Along with selecting the June Player of the Month, the NWSL Media Association also announced today its selection for the best 11 players in the league for the month of June in a 4-3-3 formation. The NWSL Team of the Month is composed of players from the NWSL who significantly contributed to their teams. The North Carolina Courage, Seattle Reign FC, Washington Spirit, Sky Blue FC, Orlando Pride, and Chicago Red Stars all had players selected for the Best XI for June.
Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr, the May and June Player of the Month, makes her second appearance this season. Kerr scored three goals, provided an assist, created eight scoring opportunities, and took eight shots on goal. She scored two goals in a single game and assisted on the new fastest goal in NWSL history. If that wasn’t enough, Kerr scored a memorable bicycle kick.
The North Carolina Courage lead the Team of the Month with three players: rookie forward Ashley Hatch, midfielder Samantha Mewis, and defender Abby Dahlkemper. Hatch filled in at forward for the Courage as starting forwards Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald recovered from injuries. Hatch made the most of her opportunity, scoring three goals that helped the Courage gain victories. Mewis returns to the Best XI for the second time this season (April selection) as she continues to be a dominant midfielder for the top team in the NWSL. In June, Mewis had two assists and 173 passes. Defender Dahlkemper started all June games for the Courage, anchoring a defense that allows its team to win. North Carolina did not lose a game in June.
The NWSL’s top scorer for June also made the team for the first time this season. Brazilian international and veteran Marta scored four goals in June and assisted in two, which helped the Orlando Pride climb out of the bottom of the league. Her game-tying goal against Sky Blue FC on June 28 gave the Pride the confidence for the comeback win. Joining her teammate for the first time as well is defender Ali Krieger. The new Orlando captain started every game for the Pride this month, leading her team secure three crucial points.
Also a part of the Best XI are teammates Megan Rapinoe, first selection, and Jess Fishlock, second selection, from the Seattle Reign FC. Midfielder Fishlock was a key player in Seattle returning to playoff contention halfway through the season. When Seattle lost defender Lauren Barnes to a red card against FC Kansas City, Fishlock filled her spot, keeping the Blues’ from gaining the lead even though the Reign were with 10 players for 86 minutes. On the offensive side, forward Rapinoe scored three goals for the Reign, including two penalty kicks for a victory against the 2nd place Chicago Red Stars. Currently, Rapinoe leads the NWSL in scoring with seven goals.
Washington Spirit’s Stephanie Labbé and Estelle Johnson are another pair of teammates in the Best XI. Both Labbé and Johnson return to the team after first making it in April. Goalkeeper Labbé allowed one goal in June and saved 14 shots. Defender Johnson started for the Spirit all of June and had two vital blocks in the Washington box. The Spirit had a 2-0-1 record for the month of June.
Finally, rounding out the Best XI is Chicaco Red Stars defender Casey Short. The defender was a part of Chicago’s June success, compiling a 2-1-1 record. Not only does she defend on the outside, she makes runs up to the field, such as providing an assist for a Sofia Huerta game winner against Sky Blue FC.
The NWSL Team of the Month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis.