FLORENCE, S.C. — Francis Marion University graduate and former Patriot women’s soccer player Angela Salem has been named to the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) Best XI First Team presented by MasterCard for the 2021 season.
The squad was selected based on a weighted voting scale comprised of players (50%), owners/GMs/coaches (20%), media (20%), and fans (10%).
Salem, who completed her 12th year of professional soccer, also finished fifth in the voting for the league’s Most Valuable Player award after a very successful season with the Portland Thorns. The squad earned the NWSL Shield award, placing first during the regular season with 44 points and a 13-6-5 record.
This past season, the 33-year-old Salem appeared in 23 games (21 starts), tallying two goals and one assist. She was a three-time NWSL Team of the Month selection (August, September, October), led Thorns FC in minutes played (1779), and ranked eighth in the league for chances created with 43. She garnered a 79.1 percent passing accuracy and made 47 key passes as she expertly patrolled the Portland midfield.
Prior to joining the Thorns, Salem previously played for the Boston Breakers, Washington Spirit, and Western New York Flash. She helped the Flash win the NWSL championship in 2013. She also recorded the deciding kick in the 2012 title match penalty-kick shootout as the Flash won the Women’s Professional Soccer League (WPSL) Elite League championship.
She has also played in the Australian W-League for the Newcastle Jets, and suited up with the Atlanta Beat of the WPS in 2011 and Sky Blue FC of the WPS in 2010.
Salem patrolled the midfield for FMU between 2006 and 2009. She appeared in 59 career matches scoring 11 goals and assisting on 27 scores. As a freshman, she tied the school’s single-season record for assists with 11. The Copley, Ohio, native was named the Patriots’ MVP as a sophomore and a junior.
A 2010 graduate with a B.S. degree in psychology, Salem was named to the FMU Swamp Fox Athletic-Academic Honor Roll each of her four years, and was selected to the Peach Belt Conference Presidential Honor Roll four times.
She is a graduate of Copley High School, where she was an All-State and All-Conference performer, scoring 81 goals with 46 assists.