The April 2018 NWSL Team of the Month includes no less than four Washington Spirit players, as the NWSL Media Association recognized forwards Mallory Pugh and Francisca Ordega, defender Estelle Johnson, and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe for their efforts in the past month. Despite going 0W-2D-1L in April, observers rewarded some standout individual performances for Washington. The North Carolina Courage, who are already 7 points ahead of the rest of the league, also had four players named to the list.
For USWNT star Pugh, it’s the second straight Team of the Month nod. The 20 year old posted a goal and an assist after starting in all three April games for Washington, and generally being a menace on the dribble no matter who lined up against her in defense. That attacking threat is also the source of Ordega’s recognition. The Nigeria international scored in all three of Washington’s games in April, and is on the Team of the Month for the first time in her NWSL career.
Johnson, the team’s captain in 2018, has made the Team of the Month twice before, in April and in June of 2017. Johnson was credited with a secondary assist on Ordega’s goal against Chicago, and played her part in holding the dangerous attacks of Portland and Chicago to one goal apiece in the Spirit’s last two games.
Bledsoe’s nomination no doubt involves the fact that she has won the league’s Save of the Week award in each of the last two weeks, including a Save of the Year frontrunner on Saturday against the Red Stars. While this Team of the Month spot is a first for Bledsoe, it’s not the first for a Spirit goalkeeper: Stephanie Labbé was on the list in April and June of last year.
The full team of the month is as follows: