27. Becky Sauerbrunn
If Sam Mewis can argue about being the USA’s best midfielder, Becky Sauerbrunn can certainly make a strong argument for being the nation’s best defender, and has been able to for some time.
The 32-year-old may be potentially approaching the final years of her career, but Sauerbrunn is still at the top of her game and will take on a new challenge with FC Kansas City relocating to Utah for 2018.
Sauerbrunn continued to be a leader for the US as Jill Ellis bedded in new defenders such as Taylor Smith and Abby Dahlkemper, whilst she had another top year for FC Kansas City in the NWSL.
The centre-back may have only popped up with one goal in the NWSL this season, but it was a strike worthy of winning her goal of the week, coming in week seven against Washington Spirit.
Jill Ellis, USA national team head coach says:
“Becky is one of the best at reading the game. She’s a very strong individual defender, excellent in the air and one of the most reliant players in our program.”
Vlatko Andonovski, former FC Kansas City manager says:
“Becky is one of the best defenders in the world. Reads the game so well that sometimes her defensive actions look like everyone can do it. Step ahead of the most players on the team.”
Yael Averbuch, FC Kansas City team mate says:
“Becky Sauerbrunn is one of the smartest, most skillful players in the women’s game. She’s able to combine composed, calculated thought with a ruthless ball-winning ability to make her an extremely difficult defender to beat. Moreover, she leads those around her and often begins the team attack with extraordinary quality.
Alexa Newfield, FC Kansas City team mate says:
“Becky is the type of player that when you see her on your team in training, (if we’re about to do small sided or any type of possession game etc), you think to yourself “oh good Becky is on my team, we are going to win”. She is absolutely one of the best, if not the best player in her position, but she is so humble and grounded you would never know this just talking to her. Once you see her everyday in training or at games just consistently be solid then you understand just how good she is.
“There have been multiple times this year I think we’re about to get scored on and Becky comes flying in to save the day with a great, simple tackle. The past two years playing with her she has been one of the most consistent players I’ve ever seen, always making big plays. She’s a true fan of the game and I think you can see this in the way she plays.”