With all five NWSL games this weekend falling on Saturday, it was like a fire hose of score updates and game results. The teams you’d expect to win won, but there were some close results that demonstrate even the bottom of the table can’t be underestimated lest they sneak a result and grab points - crucial, when the difference between the #1 and #6 team is four points.
Here’s how USWNT players did in NWSL this weekend.
Houston 0 - 2 Seattle
Morgan Brian: Though she seemed on the path to playing a full 90, Brian had to sub out after the first half. It could have been related to the intense weather conditions in Houston that day, with Houston’s Rachel Daly collapsing from heat exhaustion just before final whistle. (Daly was later treated at the hospital and released.)
Kealia Ohai: Ohai also had to sub out, perhaps with some cramping issues, once again probably influenced by the heat. While she was in she was trying to put the ball on net but wasn’t getting the best support from fellow forwards Nichelle Prince and Janine Beckie.
Megan Rapinoe: Rapinoe was feistier than usual, really straddling the line between playing hard on the ball and just straight up running over people. She slowed down a little in the second half as the heat took its toll and as Houston started to put it together a little more.
Chicago 3 - 2 North Carolina
Alyssa Naeher: A decent game from Naeher, though perhaps she could have done better on NC’s first goal. Though she was in position she just looked stunned that the header popped over her hands.
Casey Short: She didn’t work quite as high up the field as usual and had to work pretty hard to help contain NC’s Taylor Smith, which she did for the most part.
Julie Ertz: She had a good combination of service from deep with defensive work, dropping between the CB’s to reinforce the back line.
Christen Press: Once again Press was a key cog in Chicago’s offense, not just pulling strings but also making her own chances. She was still going full steam late in the game when she beat Hinkle in a footrace in the 91’.
Jaelene Hinkle: Worked in and out of the game but wasn’t as involved as sh could ahve been in patches. She needed more moments like the end of the first half, almost hitting Lynn Williams to put her in on goal.
Samantha Mewis: She had some great balls trying to open up NC’s attack and sent in the corner kick that gave them their first goal.
Lynn Williams: Chicago’s defense was all over her every time she got near the ball, but that didn’t entirely stop her from getting around defenders and putting in some crosses.
Sky Blue FC 2 - 1 Orlando Pride
Kelley O’Hara: Out with injury, left gluteus medius strain
Ashlyn Harris: Out with injury, quadriceps injury
Ali Krieger: She had more and more to do since the game started off with early Orlando control but SBFC eventually dug in. Eventually she got shifted centrally but fellow CB Alanna Kennedy wasn’t on the same page, and late direct balls from Krieger weren’t enough to help Orlando find an equalizer.
FC Kansas City 3 - 2 Washington Spirit
Becky Sauerbrunn: Her 60’ headed goal would eventually be the game-winner for KC and really, any time a CB gets a goal let alone the game-winning goal is cause for rejoicing (unless you’re a Spirit fan).
Sydney Leroux: An early brace from Leroux, scoring in the 9’ and the 27’.
Mallory Pugh: Pugh drifted in central from her left forward position and did her best to win balls with speed, turning the corner around defenders or piercing the defense with good short passing, though not nearly often enough. This was her first start as a pro and hopefully as time goes on, will be a lot more involved with Washington’s attack.
Portland Thorns 2 - 0 Boston Breakers
Lindsey Horan: Fluid interchange in the middle with her fellow Thorns midfielders helped Horan press the Breakers midfield into disarray.
Allie Long: Long had a great night, constantly pressuring, forcing turnovers or errors.
Meghan Klingenberg: Much better from Klingenberg after last weekend, although she still needed help controlling Adriana Leon during Boston’s rare pushes forward.
Megan Oyster: Extremely busy night for Oyster, who needed the entire first half to settle into something resembling control in the second.
Rose Lavelle: Portland rightfully paid special attention to Lavelle, really limiting her ability to get on the ball. Any spare second she thought she had to breathe with the ball at her feet was cut off by pressure.
Abby Smith: Considering the manner in which Portland went up so early on Boston by two - an own goal and a wizard of a distance shot from Amandine Henry - she showed some good mental resilience to not let in any more goals and stay tight with her positioning.