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Kerr, Marta headline NWSL Best XI; Sauerbrunn makes it 5-for-5

Sam Kerr’s latest honor is her first NWSL Best XI nod. (photo copyright Katie Cahalin for The Equalizer)

Becky Sauerbrunn extended her streak as being the only player named to every NWSL Best XI when the 2017 team was announced on Thursday. Sauerbrunn is joined by first timers Sam Kerr, who set the league record by scoring 17 goals for Sky Blue this season, and Marta, who shook the foundation of the league with her arrival from Sweden and the engineered the turnaround for the Orlando Pride.

Jess Fishlock is back on the Best XI after a one-year absence.

Reign FC midfielder engine Jessica Fishlock earned her 4th Best XI nod, returning to the league’s quasi all-star team after a one year regression to the Second XI in 2016. Red Stars striker Christen Press was named for the third straight season while Pride defender Ali Krieger earned her second honor after being on the squad in 2014. Krieger was also on the Second XI in 2013 and 2016.

Adrianna Franch of the Thorns and Casey Short of the Red Stars both made the Best XI after previously appearing on the Second XI. Short was there in 2016, the first year she played in NWSL. Franch was Second XI in 2013 when she led the Flash to the NWSL Shield and a berth in the NWSL Championship as a rookie.

The Courage trio of defender Abby Dahlkemper plus midfield dynamos Sam Mewis and McCall Zerboni are also making their debuts on the Best XI.

The full 2017 NWSL Best XI is:
Goalkeeper: Adrianna Franch, Portland Thorns FC (1st selection)

Defender: Abby Dahlkemper, North Carolina Courage (1st selection)
Defender: Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride (2nd selection)
Defender: Becky Sauerbrunn, FC Kansas City (5th selection)
Defender: Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars (1st selection)

Midfielder: Jessica Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC (4th selection)
Midfielder: Samantha Mewis, North Carolina Courage (1st selection)
Midfielder: McCall Zerboni, North Carolina Courage (1st selection)

Forward: Sam Kerr, Sky Blue FC (1st selection)
Forward: Marta, Orlando Pride (1st selection)
Forward: Christen Press, Chicago Red Stars (3rd selection)

Becky Sauerbrunn has been named to all five NWSL Best XI teams. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

The Second XI, announced on Tuesday, is:
Goalkeeper: Katelyn Rowland, North Carolina Courage (1st selection)

Defender: Stephanie Catley, Orlando Pride (2nd selection)
Defender: Abby Erceg, North Carolina Courage (1st selection)
Defender: Meghan Klingenberg, Portland Thorns FC (1st selection)
Defender: Emily Menges, Potland Thorns FC (1 prior Best XI selection)

Midfielder: Danielle Colapico, Chicago Red Stars (3rd selection)
Midfielder: Julie Ertz, Chicago Red Stars (3rd selection plus 1 prior Best XI selection)
Midfielder: Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns FC (1st selection)
Midfielder: Sofia Huerta, Chicago Red Stars (2nd selection)

Forward: Alex Morgan, Orlando Pride (2nd selection)
Forward: Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC (3rd selection)

Only the bottom three tea

ms—the Dash, Spirit, and Breakers—were not represented no either XI.

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