This one was a strange week for NWSL as all teams also had midweek games before this weekend. We’re only recapping the weekend games for the purposes of this edition of USWNT players in NWSL.
Orlando Pride 1 - 2 Sky Blue FC
Alex Morgan: She was deeper for Orlando in the midfield, partially due to her shifting role from focal point to creator, but also because the Pride brought in Aussie speedster Lisa De Vanna to help with the offensive burden. Morgan both won midfield balls and pushed up into the attack herself.
Ashlyn Harris: Pride defense needed to do better on both of SBFC’s goals; with Sam Kerr beating multiple defenders with her foot skills and Maya Hayes beating the back line with speed. Harris tried to come out on the Hayes goal but was perhaps impeded by her own player. She did well with a big dive in the second half to keep the scoreline at only a one goal differential.
Kelley O’Hara: O’Hara moved up from the back line into the midfield where she fed her forwards some good through balls while getting a couple of looks at the goal herself.
FC Kansas City 0 - 0 Chicago Red Stars
Heather O’Reilly: HAO returns to these recaps since she’s not technically retired from the WNT yet. She was moving more centrally for FCKC, coming in from the left, and handled it mostly fine. She could have been more involved in the attack but it wasn’t her usual position at all and she managed some good ball movement on her own.
Becky Sauerbrunn: Solid game from her. She kept traffic in front of the goal and cut down on Chicago’s shooting opportunities to limit them to just three shots all game, and even spurred a good FCKC press forward with a penetrating run through the middle.
Christen Press: She was connecting well with the rest of the offense in her 10 role, especially Alyssa Mautz. But despite good feeds to runners in the box, the finishing wasn’t there for Chicago.
Julie Johnston: She was lucky not to give away a free kick in a very bad spot when she tackled Caroline Kastor just outside the 18. Otherwise she did manage great feed on the ground to Press in the second half, almost spurring a Chicago chance on goal, much like her FCKC counterpart Sauerbrunn.
Alyssa Naeher: She keeps doing stuff like this.
Naeher, Alyssa. #KCvCHI pic.twitter.com/FsoKEwwxQL— Our Game Magazine (@OurGameMagazine) September 11, 2016
Houston Dash 4 - 1 Boston Breakers
Carli Lloyd: A great night for Lloyd with two goals and one assist; she threaded the Boston defense all game long to feed Kealia Ohai and Janine Beckie.
Morgan Brian: Not so much for Brian to do this game as Boston’s midfield couldn’t come up with much; she kept them pressured into their own half.
Whitney Engen: Out for this game with an injury.
Portland Thorns 3 - 2 Western New York Flash
Tobin Heath: She picked up an assist on Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s goal to help make it 3-0 before the Flash attempted to come back.
.@dagnybrynjars puts the third on the board!! #BAONPDX #PORvWNY pic.twitter.com/MnPFfa8y0I— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) September 12, 2016
Lindsey Horan: She had 67 minutes in this game and was threatening around the goal, though not as much as in previous games.
Allie Long: She had good passing combinations with Horan and Klingenberg and it was her movement of the ball through the midfield that helped set up the third goal.
Meghan Klingenberg: Some good movement up the flanks through her and combination with Horan, but also some needless dispossessions.
Emily Sonnett: Better center backs than her have been bamboozled by Lynn Williams, and Jess McDonald’s goal was a well-won header on a cross.
Samantha Mewis: She needed some help containing the Thorns offense early on, especially with Sinclair, Heath, and Long on their game.
Seattle Reign 2 - 0 Washington Spirit
Megan Rapinoe: She continues to come back to full fitness, getting a start and 74 minutes for the Reign. She picked up an assist on the Reign’s first goal with a low hard cross right across the face of goal for Beverly Yanez.
Ali Krieger: She got burned by Pinoe on the Reign’s first goal, but stayed tough for all 90 and was still pushing out very late in the game, trying to create counters to find a winning goal for Washington. She also had a beautiful corner kick in the 20’ that nearly sneaked in under the crossbar and forced Haley Kopmeyer to tip the ball away.
Crystal Dunn: Did not play