Houston Dash midfielder/forward Ebony Salmon was named to the 2022 NWSL Second Team Best XI on Tuesday afternoon. Salmon, clearly earned this spot leading Houston to the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.
It's never easy picking a Best XI team because there will always be a player snubbed. Houston's Ebony Salmon very nearly became one of those players. Had it not been for a second team award, her remarkable season would have been for naught.
In just 11 games in Houston, Salmon was clearly the best player in the NWSL from an attacking and goal scoring perspective. Yes, Alex Morgan scored 15 goals over the course of the season but she had three braces and four goals that accounted for 66 percent of her goals. The simple analysis is that she scored 10 goals in four games and five in the remaining 13 games since she played in only 17 of the team's 24 games.
Salmon arrived in Houston having logged just 75 minutes on the pitch before Racing Louisville FC sent her packing. Her first match, she logged 90 minutes. From July 1, 2022, she featured in 12 matches without missing a game scoring at least one goal on six different occasions. Her team went 7W-1L-3d behind her effort. She scored more goals at one point then seven different teams and scored more goals in that short span then every goal scorer ahead of her in the race for the Golden Boot. Extrapolated over an entire seasons, she would have blown Morgan's 15 goals out of the water with 22 of her own.
In 12 games, the Houston Dash goal scorer was named to the NWSL Best XI in back to back months of July and August becoming just one of three position players to earn that distinction. Morgan and her teammate Naoli Girma were the other two.. The 21 year old was also named the NWSL Player of the Month for July as well. She earned Player of the Week honors in Week 11 and runner-up in Week 13.
Salmon deserved a first team nod but at least they didn't pass her over for the second team award.