Kelli Hubly, Becky Sauerbrunn named to NWSL Best XI Second Team
Portland Thorns FC midfielder Sam Coffey and forward Sophia Smith were named to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Best XI First Team presented by Mastercard for the 2022 season, it was announced today. Defenders Kelli Hubly and Becky Sauerbrunn were named to the NWSL Best XI Second Team.
Coffey, 23, made her NWSL regular season debut in 2022, appearing in 19 games (18 starts) and recording one goal and two assists. The Sleepy Hollow, New York native was a two-time NWSL Team of the Month selection (June, September/October), earning Rookie of the Month honors in June. Coffey finished the regular season with the third-most minutes played on the team (1,585). A 2022 NWSL Rookie of the Year finalist, Coffey registered the most interceptions (38) on the team, ranking third-best amongst all midfielders in the league, and was second on the team in chances created (35).
Smith, 22, finished her record-breaking season with 14 goals scored in 18 appearances (16 starts). A 2022 NWSL MVP finalist, Smith led the team in points (31) after recording 14 goals and three assists. Her 14 goals ranked second in the NWSL and set a new club single-season record, surpassing Lindsey Horan’s 13 goals during the 2018 season. Smith finished the regular season tied for the most non-penalty goals (11) and the most goals plus assists (17) in the league. Notably, she now has 21 career regular-season goals for Portland, making her the fourth player in club history to reach the 20-goal mark. Smith recorded four braces this season, which is tied for the most braces in a single season in NWSL history. She also led the league in dribbles completed (46) and shots on target (49). A two-time NWSL Team of the Month honoree (June, September/October), Smith nabbed the Player of the Month award in June.
Hubly, 28, received her first NWSL Second XI selection after starting in and playing every minute of all 22 matches (1,980), becoming just one of seven players in the NWSL to do so and the only player for Portland this season. The Elk Grove Village, Illinois native earned NWSL Team of the Month honors in July and anchored a Portland backline to nine clean sheets. Hubly led the team in clearances (100), ranking third-best in the league, as well as successful passes (934). Notably, the defender scored her first NWSL career goal on June 3 against Angel City FC.
Sauerbrunn, 37, started in 16 of 17 appearances in the 2022 campaign, registering her first goal and assist for Thorns FC. The four-time NWSL Defender of the Year earned NWSL Best XI honors – first or second team – for the eighth time in her professional career (2013-2019, 2022). In her 10th season in the league and third with Portland, Sauerbrunn was named a 2022 NWSL Defender of the Year finalist after helping Thorns FC finish tied for the most shutouts in the league (9), while conceding the third-fewest goals (25).
2022 NWSL Best XI First Team (listed by position, alphabetically by last name): Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave – Defenders: Alana Cook, OL Reign; Naomi Girma, San Diego Wave; Sofia Huerta, OL Reign; Carson Pickett, North Carolina Courage – Midfielders and Forwards: Sam Coffey, Portland Thorns FC; Debinha, North Carolina Courage; Lo’eau LaBonta, Kansas City Current; Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave; Mallory Pugh, Chicago Red Stars; Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns FC
2022 NWSL Best XI Second Team (listed by position, alphabetically by last name): Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch, Kansas City Current; Defenders: Kelli Hubly, Portland Thorns FC; Hailie Mace, Kansas City Current; Tatum Milazzo, Chicago Red Stars; Becky Sauerbrunn, Portland Thorns FC – Midfielders and Forwards: Jess Fishlock, OL Reign; Rose Lavelle, OL Reign; Kerolin, North Carolina Courage; Diana Ordonez, North Carolina Courage; Megan Rapinoe, OL Reign; Ebony Salmon, Houston Dash
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%).