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Sauerbrunn makes 4th straight NWSL Best XI

Becky Sauerbrunn and the FCKC defense is as stout as ever. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Becky Sauerbrunn is on the Best XI again and is the only player to appear on all four. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Becky Sauerbrunn is on the Best XI again and is the only player to appear on all four. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

Becky Sauerbrunn’s three-year reign as NWSL Defender of the Year ended earlier this week, but the FC Kansas City captain is now the sole player to have made every Best XI. She was joined on the squad by MVP Lynn Williams, Goalkeeper of the Year, Ashlyn Harris plus Lauren Barnes, who succeeded Sauerbrunn as the top defender. Jess Fishlock, the only player with Sauerbrunn to have been on the first three Best XIs, was named to the Second XI.

Barnes, Allie Long, and Christen Press were all named to their second consecutive Best XI. Joining Harris and Wililams as first-timers are defenders Arin Gilliland and Emily Menges; midfielder Tobin Heath; and strikers Jess McDonald and Kealia Ohai. Highlights of the Second XI include Christie Rampone who played every minute of the season during which she turned 41.

{RELATED: ‘Rocky’ Rodriguez wins Rookie of the Year | Parsons’s Shield season earns top coach honor}

The Best XI includes two midfielders and four forwards. Voting was split between goalkeeper, defender, and a midfield/forward mix which allowed for the unbalanced team. The Second XI is a 4-4-2.

The 2016 NWSL Best XI
GK: Ashlyn Harris, Orlando Pride
DEF: Lauren Barnes, Seattle Reign FC (2nd time)
DEF: Arin Gilliland, Chicago Red Stars
DEF: Emily Menges, Portland Thorns FC
DEF: Becky Sauerbrunn, FC Kansas City
MID: Tobin Heath, Portland Thorns FC
MID: Allie Long, Portland Thorns FC
FWD: Jess McDonald, Western New York Flash
FWD: Kealia Ohai, Houston Dash
FWD: Christen Press, Chicago Red Stars
FWD: Lynn Williams, Western New York Flash

{NWSL CHAMPIONSHIP: Williams gets call-up, MVP on same day | Lauletta’s Friday notebook}

Second XI
GK: Alyssa Naeher, Chicago Red Stars
DEF: Julie Johnston, Chicago Red Stars
DEF: Ali Krieger, Washington Spirit
DEF: Christie Rampone, Sky Blue FC
DEF: Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars
MID: Danielle Colaprico, Chicago Red Stars
MID: Vanessa DiBernardo, Chicago Red Stars
MID: Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC
MID: Kim Little, Seattle Reign FC
FWD: Crystal Dunn, Washington Spirit
FWD: Shea Groom, FC Kansas City

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