Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Barbra Banda named in NWSL team of the month for May

Barbra Banda has been named in the National Women’s National League team of the month for May.

The Zambian international who joined Orlando Pride from Shanghai Shengli recently has wasted no time acclimating to the NWSL, with seven of her eight total goals scored in May.

Banda makes the team of the month alongside her Orlando Pride teammate, Emily Sams. Six teams are represented in the league’s Top 11.

The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced on Friday the 11 players named to the Best XI of the Month, presented by Prime, for the month of May by the NWSL Media Association and the NWSL’s on-air broadcast talent.

Banda scored seven goals, assisted another and earned a penalty to help Orlando Pride to five wins in May.

Banda has also been named as the player of the month thanks to her exploits helping the Pride to the longest win streak in NWSL history (8 wins in a row).


GK – Ann-Katrin Berger (GFC): Berger is the newest keeper to sign with NJ/NY Gotham FC and has allowed two goals this past month. Notching her third clean sheet in a 2-0 win against Bay FC on May 24, the German international played 450 minutes and recorded 18 saves in the month of May.

D – Sam Staab (CHI): The three-time ironwoman earned back-to back Best XI honors after completing 168 successful passes over the month of May along with five tackles won. The leader for consecutive games started, Staab recorded one assist this past month along with six successful dribbles past opponents.

D – Jenna Nighswonger (GFC): The 2023 Rookie of the Year, presented by Ally, recorded 17 tackles and nine interceptions in May. Nighswonger also added two assists and seven blocks, helping Gotham to a 5-2-3 record this season, all while going undefeated at Red Bull Arena.

D – Emily Sams (ORL): The Boise, Idaho, native tallied her first professional goal and one assist in May along with six interceptions. As a staple on the Pride’s backline, Sams has helped Orlando remain undefeated through Week 10 and set a league record with the club’s eighth straight win on May 24 against Portland.

D – Carson Pickett (LOU): Pickett recorded two tackles, three interceptions and four blocks in May. Additionally, the veteran defender notched one assist in Racing’s 3-3 draw against the Kansas City Current on May 18.

M – Croix Bethune (WAS): With back-to-back Rookie of the Month honors, Bethune continues to break records after recording seven assists and one goal in five games through May.

In Washington’s 4-2 win over Chicago on May 1, she became the first rookie and fifth player in league history to tally three assists in a regular season game.

The No. 3 overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, presented by Ally, Bethune leads all rookies with four goals and eight assists this season, including two game-winning goals.

M – Savannah DeMelo (LOU): DeMelo played three games in May, recording two goals and six tackles won. The California native added five successful dribbles past opponents to her stat sheet throughout the month.

M – Sam Coffey (POR): Sam Coffey recorded one goal along with 10 tackles and 10 blocks in May. The New York native played 450 minutes throughout the month and has an 88 percent passing score through 11 games this season.

F – Barbra Banda (ORL): The Copper Queen has wasted no time acclimating to the NWSL, with seven of her eight total goals scored in May. Banda added three braces to her ledger in May, tying Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith for the league brace lead. The Zambian international has scored four of eight goals with her head, helping the Pride to the longest win streak in NWSL history.

F – Ouleymata Sarr (WAS): Ouleymata Sarr recorded four goals and one assist in five games this past May, scoring in three straight games. The French international has totaled six goals in 11 games, helping the Washington Spirit to an 8-3-0 record this season.

F – Sophia Smith (POR): The current Golden Boot leader, Thorns striker Sophia Smith added three goals and four assists throughout May. The Colorado native, who has eight goals and six assists this season, guided Portland to wins in four of five matches last month.

Aaron Mubanga
Aaron Mubangahttps://zambianfootball.co.zm
Aaron Mubanga is a qualified Environmental Health Technologist| Editor in Chief of Zambia's biggest all local football website ZamFoot| Player manager for Copper Queens duo of Barbra Banda and Evarine Susan Katongo |Brand Ambassador for Betway|Talent Scout| Women's Football Ambassador| Blogger | Football Writer|

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