CHICAGO (November 18, 2021) – The National Women’s Soccer League announced today the recipients of the 2021 Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team awards, presented by Mastercard. The inaugural recognition honors the top 22 players in the league.
The Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team are based on a weighted voting scale comprised of players (50%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%) and fans (10%).
2021 NWSL Best XI First Team
Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan (NJ/NY Gotham FC)
Defenders: Caprice Dydasco (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Alana Cook (OL Reign), Sarah Gorden (Chicago Red Stars), Carson Pickett (North Carolina Courage)
Midfielders and Forwards: Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit), Jessica Fishlock (OL Reign), Eugenie Le Sommer (OL Reign), Margaret Purce (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Trinity Rodman (Washington Spirit), Angela Salem (Portland Thorns FC)
2021 NWSL Best XI Second Team
Goalkeeper: Bella Bixby (Portland Thorns FC)
Defenders: Emily Fox (Racing Louisville FC), Sofia Huerta (OL Reign), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Emily Menges (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielders and Forwards: Bethany Balcer (OL Reign), Rachel Daly (Houston Dash), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Ifeoma Onumonu (NJ/NY Gotham FC), Sydney Leroux (Orlando Pride), Mallory Pugh (Chicago Red Stars)
Each athlete will receive a cash bonus for their achievements this season as part of Mastercard’s celebration of the Best XI and Best XI Second Team.
About the 2021 Best XI First Team:
Ashley Hatch: This season’s NWSL Golden Boot winner, Hatch led the league scoring effort with 10 goals in 22 matches. Hatch’s impressive scoring tear also included a pair of braces that helped lead the Spirit to an 11-6-6 regular-season record.
Trinity Rodman: In her rookie season, Rodman made an instant impact on the Washington Spirit, leading all NWSL newcomers in scoring with seven goals and six assists. Additionally, the Newport Beach, California native’s 29 shots on goal ranked in the top five in the league.