Photos by Craig Mitchelldyer

Portland Thorns FC players named to NWSL Best XI Second Team

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland Thorns FC forwards Christine Sinclair, Alex Morgan and defender Rachel Buehler were named to the National Women’s Soccer League Best XI Second Team, the NWSL announced today.

Morgan, 24, finished the season as the team’s leading scorer with eight goals and five assists (21pts). The U.S. Women’s National Team standout’s points total ranked among league leaders in the NWSL. Despite missing four games this season due to national team duty and injury, Morgan still finished as the league leader in shots (82) and shots on goal (44).

Sinclair, 30, registered eight goals and two assists as the team’s captain and an integral point of the club’s offense. The Canadian international netted four goals over the final six games of the regular season as Thorns FC earned the No. 3 seed in the playoffs. The league’s Player of the Month for April, Sinclair tallied a streak of three straight games with a point (2g, 1a) in the first three weeks of the season, helping Portland kick off the year on a five-game unbeaten streak.

Buehler, 28, appeared in 20 of the team’s 22 regular-season matches at center back, taking part in six of the team’s seven clean sheets in 2013. The U.S. Women’s National Team defender logged 1,800 minutes during the regular season, missing just two matches due to national team commitments.

The NWSL Best XI team (listed at position, alphabetically by last name):

Position                       Player                                Club                              Country            Note                 

Goalkeeper                  Nicole Barnhart              FC Kansas City           USA                 10 shutouts

Defender                      Christie Rampone         Sky Blue FC                  USA                 1.20 GAA
Defender                      Leigh Ann Robinson     FC Kansas City            USA                 5 assists
Defender                      Becky Sauerbrunn         FC Kansas City            USA                 1.0 GAA
Defender                      Brittany Taylor                 Western New York       USA                 3g, 4a

Midfielder                     Lori Chalupny                  Chicago Red Stars      USA                5g, 4a
Midfielder                     Jess Fishlock                  Seattle Reign FC          Wales            4 goals
Midfielder                     Lauren Holiday                FC Kansas City            USA                12g, 9a
Midfielder                     Diana Matheson              Washington Spirit        Canada          8g, 3a

Forward                        Sydney Leroux                Boston Breakers            USA               11g, 2a
Forward                        Abby Wambach              Western New York         USA               11g, 8a

NWSL Second XI – Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch, Western New York Flash – Defenders: Rachel Buehler, Portland Thorns FC; Caitlin Foord, Sky Blue FC; Ali Krieger, Washington Spirit; Lauren Sesselmann, FC Kansas City – Midfielders: Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC; Desiree Scott, FC Kansas City; Erika Tymrak, FC Kansas City – Forwards: Alex Morgan, Portland Thorns FC; Lianne Sanderson, Boston Breakers; Christine Sinclair, Portland Thorns FC

The NWSL awards are voted on by a selection of journalists that cover the league on a consistent basis, club officials and NWSL players.

Voters for the Best XI provided selections for four (4) defenders and a combination of six (6) midfielders or forwards; with the ability to select a minimum of one (1) and a maximum of three (3) forwards. The Goalkeeper of the Year was automatically named to the Best XI.

The Second XI is comprised of the next leading vote getters at each position that did not make the Best XI.