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Four Seattle Reign players make NWSL Best XI squad

In addition to having the most players on the NWSL Best XI, another four Reign FC players were selected for the Second XI.

Sounder at Heart / Mike Russell

No NWSL team was more heavily decorated in the Best XI voting than the Seattle Reign who had four players named to the team. Center back Lauren Barnes, midfielders Kim Little and Jess Fishlock, and forward Beverly Yanez all made the list that was announced today. The Best XI was voted on by media that cover the league on a consistent basis, club officials, players, and fans.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Reign FC

Barnes, who was also nominated for Defender of the Year, played every minute this season, notching one goal and two assists. She was the organizer of a very solid defensive line that gave up just 21 goals this season, good for second in the NWSL.

lauren barnes defense

Little, Fishlock, and Yanez were all nominated for the NWSL MVP Award, which eventually went to a well-deserving Crystal Dunn. Little led the league in assists (7) and finished the year with 10 goals. Fishlock and Yanez also scored eight and nine goals, respectively. This was Fishlock's third time appearing on the Best XI.

The accolades don't stop there. Four additional Reign players appeared on the NWSL Second XI: defenders Kendall Fletcher and Stephanie Cox, midfielder Keelin Winters, and forward Megan Rapinoe.

Photo courtesy of Seattle Reign FC

Fletcher was another Defender of the Year nominee, who made the switch from centerback to right back this season and also contributed two goals and one assist on the offensive side of the field. Rapinoe tallied five goals and five assists in just 10 matches and has been a key reason for the Reign gaining momentum at the end of the regular season.

Captain Keelin Winters held down the best midfield in the NWSL, providing a strong partnership in the middle with Fishlock, and Stephanie Cox continues to prove she's one of the smartest defenders in the league. Her crosses are magic as well, as evidenced by her three assists on the season.

While fan awards like this can be silly, it's nice to see the full arsenal of Reign talent -- including players like Barnes, Winters, and Yanez -- get the recognition they deserve.

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