It’s still fairly tight in the top half of the NWSL table, and even mid-table teams could see themselves make a push for playoffs with a few good runs on points. And with the Olympics coming up and lots of national team players gone, any number of shakeups could happen, especially from the lower third of the table with FC Kansas City and the Houston Dash itching to get some wins.
Here’s how USWNT players did in NWSL this past weekend.
Western New York Flash 0 - 2 Portland Thorns
Samantha Mewis: Another active game from Sam Mewis, even though she didn’t manage to break through for the Flash. She’s shown good consistency and reliability through the past two months.
Jaelene Hinkle: When she did get forward she provided some valuable service from wide, but she didn’t push high enough, and left too big a gap between herself and Abby Dahlkemper on the Thorns’ first goal, allowing Christine Sinclair to run in and score.
Tobin Heath: When will her wellspring of vigor run dry? Not any time soon, it seems like. She’s been taking matters into her own hands more and more often and just needs to be sure she’s not holding the ball too long instead of finding the open player or switching the point of attack.
Lindsey Horan: She was involved in the setup for the first goal and had some good work going box to box.
Allie Long: She provided the assist on Sinclair’s goal, doing well to get the ball into empty space, and also did some hard work in defense.
Emily Sonnett: She’s developing into a solid center back, which is not the easiest ask of a rookie.
Meghan Klingenberg: Did not play, last minute scratch from the roster, possibly due to an injury during warm ups.
Washington Spirit 2 - 0 Orlando Pride
Crystal Dunn: When she wasn’t working the left sided attack for Washington, she was also doing some hard defensive work. Dunn continues to create incredible opportunities that penetrate deep into the box.
Ali Krieger: She got into the attack for the Spirit and managed to feed some balls into the box, even though it sometimes resulted in offside calls.
Alex Morgan: She was kept fairly isolated for patches and was limited to just one shot on goal, despite her hard work elsewhere on the field.
Ashlyn Harris: There wasn’t much to do on the first goal with goalscorer Estefania Banini winning a one-v-two situation, but perhaps she would have done better to stay on her line for the second goal with two defenders converging on Francisca Ordega.
Chicago Red Stars 3 - 0 Boston Breakers
Christen Press: Even though she didn’t score, she still managed seven shots and definitely contributed to keeping the Breakers back line occupied.
Julie Johnston: A combination of her own defense and Boston’s general inability to put together a functioning attack left Boston with half as many shots as Chicago on the night.
Alyssa Naeher: She did well to control the airspace in the box and smothered a decent shot from Kyah Simon, but wasn’t called on to be peak Naeher.
Whitney Engen: Bad movement from her while sticking too close to a Chicago player left a huge gap for Chicago to serve a ball through and allow Casey Short to score. To be fair, Engen found herself covering for other parts of the back line who were having a rough night, perhaps pulling her in too many directions at once.
Sky Blue FC 0 - 0 Seattle Reign
Hope Solo: Sky Blue was pressing for a lot of the game which required her to stay on her toes. She had a good block early in the second half on a shot at point-blank range.
Kelley O’Hara: As active as ever up the left for Sky Blue, although she may have scuffed her own team’s goalscoring opportunity arriving late into the box and blocking a header at goal from her own teammate Tasha Kai. But defensively she might have managed to keep it level by sliding into the way with Jess Fishlock just about to tap in a ball directly in front of goal.
Houston Dash 0 - 1 FC Kansas City
Morgan Brian: She was pushing more into the attack this game and had lots of good stops to help control the center of the pitch and get Houston’s offense restarted from midfield.
Heather O’Reilly: She had an excellent shot that went off the woodwork and delivered some good balls on corner kicks.
Becky Sauerbrunn: She scored the game-winning goal for FCKC with a header in the 80’ as she was left unmarked in Houston’s 18-yard box. Goal and enthusiastic celebration below.