NWSL Announces May Best XI of the Month, Presented by Amazon Prime

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ORLANDO, Fla. (June 7, 2024) - The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the 11 players named to the Best XI of the Month, presented by Prime, for the month of May by the NWSL Media Association and the NWSL’s on-air broadcast talent. Six teams are represented in the league’s Top 11, with two members of the Orlando Pride in forward Barbra Banda and defender Emily Sams.

Banda earned her spot on the Best XI after being voted the NWSL’s May Player of the Month. The Copper Queen has wasted no time acclimating to the NWSL, with seven of her eight total goals scored in May. Banda added three braces to her ledger in the month, tying Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith for the league brace lead. The Zambian international has scored four of eight goals with her head, helping the Pride to the longest win streak in NWSL history. This is the first time Banda has earned NWSL Best XI accolades.

Sams tallied her first professional goal and her first professional assist in May to go along with six interceptions. Her goal came on the road against Seattle Reign FC and is the only Pride goal to be scored from outside the box so far this season. She has also shown her versatility by playing in multiple positions across the backline and becoming a staple to a Pride defense that earned two clean sheets and only allowed four goals in five games played in May. Sams has helped Orlando remain undefeated through Week 10 and set a league record with the Club's eighth straight win on May 24 against Portland.

The Pride return to action on Friday night, facing host San Diego Wave FC in a 10 p.m. ET kick off that will air on Prime Video. Orlando next home game is set for June 21 against Utah Royals FC, a 7 p.m. ET match at INTER&Co Stadium with tickets available at