with four. Her one goal came in Washington’s tournament opener against Chicago Red Stars in a 2-1 win. She notched a perfect long pass rate – completing all eight passes made – and had a passing rate of 78.4% and averaged 38.1 pass per 90 minutes.