We’re in the endgame of the regular NWSL season. The top and the bottom of the table have pretty well separated, but in the jockeying for playoff position, there’s plenty of wild card results possible yet. This past weekend saw one result that was closer than expected and two that were varying degrees of what the kids these days call “wild.” Note: even though she’s not American, you should probably go watch Sam Kerr drag Sky Blue FC to a 5-4 win over Seattle courtesy of the first ever four-goal performance in league history. Kerr is going to be a player who antagonizes the USWNT for years to come, so if you aren’t already, get familiar with her now.
Here’s how USWNT players did in NWSL this past weekend.
Sam Mewis: She was better defensively than offensively, helping NC push high through her presence in the midfield, but unable to put in really decisive balls for her teammates.
Taylor Smith: She was kind of the flipside of Mewis; Smith had some great runs and created good flank pressure, but sometimes had a little trouble keeping up with Mal Pugh and Estefania Banini.
Lynn Williams: If effort counted, Williams would have an A, but it was the kind of game where she was offside way more often than not as part of a generally kind of discombobulated NC offense.
Abby Dahlkemper: She did a pretty good job disrupting Washington in front of goal, especially as Mal Pugh tried to cut inside.
Mallory Pugh: Pugh got pinned back a lot by NC’s pressure but any time she got into space she would create at least half a chance. Still, she wasn’t able to be the decider for her team.
Boston Breakers 1 - 2 Orlando Pride
Abby Smith: Five saves on the night couldn’t keep Boston in it. Sometimes it’s unfair to just blame the defense, but Smith was let down a bit by hers on the night.
Alex Morgan: A combination of Boston almost comically not keeping an eye on her and good positioning got Morgan on the board twice for Orlando.
Ali Krieger: Decent game from Krieger; Boston had some opportunities, but a lot of them were pretty chaotic. She ultimately assisted on the game winner with a nice ball that plopped into space for Morgan.
Ashlyn Harris: Though Boston buried a last minute penalty on her, she otherwise looked fit in goal in only her second game since returning from injury and made some good aerial snags and punches to limit Boston chances in the box.
Sky Blue FC 5 - 4 Seattle Reign
Kelley O’Hara: did not play
Megan Rapinoe: did not play
Portland Thorns 2 - 0 Houston Dash
Meghan Klingenberg: She assisted the first goal for Portland and continues to have solid set piece service. Her assist was a great ball to pick out Horan’s head right in the box.
Allie Long: Only 36 minutes for Allie Long, returning after an absence from the team. But in her limited time she put the ball on frame and held the ball pretty well to keep Thorns control in the midfield.
Lindsey Horan: Horan got Portland on the board early with a goal and was generally very involved in Portland’s attacking presence, going wherever she was needed.
Carli Lloyd: did not play
Jane Campbell: Four saves from Campbell weren’t enough to keep a clean sheet, though the saves she did make were nice. But defensive lapses covering Thorns in the box gave up two headers.
Chicago Red Stars 1 - 3 FC Kansas City
Christen Press: It was one of those games where nothing Press did really seemed to work out. She moved deeper and deeper as Chicago tried to get their offensive coordination sorted .
Julie Ertz: Ertz really did her best, linking up nicely with Yuki Nagasato until she had to drop deeper in an effort to shore up the defense. She also got Chicago’s lone goal in an expert give ‘n go with Nagasato.
Casey Short: Like Press, the ball just wouldn’t go where she wanted. She put in plenty of crosses but nothing dropped for Chicago.
Alyssa Naeher: Though she made some nice snags on long range balls and a big point blank stop on Leroux, a combination of playing injured, awkward positioning, and defensive lapses resulted in three given up to KC.
Becky Sauerbrunn: Good night from Sauerbrunn, who was often the one to break up Chicago’s attempts to get into the 18 with her positioning or just plain tough defending.
Sydney Leroux: She opened the scoring for KC with a very calm finish after a great feed from Shea Groom, but didn’t quite click again until she was subbed in the 89’.