The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) today released the list of NWSL players named to the 2022 NWSL Best XI First and Second Teams. Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Pugh was named to the 2022 NWSL Best XI First Team, while Red Stars defender, Tatumn Milazzo, was named to the 2022 Best XI Second Team.
Ranked fifth in the NWSL in goals scored, Pugh was a force on the field for the Red Stars this season, scoring 11 of the team’s 34 regular-season goals and earning an assist in six others, helping the Red Stars clinch a playoff spot for the seventh-consecutive year. Pugh’s 11 goals placed her fifth in the NWSL Golden Boot race, behind San Diego’s Alex Morgan (16), Portland’s Sophia Smith (14) and North Carolina’s Debinha (12) and Diana Ordóñez (11). The veteran Red Star’s six assists also tied Pugh with North Carolina’s Carson Pickett for most assists in the league. In addition, Pugh placed second for most shots (53) and shots on goal (33) behind Portland’s Sophia Smith (76 and 49, respectively). During the 2022 season, Pugh also earned two call ups to the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT), where she notched a goal against Costa Rica in the 2022 CONCACAF W semifinal in Mexico on July 14.
Named to the 2022 NWSL Best XI Second Team, Milazzo played an integral role for the Red Stars on defense all season, starting in every regular-season match. The Orland Park native only missed 29 minutes of the 2022 regular season after being subbed during the Red Stars’ match versus North Carolina Saturday, August 20. In her sophomore season, Milazzo doubled her offensive stats this season scoring 2 goals and marking an assist while supporting a defensive line that struggled with absences and injuries throughout the 2022 regular season. On defense, Milazzo led all defenders in clearances (103) and interceptions (58), while also accumulating a 66.7 percent successful tackle percentage.
This is the first time Milazzo and Pugh have been named to their respective Best XI teams. Last year, Pugh earned a spot in the 2021 Best XI Second Team, and earlier this year she was named to the NWSL Best XI of the Month in May and June. Milazzo was also a part of the June Best XI of the Month this season, with an 83 percent passing accuracy and winning more than half of all duels, aerial duels and tackles in June.
The NWSL Best XI First Team and Best XI Second Team are based on a weighted voting scale comprised of players (50%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%) and fans (10%).
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