Kailen Sheridan and Alex Morgan named to 2023 Best XI Second Team

San Diego Wave FC and the National Women’s Soccer League today announced that defender Naomi Girma and midfielder/forward Jaedyn Shaw were named to the NWSL Best XI First Team following the 2023 NWSL regular season. Goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan and forward Alex Morgan were named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team. 

The Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team are based on weighted voting scale comprised of players (40%), owners/GMs/coaches (25%), media (25%) and fans (10%).

It’s the second-straight year on the Best XI for reigning Defender of the Year Girma, who was among the top five players in the NWSL in passes completed (948) and passing accuracy (88.68%). Girma finished the season with 15 blocks, 18 interceptions and 80 clearances. An anchor of the Wave defense, Girma started all 20 matches in which she played, conceding only four fouls on the season, tied for the fewest in the league among defenders who played at least half the season. Girma’s steady presence on the backline earned her selection to the U.S. Women’s National Team that participated in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Shaw makes her first appearance on the NWSL Best XI First Team, having scored six goals and recording three assists for the Shield-winning Wave this season. Her six goals are good for second-highest and her three assists are the third-highest on the team this season. The 18-year-old’s nine career regular-season goals set a league record for most goals by a teenager as Shaw becomes the youngest player to earn a Best XI selection.

Veteran forward Morgan tied for fourth in the 2023 NWSL Golden Boot race, finishing the season with seven goals. Morgan led the Wave with five assists, most notably recording both a goal and an assist in San Diego’s regular season finale to help secure the NWSL Shield for her hometown club. A constant threat to opposing defenses, Morgan ranked fourth in the league in shots on goal (27). 

Sheridan led the NWSL with nine shutouts in 2023, including a clean sheet on Decision Day to secure San Diego’s first NWSL Shield in the club’s 11th victory. The reigning Goalkeeper of the Year recorded 67 saves and conceded just 19 goals for a goals-against average of 0.95 across 20 matches played.