Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan and defender Steph Catley have been named to the National Women’s Soccer League Second XI, it was announced today. It is the second time both players have earned the postseason honor.
Morgan, 28, joined the Pride in June after opening the season with French club Olympique Lyonnais. The U.S. Women’s National Team forward made her first appearance on July 1, coming in as a second-half substitute. Morgan would go on to start the remaining 13 matches for the Pride and, although she missed the first 11 matches of the year, finished second on the team with nine goals, five of them game-winners. Morgan scored at least one goal in each of the Pride’s five matches in August, leading Orlando to its first undefeated month in team history.
The former Cal Golden Bear was named the NWSL’s August Player of the Month and also won Week 18 Goal of the Week for her acrobatic, 87th-minute game-winning goal at FC Kansas City on Aug. 26. Morgan also added four assists in her second season with Orlando.
A finalist for 2017 Defender of the Year, Catley continued her dominance on the left side during her second season with the Pride. The 23-year-old Australian led the Pride in total touches (1,667) but showed her attacking versatility down the flanks, leading the Pride with 75 crosses and finishing second with 27 chances created. The defender totaled two assists on the season, including a pinpoint outlet on Alex Morgan’s highlight-reel goal on Aug. 8.
Catley also earned Week 10 Save of the Week for a goal-line clearance against the Houston Dash.
The NWSL Second XI is comprised of the next leading vote getters at each position that did not make the Best XI. The NWSL awards are voted on by club officials, players and media that cover the league on a consistent basis and fans. The 2017 Best XI will be announced on Thursday.