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3 Kansas City Current players earn NWSL Best XI honors

MF Lo'eau LaBonta picked for Best XI First Team
Lo'Eau LaBonta
NWSL: Kansas City Current at NJ/NY Gotham FC
Posted at 3:23 PM, Oct 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-25 16:32:10-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three Kansas City Current players were selected to the 2022 NWSL Best XI First or Second teams.

The league announced the awards Tuesday, recognizing the top 22 players in the NWSL as voted by players (505%); owners, general managers and coaches (20%), media members (20%) and fans (10%).

Current midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta was among six players picked for the NWSL Best XI First Team among midfielders and forwards, while goalkeeper AD Franch and defender Hailie Mace were second-team picks.

LaBonta tied for the team lead with seven goals and added a team-best four assists, while Mace finished second on the Current with 31 tackles won.

In 96 career NWSL games before a breakout 2022 campaign, LaBonta had five goals and six assists.

Franch, a native of Salina, finished second in the NWSL with 77 saves. She allowed only 1.18 goals against on average in 22 appearances, including the playoffs, with eight shutouts.

Players receive a cash bonus for inclusion on the Best XI first or second teams.

“Congratulations to all of the winners on this year’s Best XI teams,” NWSL Commissioner Jessica Berman said in a statement. “The hard work, dedication and determination of each of these 22 players is what makes the NWSL so special, and I look forward to following along as they continue to take their game and this league to new heights. I am grateful to Mastercard for helping us give our exceptional athletes the recognition they deserve.”

The Current, who earned the fifth seed in the NWSL playoffs, will play the second-seeded Portland Thorns FC for the 2022 NWSL Championship at 7 p.m. Saturday at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

The game will be broadcast on CBS and Paramount+.

2022 NWSL Best XI First Team

Goalkeeper: Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave FC.

Defenders: Alana Cook, OL Reign; Naomi Girma, San Diego Wave FC; Sofia Huerta, OL Reign; Carson Pickett, North Carolina Courage.

Midfielders and forwards: Sam Coffey, Portland Thorns FC; Lo’eau LaBonta, Kansas City Current; Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave FC; Debinha, North Carolina Courage; Mallory Pugh, Chicago Red Stars; Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns FC.

2022 NWSL Best XI Second Team

Goalkeeper: AD Franch, Kansas City Current

Defenders: Kelli Hubly, Portland Thorns FC; Hailie Mace, Kansas City Current; Tatumn Milazzo, Chicago Red Stars; Becky Sauerbrunn, Portland Thorns FC

Midfielders and forwards: Kerolin, North Carolina Courage; Jess Fishlock, OL Reign; Rose Lavelle, OL Reign; Diana Ordóñez, North Carolina Courage; Megan Rapinoe, OL Reign; Ebony Salmon, Houston Dash.