It was a rough weekend in NWSL with most teams coming off midweek games, making it three games in a week for a lot of tired players. Several USWNT players returned to action this weekend after sitting out with injury. Alex Morgan and Mallory Pugh both stepped back on the field, although neither of them managed to be the difference-maker for their teams just yet. Elsewhere, Megan Rapinoe added another exciting chapter to the Cascadia rivalry and Boston took a breath after eight straight games without a win. Here’s how USWNT players did in NWSL for week 11.
North Carolina Courage 0 - 1 Sky Blue FC
Sam Mewis: For all her attempts on goal, the one that will probably haunt Mewis most from this match is her PK in the 54’. It wasn’t taken particularly well, allowing GK Kailen Sheridan a relatively easy save.
Kelley O’Hara: She and Sam Kerr were dangerous together at times and O’Hara remains one of the most involved fullbacks in the league, though she didn’t create as many chances as she should have.
Boston Breakers 1 - 0 Washington Spirit
Mal Pugh: Pugh checked in for the second half and immediately helped the Spirit attack that left channel. But Boston’s defense held fairly tight and when she dropped more into the 10 role, she wasn’t able to feed her attackers enough to get that equalizer.
Orlando Pride 0 - 1 Chicago Red Stars
Ali Krieger: She helped keep Chicago out of the 18, limiting them to a lot of searching shots from distance, and almost grabbed a last gasp equalizer with a clanger off the crossbar.
Alex Morgan: Morgan returned to NWSL action when she subbed on in the 65’, going in at the highest striker position. Based on the couple of opportunities she had to put the ball on frame, the more she and Marta settle into a pattern the more dangerous Orlando will become.
Christen Press: She had plenty of chances, although a lot of them were at range. In the end she put Chicago up in the 58’ on a penalty kick.
Julie Ertz: A lot of strong movement through the middle from Ertz helped keep Chicago mobile and control much of the game.
Casey Short: Short was an example of teams attempting to rotate rosters to deal with the tight schedule, subbing on in the 66’. She immediately drew the foul that gave Chicago their PK and continued to help Chicago press high.
Alyssa Naeher: As usual she managed to hang tough on some big challenges and was very quick to pounce on a ball to deny Alex Morgan a late opportunity. But she was a bit lucky to escape a double opportunity from Orlando in stoppage.
Seattle Reign 2 - 0 Portland Thorns
Megan Rapinoe: It was the Megan Rapinoe show all the way as she sank a brace to give Seattle the win. Rapinoe was everywhere all the time, picking players’ pockets, putting in crosses, and getting behind.
Allie Long: A quiet game from Long. Portland wasn’t able to pull it together in the midfield for a lot of the game.
Lindsey Horan: She worked all over the midfield trying to get the team higher on the pitch but found herself blocked or pressured everywhere she turned.
Meghan Klingenberg: Not a lot from Klingenberg either in what had to be an extremely frustrating game for the Thorns.
FC Kansas 1 - 2 Houston Dash
Sydney Leroux: Leroux is still not really fitting into KC’s system, often hanging around the box without seeing the ball or not in position to take the shot herself. Things might be different but for the absence of Amy Rodriguez, out with an ACL injury.
Becky Sauerbrunn: She did everything she could to cut off the Dash as they pressed into the box, but Houston’s first goal took a very unfortunate bounce off GK Nicole Barnhart while Sauerbrunn was closing down the space. She also kept taking space even when KC was down to 10 after a red card on Lo’eau LaBonta.
Carli Lloyd: A very determined Lloyd was working the field without stopping for the full 90, putting in a fantastic ball for Rachel Daly to score the first goal.
Morgan Brian: did not play