Midweek games are always hard, especially for traveling teams. This week the only away team that managed to pull out a win was the Orlando Pride, and it took three goals to overcome a Sky Blue looking buoyant after Sam Kerr’s highlight-reel bicycle kick. Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table Boston and Houston both struggled, Portland seemed to get their feet back under them, and Seattle got a little help from the ref. Here’s how USWNT players did this week.
Sky Blue FC 2 - 3 Orlando Pride
Kelley O’Hara: After sitting out the last game, O’Hara returned for Sky Blue. It was a slow start for her at right back but eventually she got into the game, though she still didn’t look 100%. She also scored a goal on a penalty for Sky Blue.
Ali Krieger: A lot of work for Krieger in this game as she corralled Sky Blue’s long balls and tried to control Maya Hayes. Sam Kerr got in behind her and Hayes got around her leading to Kerr’s bike, but she also prevented a lot of breakaways and 1v1s on her keeper.
Houston Dash 0 - 0 Boston Breakers
Morgan Brian: Relatively quiet game from Brian, but the whole team struggled to maintain consistency over 90 minutes.
Carli Lloyd: She couldn’t break the deadlock although she did her best to either put teammates in or break through the defense herself. Boston swarmed her every chance she got.
Portland Thorns 3 - 0 FC Kansas City
Lindsey Horan: Pretty good game from Horan, who is doing well with the freedom Mark Parsons has given her this season to drift where she’s needed. She helped keep control in the midfield and worked really well with Allie Long.
Meghan Klingenberg: She spent the night fighting with KC’s Shea Groom and often came out a winner, although her deep overlapping runs on the left weren’t as effective as they could have been.
Allie Long: Did her job on the night, backstopping the offense, spraying the ball out into space, and pressuring turnovers. Also had a great shot on goal that gave Christine Sinclair the chance to pounce on the rebound.
Becky Sauerbrunn: Cut out some passes, but also had to spend too much time covering for the rest of the back line. That covering left a big gap in the defense in the 75’, leading to Sinclari’s second goal.
Sydney Leroux: Leroux was doing her best to get stuck in and has been adapting to also being the provider who sits under the line of attackers, allowing her to either serve the ball or arrive late. She had a good header that was called back for offside.
Seattle Reign 2 - 1 Chicago Red Stars
Megan Rapinoe: Quite a night for Rapinoe, who was certainly buzzing around the left side of the attack when she wasn’t sinking two penalty kicks to win it for Seattle.
Christen Press: She couldn’t find the winner for Chicago although she had a few great balls in for teammates that didn’t find finishers.
Julie Ertz: She had an assist on the night, very nicely picking out Alyssa Mautz for Chicago’s only goal. It’s unfortunate her constant battling in the mid came to naught over penalties.
Casey Short: She got turned a few times in defense, but also stayed tough against one of the best wide players in the league, Nahomi Kawasumi.
Alyssa Naeher: She had a big scrambling save but couldn’t stop Rapinoe’s crisp penalties. It was an unfortunate scoreline that doesn’t reflect Naeher’s effort on the night.