SAN DIEGO, Calif. (October 25, 2022) – The National Women’s Soccer League announced today the recipients of the 2022 Best XI First Team awards, presented by Mastercard. The recognition honors the top 11 players in the league, and San Diego Wave Fútbol Club’s Kailen Sheridan, Naomi Girma and Alex Morgan all earned a spot. 

The Best XI First Team is based on weighted voting scale comprised of players (50%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%) and fans (10%). 

2022 NWSL Best XI First Team 

Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan (SD) 

Defenders: Alana Cook (RGN), Naomi Girma (SD), Sofia Huerta (RGN), Carson Pickett (NC) 

Midfielders and Forwards: Sam Coffey (POR), Lo’eau LaBonta (KC), Alex Morgan (SD), Debinha (NC), Mallory Pugh (CHI), Sophia Smith (POR) 

Notching the best goals-against average of her career, Sheridan stopped 56 shots in 18 matches for a 0.95 goals-against clip. She also stopped three of four penalty-kick attempts throughout the regular season, good for the most saved shots from the spot this season. 

Girma was a four-time Best XI of the Month selection this season and is a 2022 Rookie of the Year candidate, finishing the regular season with 95 clearances, 24 interceptions and 20 tackles in 20 games. 

Morgan, the 2022 NWSL Golden Boot winner, tallied a career-high 15 goals to lead the league in scoring this season and became the third player in NWSL history to record a four-goal game. 

Each athlete will receive a cash bonus for their achievements this season as part of Mastercard’s celebration of the Best XI Team. 
 
“Congratulations to all of the winners on this year’s Best XI teams,” said NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman. “The hard work, dedication and determination of each of these 22 players is what makes the NWSL so special, and I look forward to following along as they continue to take their game and this league to new heights. I am grateful to Mastercard for helping us give our exceptional athletes the recognition they deserve.”

San Diego Wave FC’s landmark inaugural season came to an end last Sunday in the NWSL Semi-Final. Wave FC made history as the first expansion team to make the playoffs before advancing to the NWSL Semi-Final with a 2-1 win over Chicago Red Stars on Oct. 16 in the Quarter Final. Furthermore, San Diego now holds the record for both the NWSL Playoff attendance record and the NWSL regular-season record, with 26,215 and 32,000 fans at Snapdragon Stadium. As the team looks towards next season, supporters can make season ticket deposits for Wave FC’s 2023 season now. 

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