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Debinha Named 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup Most Valuable Player

BOYDS, MD - JUNE 29: North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha Miri (Débora Cristiane de Oliveira) (10) dribbles inside of Washington Spirit defender Samantha Sam Staab (3) during the National Womens Soccer League (NWSL) game between the North Carolina Courage and Washington Spirit June 29, 2019 at Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

BOYDS, MD – JUNE 29: North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha Miri (Débora Cristiane de Oliveira) (10) dribbles inside of Washington Spirit defender Samantha Sam Staab (3) during the National Womens Soccer League (NWSL) game between the North Carolina Courage and Washington Spirit June 29, 2019 at Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, MD. (Photo by Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Days after the North Carolina Courage lifted the 2022 Challenge Cup trophy, individual awards for the entire tournament were released.

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The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Media Association voted Debinha as Most Valuable Player (MVP), followed in voting by the Washington Spirit’s Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez.

Debinha scored five goals throughout the Challenge Cup, including the opener in North Carolina’s semifinal against Kansas City, and she assisted Kerolin on the team’s opening goal in the Challenge Cup final.

This is Debinha’s second straight Challenge Cup MVP award.

Best XI honors featured players from the Washington Spirit, North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, and Kansas City Current, the four teams to make the knockout rounds.


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Washington’s Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch joined the Current’s Kristen Hamilton in leading the forward line.

OL Reign’s Rose Lavelle, Spirit midfielder Ashley Sanchez, and MVP Debinha filled out the midfield.

The defenders came from only two teams, as North Carolina’s Carson Pickett and Abby Erceg joined OL Reign’s Alana Cook and Sofia Huerta on the backline.

OL Reign’s Phallon Tullis-Joyce took the lone goalkeeper honors.

Meanwhile…

There’s not much to argue with this Best XI, which features high-performing players from the teams that performed the best.

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Some notable absences, however, include group stage assists leader Elyse Bennett, Angel City standouts Jasmyne Spencer and Vanessa Gilles, as well as a number of stars on teams that struggled to get preseason results.

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