In a year when members of the U.S. national team were gone for long stretches because of the World Cup, four players from Team USA still made it onto the National Women’s Soccer League Best XI: Julie Johnston (above), Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, and Christen Press.
Dunn’s circumstances were different from those of the other three. Dunn, the NWSL’s leading scorer and MVP this year, wasn’t on the U.S. roster for the World Cup — in fact, she wasn’t on it until this month, when coach Jill Ellis called her up for the two friendlies against Haiti.)
Two members of the Best XI have been named to that honorary squad in each of the league’s three years: Sauerbrunn and Jess Fishlock, a Welsh midfielder who plays for the Seattle Reign.
Six of the 11 spots went to players from the two teams that will meet on Oct. 1 in the NWSL title game: Seattle and FC Kansas City.