The NWSL (National Women’s Soccer League) has revealed the winners of their inaugural 2021 best XI awards, presented by Mastercard.
Today will see the season conclude, as Washington Spirit take on Chicago Red Stars in the Championship game.
The line-up includes three players from NY/NJ Gotham, whose impressive league form saw them reach the playoffs.
Kailen Sheridan occupies the goalkeeping spot, after registering a league-best 83.9% save average, stopping 63 of 78 shots faced and earning six clean sheets.
This season's best ?
Your @Mastercard Best XI's for 2021 ⤵️
— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) November 17, 2021
Teammate, and 2021 Defender of the Year, Caprice Dydasco slots in at right-back.
Dydasco has been pivotal going forward, scoring once and earning five assists; but her defending has built a platform to do so, making 49 clearances and 49 interceptions across the year.
And making up the trio is Margaret Purce, who was influential in Gotham’s league campaign with nine goals and one assist.
Three OL Reign also find themselves in the best XI of the season.
Centre-back Alana Cook made 92 clearances and 23 blocks, while teammate Eugénie Le Sommer enjoyed a productive season at the other end of the pitch scoring eight goals and registering three assists.
They’re joined on the teamsheet by Jess Fishlock MBE, who has been named the 2021 NWSL Most Valuable Player.
Fishlock contributed to nine goals, providing 47 key passes in 23 games.
1 part MBE ☑️
1 part MVP ✅
— OL Reign (@OLReign) November 17, 2021
Title hopefuls Washington Spirit have two forwards: Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman.
Hatch earned the NWSL golden boot with ten goals in 22 matches, while Rodman was the pick of the league’s rookies picking up six assists and scoring seven goals.
Sarah Gorden, who plays for finalists Chicago Red Stars, is in the backline and one of just two players to play every single minute of the season so far.
In over 2,000 minutes, she made 85 clearances and earned an 87.5% successful passing rate.
The other two spots in the first XI are made up of North Carolina Courage‘s Carson Pickett and Portland Thorns’ Angela Salem.
And elsewhere, OL Reign’s Laura Harvey was named Coach of the Year.