It’s week three of the 2019 NWSL season and the North Carolina Courage have already managed to score [counts on fingers] 10 goals. That’s five twos and that’s a lot. But the Chicago Red Stars aren’t too far behind after racking up three against the Reign, who look a little lost without Megan Rapinoe. On the flip side there’s poor Orlando, who have managed one goal in three games, putting them below Sky Blue (!) who tallied a couple against the Portland Thorns, which is surely encouraging for a team that could use every last bit of positive energy.
Here’s how USWNT players fared in the league this past weekend.
Orlando Pride 0 - Utah Royals 1
Krieger did much better defensive work than offensive in this game. Her long distribution wasn’t hitting the right targets, but she did push Utah much more to their right on deep runs.
It had to be a frustrating game for Morgan, who was either stymied all game or simply just pushed back with the rest of Orlando as they sat deep.
Harris was a late scratch and did not play.
Some good tackles from Sauerbrunn to break up Orlando drives. She also kept a close eye on Morgan and was part of Utah’s calm play to wait out pressure in the back.
Press continues to play like every game might be her last and was often the driving force in the attacking third setting Utah up to attack Orlando’s goal. She got the game-winning goal in the 19’ with some incredible composure and a beauty of a first touch.
O’hara subbed on in the 57’ for Lo’eau LaBonta and wasn’t super involved in the play along the flank, but she did stay sharp through the end of stoppage to prevent an Orlando equalizer.
Chicago Red Stars 3 - 0 Reign FC
A mixed bag from Naeher, who could have been stronger on some crosses and got bailed out by her defender in the 59’ as she was caught literally on her butt in front of Jodie Taylor.
Aside from being strong on Chicago’s right flank, Short also dropped a hell of a shross in the 13’ to open the scoring for the Red Stars.
An average game for Ertz, although that’s not a bad thing, as her average helped backstop the Red Stars defense. She was quieter going forward as the game progressed.
Brian got 61 minutes for Chicago in the midfield and had a pretty good game of it, although her effectiveness waned in the attacking third.
An interesting game for Davidson, who got shifted outside to left back and was okay there, but clearly more suited to the central position.
She was effective helping to lock the Red Stars out of the middle early and linked up with Shea Groom when possible but even when the Reign broke through, they had trouble finishing.
Sky Blue FC 2 - Portland Thorns 2
A big brace for Lloyd, who earned Sky Blue their first point of the season.
She got beaten on the first goal with the help of a deflection, but on the second she out and out lost the challenge to Lloyd.
Emily Sonnett taketh away, and Emily Sonnett giveth. She was responsible for the second goal against when she got stripped handily by Lloyd, but also was in the right place at the right time to score Portland’s first goal.
Heath was the architect of Portland salvaging a point here, dropping a nice free kick into the box on the first goal and scoring the second herself with a neat backheel.
Houston Dash 1 - 4 North Carolina Courage
Despite a nice early stop on a penalty kick and several saves, once the Courage broke the door open in first half stoppage, it was a flood that Campbell didn’t help with an ill-advised punch in the 69’.
Nice, steady work from Dahklemper, although she was perhaps caught out a bit in terms of her spacing from CB partner Erceg on the Rachel Daly goal.
Zerboni was yet again an effective shield in the midfield, dominating deeper and along the flanks.
Mewis helped to control NC’s possession along the spine and worked with Zerboni to help NC keep opening Houston up.
She picked up a 60’ goal for the Courage, an absolutely lovely shross (?) and was a pretty uncontrollable ball-winner and distributor who helped NC focus heavily on Houston’s weak side before subbing in the 79’.
Mcdonald got 67’ minutes before being subbed for Leah Pruitt. Some unsteady passing from her, but also her usual ability to get into the box and put the ball on frame.