Alex Morgan is the top player in the NWSL in the “EA Sports FC 24” ratings.

The top soccer video game released its player ratings ahead of its release on Sept. 29, and the 34-year-old star striker for the U.S. women’s national team and San Diego Wave leads all players in the U.S. league. She also ranks as the only USWNT player in the top 10 across all women’s leagues.

Among NWSL players, Morgan sits in first place with a score of 89, while Kansas City Current forward Debinha comes in a close second with a rating of 88. Sophia Smith is tied with Debinha at 88, while Rose Lavelle is in fourth at 87.

The Portland Thorns have the most players among the top 10 with three, while OL Reign and San Diego each have two players.

Across all players, Morgan sits tied for fifth and Debinha tied for ninth. Spain’s Alexia Putellas holds the top spot by herself with a score of 91. She is followed closely by her Spain teammate Aitana Bonmatí, Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen and Australia’s Sam Kerr who all have scores of 90.

Morgan also had been the lone USWNT player in the top 10 of EA Sports’ 2023 Women’s World Cup player ratings.

EA Sports FC: International women’s player ratings

  1. Alexia Putellas, Spain – 91
  2. Aitana Bonmatí, Spain – 90
  3. Caroline Graham Hansen, Norway – 90
  4. Sam Kerr, Australia – 90
  5. Kadidiatou Diani, France – 89
  6. Ada Hegerberg, Norway – 89
  7. Mapi León, Spain – 89
  8. Alex Morgan, United States – 89
  9. Debinha, Brazil – 88
  10. Marie-Antoinette Katoto, France – 88

EA Sports FC: NWSL player ratings

  1. Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave FC – 89
  2. Debinha, Kansas City Current – 88
  3. Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns – 88
  4. Rose Lavelle, OL Reign – 87
  5. Mallory Swanson, Chicago Red Stars – 86
  6. Becky Sauerbrunn, Portland Thorns – 85
  7. Megan Rapinoe, OL Reign – 85
  8. Amandine Henry, Angel City – 85
  9. Kailen Sheridan, San Diego Wave FC – 85
  10. Crystal Dunn, Portland Thorns – 84

We’re nearing the halfway point of the 2023 NWSL season after a topsy-turvy month of May. The league saw a number of imbalanced scorelines, but no single player took a definitive lead in the Golden Boot race — or in the Player of the Month race, which had a number of worthy contenders.

With defenses across the NWSL still working on their cohesion, most of the top performers in May were those generating attacking chances, with quite a few coming from teams still on the upswing in the league table.

However, our regular season Player of the Month for May is likely a name well known to many.

Crystal Dunn, M, Portland Thorns

The 30-year-old had one of the best scoring months of her career in the Portland midfield in May, scoring three goals and registering an assist. She finished the month in a tie for first place in the 2023 Golden Boot race with five on the season.

A high-efficiency scorer, Dunn converted on 100% of her shots on goal this month in performances against the North Carolina Courage and the Chicago Red Stars. Her brace against the Courage kept the Thorns in a match that ultimately ended 3-3, picking up a crucial point to land Portland tied for second place in the NWSL standings at the end of the month with 16 points.

Dunn also has been active in ways more nuanced than her scoring and assisting output. She sits in second for field players in American Soccer Analysis’ goals added (g+) estimation for the month of May on the strength of her receiving and shooting abilities. She also sits in the top 10 for individual xG created this month despite only registering eight total shots. And while the Portland defense has had its struggles this month, the attack has kept cooking, sitting on a goal differential of +12.

Honorable mentions

Savannah DeMelo, M, Racing Louisville

DeMelo was in a dead heat with Dunn for May’s top honor, proving essential for Louisville in all competitions despite only scoring one goal and notching one assist in regular season play. The 25-year-old has been one of the best attacking generators in the league this month, leading the NWSL in xG + xA (goal and assist chance creation).

Kailen Sheridan, GK, San Diego Wave

Sheridan is known as one of the NWSL’s most elite shot-stoppers, but in May she was one of the league’s greatest passing threats as well. She also led the league’s goalkeepers in g+, conceding only four goals on 24 shots faced, which leaves San Diego tied for second place in the league standings.

Adriana, F, Orlando Pride

The Pride saw their best stretch of play in May, going undefeated in three regular season games before a very unlikely loss to the Chicago Red Stars to end the month. Orlando has passed around scoring honors and become stingy in defense, but Adriana’s contributions on and off the ball have stuck out as both a dribbler and a defensive disruptor from the attack.

The NWSL is coming to FIFA 23, and to no surprise, U.S. women’s national team stars will be among the best players in the game.

EA Sports revealed its NWSL player ratings Friday, with USWNT and San Diego Wave striker Alex Morgan at the top of the list.

Morgan’s placement should come as no surprise, as she ranked seventh overall in the game’s international women’s player ratings with an overall rating of 90. After Morgan comes Kansas City Current forward Debinha (88), followed by six of Morgan’s USWNT teammates.

Portland Thorns forward and reigning NWSL MVP Sophia Smith, OL Reign midfielder Rose Lavelle and Chicago Red Stars forward Mallory Swanson round out the top five, all tied at 87. Then comes Portland Thorns defender Becky Sauerbrunn, Angel City FC forward Christen Press and OL Reign forward Megan Rapinoe with ratings of 86.

Goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher, AD Franch and Kailen Sheridan close out the top 10. They are all the highest-rated at their position with overall ratings of 85.

The FIFA 23 ratings also break down players’ skills. Smith is the fastest player in the game, with a pace rating of 95, followed by Washington Spirit forward Trinity Rodman. Sauerbrunn gets the nod as the best defender, with an 89 rating, while Washington Spirit defender Amber Brooks is the most physical player with a rating of 86.

Check out the full ratings in the FIFA player portal.

FIFA 23: NWSL player ratings

  • Alex Morgan, 90 – San Diego Wave FC
  • Debinha, 88 – Kansas City Current
  • Rose Lavelle, 87 – OL Reign
  • Sophia Smith, 87 – Portland Thorns FC
  • Mallory Swanson, 87 – Chicago Red Stars
  • Christen Press, 86 – Angel City FC
  • Megan Rapinoe, 86 – OL Reign
  • Becky Sauerbrunn, 86 – Portland Thorns FC
  • Kailen Sheridan, 85 – San Diego Wave FC
  • Alyssa Naeher, 85 – Chicago Red Stars
  • AD Franch, 85 – Kansas City Current

When two California expansion sides joined the NWSL in the same year, the competition naturally escalated on the West Coast. Angel City showcased the off-field value of Los Angeles’ deep-running soccer culture combined with a bit of Hollywood glamor. But the team that ran away with the on-field results in 2022 was the San Diego Wave.

After surprising everybody but possibly themselves, Casey Stoney’s side comes into 2023 as an established contender in just their second year. Taking advantage of the NWSL’s first free-agency period, the Wave retooled their roster with strategic, positional signings.

We already know that San Diego is the real deal, but just how far can they go this year? Stoney gives us a peek behind the curtain.

2022 Year in Review: Raising expectations

The Wave had the most successful inaugural season for an expansion team in NWSL history in 2022. They became the first expansion team to make the playoffs in their first year and the first to host and win a playoff game in their first year. Their third-place finish in the league standings was by far the best result for a team in its first season of existence.

Bolstered by a career-best scoring output from Golden Boot winner Alex Morgan and an award-winning season from Rookie and Defender of the Year Naomi Girma, the Wave made it difficult for teams to break them down defensively and tricky to contain them in front of goal. The Wave proved versatile in their positioning in 2022, with a well-drilled, off-the-ball ethos that turned into quick-fire chances at the other end of the field.

When inviting a high press, the Wave compensated with one of the best goalkeepers in the league in Kailen Sheridan to go over the top, and one of the best direct strikers in Morgan.

“Sometimes you want to bring that pressure on,” Stoney says. “So you bring them closer to you, and you leave more space in behind their backline. And I thought we exploited that well at times last year.”

When pressing themselves, the Wave have a midfield Stoney says was already in the top 50 percent of contested possession, a stat they want to improve upon in 2023. Stoney, a former center-back herself, says they intend to keep the play central and in front of them with their pressing philosophy.

“I always think you kind of want the center-backs on the ball so you can go and press,” she says. “Because they’re normally the players the least comfortable with it.”

Casey Stoney won NWSL Coach of the Year for San Diego's historic season in 2022. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

Offseason moves: Slowing things down

Where San Diego wants to take a step forward in their second year is the ability to control tempo with the ball at their feet. After relying on a number of young players to carry the load in year one, the Wave turned to free agency for experienced players, who for the first time could make club decisions without forcing trades.

San Diego landed Danny Colaprico, one of the best holding midfielders in the league, and forward Rachel Hill. Stoney also has high expectations for teen phenom Jaedyn Shaw in her second professional year.

Many soccer teams say they want to play a possession-style game, without delving into the particulars of why that approach works. In a highly transitional league like the NWSL (in other words, teams move the ball quickly to punish defenses), sometimes the best-laid plans in the midfield can lead to turnovers and attempts to control through possession are disrupted at every turn.

Not surprisingly, Stoney’s philosophy behind slowing the game down isn’t just a lofty ideal, but also a practical response to the grind of an NWSL season.

“I think it’s important when you go to Houston in the middle of the season and it’s 80 percent humidity, you can’t go and go,” she says, noting that the Wave dropped points at times last season by pushing too hard to win games rather than controlling play in a draw.

“I believe that you have to have adaptability and fluidity within the game,” Stoney says. “There’ll be spells where you need to sit with two, there’ll be spells where you need to attack with two depending on who you’re playing against, where the spaces are.”

Star defender Abby Dahlkemper missed time last season due to various health reasons. (Russell Lansford/USA TODAY Sports)

2023 Outlook: Riding the wave

The Wave have retained their dynamism from 2022, and now they are better equipped to save their legs during the dog days of the NWSL season. Their elevated depth will be tested when they experience another first in 2023: a major tournament year.

Sheridan, Girma, Morgan, midfielders Emily van Egmond and Taylor Kornieck, and forward Sofia Jakobsson could all miss matches in the middle of the season while playing in the 2023 World Cup. Additionally, defender Abby Dahlkemper is still working her way back from offseason back surgery. The young players the Wave developed in year one will once again have to step up, this time aided by new veterans.

“You have to make sure that you recruit a squad deep enough that it’s competitive every day in training,” Stoney says. “And it’s about making sure those players have played and they’ve gotten minutes, and also making them feel valued throughout the season so that they’re not just chucked in on a whim because someone else is away.”

The plan is to lean into positional flexibility if necessary, and maintain as much continuity as possible so that the team is firing on all cylinders when they push for a playoff spot and beyond. A feature that separates the NWSL from other domestic soccer leagues is the tournament-style playoff bracket, and getting a team to the finish line intact is an underrated art.

“The biggest thing I’ve tried to do — and I will always learn from — is listening to my players, because it’s their bodies,” says Stoney. “They’re the ones having to do the work.”

The Wave have the personnel to contend for the top of the table and make a run at the NWSL Championship, but managing those pockets of the season when their top performers aren’t available will likely come with a learning curve. In a competitive season, depth tends to win out, and San Diego has developed a squad that can hang with the best.

Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @ScoutRipley.

Kailen Sheridan is the 2022 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year.

The 27-year-old anchored the San Diego Wave throughout the expansion club’s first season, and she becomes the first Wave player to receive a postseason award from the league.

Star striker Alex Morgan, rookie defender Naomi Girma and coach Casey Stoney all were nominated in other categories with the winners yet to be announced. Morgan, Girma and Sheridan were all named to the NWSL Best XI on Tuesday.

Through 18 regular-season matches, Sheridan put up an 8-5-5 record while recording eight clean sheets.

Sheridan, who played for Gotham from 2017-21 and also starts for the Canada national team, stopped 56 shots at a 75 percent save clip for a 0.95 goals against average. The 2022 season marks her second-straight regular season with an average under 1.00.

She led all goalkeepers in successful long passes, and she became the third keeper in NWSL history to record an assist on June 12.

Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch finished second in voting, while OL Reign’s Phallon Tullis-Joyce took third.

Sheridan is the seventh goalkeeper in league history to be named Goalkeeper of the Year. Aubrey Kingsbury of the Washington Spirit was the most recent keeper to take home the award, doing so in back-to-back years.

Monday’s Concacaf W Championship between the USWNT and Canada could be tabbed as multiple things: a rematch from last year’s Olympics, a rivalry between neighbors.

But it was also a showdown between two of the world’s best goalkeepers.

While just one goal was scored — a penalty by Alex Morgan in the 78th minute — that doesn’t take away from the performance of Kailen Sheridan in net for Canada, both in the game and throughout the tournament.

For her efforts, Sheridan was named the Best Goalkeeper of the tournament, having not allowed a goal all tournament save for Morgan’s penalty.

“Kailen [Sheridan] has shown that she’s ready,” said Canada head coach Bev Priestman, who added that Sheridan has done a great job stepping into Stephanie Labbé’s shoes. “I thought she was fantastic, showed her leadership.”

With two talented programs, the results were destined to be tight. That much could be said a year ago at the Olympics, when Canada advanced 1-0 off of a penalty kick. The same could be said on Monday.

“Tokyo, it was decided on a penalty. Tonight was decided on a penalty,” Priestman said. “I knew it was going to be tight. … It’s fine margins at this level.”

And while Priestman doesn’t believe last night was the best performance her team could have given, she was proud of the way the team responded after Morgan’s goal.

“They showed that they were willing to do anything to get the result back,” she said. “We gave it everything and that’s all you can ask (for).

“That’s what finals are about. These things happen. The most important thing for us is that we keep moving forward. And I’ll say that to the group. I’m incredibly proud of them.”

Kailen Sheridan is heading west, leaving NJ/NY Gotham FC for San Diego FC in a trade announced by the clubs on Saturday.

Gotham FC will receive $130,000 in allocation money and protection in the 2022 NWSL Expansion Draft in exchange for the Canadian goalkeeper.

“Kailen had expressed interest in pursuing other professional opportunities and we were fortunate to find a good trade partner in San Diego to accommodate her wishes,” said Interim General Manager Yael Averbuch West in a statement from Gotham FC. “She has been a major part of this club for the past five years and we thank her for the impact she’s made. Kailen is a phenomenal goalkeeper and we know she’ll go on to do great things in the future.”

Saturday’s trade announcement puts into context reporting from Meg Linehan of the Athletic that goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and Ali Kreiger are heading to Gotham FC in a trade with the Orlando Pride.

Sheridan was one of three 2021 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year nominees, recording 78 saves in 17 games.

Kailen Sheridan’s late-game heroics helped keep Gotham FC in the playoff hunt as the club played to a 1-1 draw with Racing Louisville FC on Thursday night.

In the 92nd minute, Sheridan managed to get one hand on a high shot by Cheyna Matthew, knocking the ball just over the crossbar and saving the tie for Gotham in stoppage time.

Gotham struck first in the seventh minute of the game.

Carli Lloyd, who returned to Gotham after her sendoff match with the U.S. women’s national team on Tuesday, teed up Ifeoma Onumonu with skillful dribbling in the box. Onumonu met the rebound of her own shot to send it past the goalkeeper and put the visitors up 1-0.

Onumonu’s goal, her eighth of the season, brings her within two of the lead for the NWSL’s Golden Boot race.

The score held until the second half. In the 52nd minute, Louisville midfielder CeCe Kizer slipped one past Sheridan off of a pass from Katie McClure.

As a result of the tie, Gotham has two more opportunities to clinch their spot in the playoffs: a North Carolina Courage loss on Saturday or a win on Sunday against Racing Louisville.

Gotham will look to finish the season on a high note, hosting Louisville in their regular season finale at 3 p.m. ET.

Kailen Sheridan went days with her phone by her side but no phone call, at least not the one she was hoping for. With the deadline approaching for Canadian women’s national soccer team coach Bev Priestman to name her roster for the Olympics, Sheridan and others in Team Canada’s player pool waited with anticipation.

Sheridan watched as her Gotham FC teammate, Evelyne Viens, received the call that she would make her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

Still Sheridan waited, but with a quiet confidence.

As Sheridan rode the Gotham team bus to the airport in late June, surrounded by teammates, her phone finally rang. It was Priestman. After sharing formalities with the coach, Sheridan broke into a smile. Her teammates began to make celebratory noises, barely loud enough for Priestman to hear.

Once Sheridan ended the call, the group exploded into screams of joy. Sheridan used her hands to cover her face, overwhelmed with emotion over her first selection to Canada’s Olympic team.

Sheridan had been to the Olympics before, as a 20-year-old alternate for Team Canada in Rio five years earlier. But this was a validation of her journey, and the culmination of a dream she’d had since watching the national team with her parents as a young girl growing up in Whitby, Ont.

“Being an alternate gave me an understanding of how incredible this opportunity is,” Sheridan says. “It lit a fire for me. I wanted the next step up and to achieve that childhood dream of playing in the Olympics, being on the podium and hearing your national anthem.”

Given what Sheridan went through in the months leading up to her selection, a situation that threatened this very opportunity, the feeling was even sweeter.


Kailen Sheridan’s Olympics journey accelerated at the SheBelieves Cup in Orlando, Fla. in February.

A banner year with Gotham, her NWSL club, and a spot on Canada’s Olympic team were Sheridan’s goals entering 2021. And Canada’s game against the United States in the annual spring tournament presented her with a prime opportunity.

Starting at goalkeeper against the No. 1 team in the world, Sheridan warmed up with intention and lined up between the goalposts ahead of kickoff, ready to make an early case for the Olympics.

Just a few minutes into the game, however, all of the goals she’d set for herself were suddenly in jeopardy.

Sheridan felt a tweak in her right leg not long after the opening whistle. And after passing the ball to her teammate in the seventh minute, she went down, knowing something wasn’t right. Her teammates helped her up as she walked gingerly toward the sideline.

An MRI revealed that Sheridan had torn her right quad off the bone with a four-centimeter retraction.

As Sheridan recalls it now, the various opinions from doctors caused a severe emotional burden, with her dream of making the Olympics hanging in the balance. After a discussion with her team, Sheridan opted to have surgery.

“I was really struggling and, mentally, it was a hard time for me,” Sheridan says. “I was doing the right things and it was taken away, which emotionally impacted me a lot.

“I have a mental coach with Canada and a sports psychologist with Gotham. Once the decision was made of what we were going to do, they kept telling me, ‘You need to have a strategic plan and keep making these little benchmarks.’ That was super helpful, especially on the days where I was a mental mess. I had a chance to recover and I needed that confidence from them.”

Sheridan has been one of the bright spots on Gotham FC, formerly Sky Blue, in recent years. (Ashley Intile / Gotham FC)

On March 1, Sheridan underwent the procedure to repair her right quad. Before she went into surgery, Sheridan drew the five Olympic rings and wrote on her hand the number of days she understood it would take her to recover — 98.

Only two days after surgery, Sheridan was back to training, performing light workouts and catching balls. Three weeks out from her procedure, she posted a video of herself running on a treadmill. As she worked with her physiotherapist and trainer in Philadelphia, Sheridan began recovering at an exponential rate.

But even she admits that her competitive fire needed to be reined in at times for the sake of her health.

“My physio said, ‘It’s been a week, slow down,’” Sheridan says. “I was really lucky to have the people that I had, the staff, the doctors, my team at Gotham. They were really supportive.”

Sheridan’s determination to get back on the field did not surprise Eddie Radwanski, her former college coach with the Clemson Tigers. Radwanski recalled a game against Virginia Tech in 2015 when Sheridan broke a bone in her wrist and kept playing. She was out for two weeks after that but remained a supportive teammate. Her competitiveness inspired her teammates and translated to on-field success, including an ACC Championship in 2016.

“Kailen supporting her teammates epitomized what she brought to the team and why it was so special,” Radwanski says. “They rooted for each other. They were there for one another. They sincerely loved each other.”

Sheridan’s approach hasn’t changed in the pros.

Dan Ball, the goalkeeper coach for Gotham FC, worked with Sheridan to help her get back into playing form. During a practice before the regular season, five weeks after surgery, Ball launched a ball to the top corner of the net. Sheridan dived across to make the save. At that moment, Ball knew she wasn’t just looking to return early, but to return as a better player than she was before.

“I looked at the conditioning coach with eyes wide open,” Ball says. “Not many people could do what she did so close to her surgery. She is beyond elite.”

Sheridan appeared in five games for Gotham during the first half of the season. She allowed just two goals and is third in the NWSL with 27 saves, one of which against the Portland Thorns was voted the Save of the Week.

Away from the field, Sheridan never changed. She is a source of entertainment for her teammates with her dancing and singing. Having a goalkeeper who provides youthful energy, and is the anchor of defense on the field, has been critical for Gotham FC’s morale.

“She’s a big presence,” says Gotham FC head coach Freya Coombe. “She’s funny, she’s always got a little dance move, and she’s a great mom to her dog, Koda. Kailen is very driven and helps drive the standards of the team forward.”


Before leaving for Tokyo on July 8, Sheridan and her teammates spent two weeks in training camp in Irvine, Calif. The practices gave Sheridan a chance to reunite with her Canadian teammates and compete with veteran Stephanie Labbé for the starting goalkeeper spot.

Team breakfasts highlight how unified the team is, Sheridan said. But once the players hit the field, the competitive switch turns on.

“We develop those incredible relationships with each other where we can poke fun away from the pitch,” Sheridan says. “Our competitive edge is what is going to bring us that grit and passion on the field, and even off the field playing board games. That’s what it will take to get us to the top of the podium.”

Sheridan’s teammates are quick to praise her and her value to the roster.

“If I want to be the best striker, I have to train against the best keeper,” Viens says. “When I score against Kailen, I know it’s a good goal against most keepers. When I don’t, it gives me a chance to work with her to see how I can improve.”

“We get spoiled because Kailen is up for ‘Save of the Week’ pretty much every week, so it isn’t a surprise anymore,” says Canadian forward Janine Beckie. “She’s got a great personality, very bubbly and bright, and it translates into her explosive game, which is exciting to watch.”

Sheridan has been competing for the starting goalkeeper spot at the Olympics. (Canada Soccer)

Priestman has yet to name a starting goalkeeper, with Canada’s Olympic opener set for Wednesday against the host nation of Japan. Group games against Chile and England will follow. The fact that Sheridan is on the team and vying for the top spot, given where she was five months ago, is worthy of commendation.

Instead of the 98 days she wrote on her hand pre-surgery, Sheridan required 75.

The Olympics will look and feel different, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, no fans in the stands and a plethora of daily health protocols. Sheridan will enjoy the moment regardless, focusing on the task at hand and cherishing the opportunity to grow into Canada’s goalkeeper of the future.

“This injury has pushed me to be better off the field, and being on this team will push me to be better on the field, setting the standard for future generations of players to come,” Sheridan says. “There’s definitely people looking at us, expecting things and looking up to us, not only to be inspired but to know that being a professional women’s soccer player is a viable option now. If you really work hard, are determined and stay true to your dreams, then you can do this.”