The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) has chosen its best 22 players for the 2018 season and several have connections to Long Island and the surrounding area.
The NWSL First XI includes Rockville Centre native forward Crystal Dunn of the North Carolina Courage. The league’s Second XI includes Garden City native Emily Menges, a defender with the Portland Thorns, and St. John’s graduate Rachel Daly, a forward with the Houston Dash.
Dunn and the Courage will face Menges and the Thorns this Saturday in the NWSL Championship match Saturday in Portland.
It’s been another strong season for Dunn, a former NWSL MVP, as she helped lead a potent Courage offensive with 8 goals and 7 assists. She has also become a fixture with the U.S. Women’s National Team as a defender and is part of the 20-woman roster that will take part in the upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
Menges was able to shake off some early season injury problems to play in 16 matches for Portland and help lead the Thorns to the NWSL Championship game. On the season she was credited with 88 clearances, 9 blocks and 27 interceptions.
Daly, who had a stellar career at St. John’s, had her best NWSL season this year with 9 goals and 2 assists. She was also a member of England’s Women’s National Team that qualified for the 2019 World Cup in France.