The U.S. WNT players returned to NWSL play and several made a big impact as the season nears its midway point. It was also a strong weekend for players from Australia, Brazil and Japan, the three countries the WNT will face in the upcoming Tournament of Nations set to kick off on July 27 in Seattle. Here’s everything that took place for the U.S. WNT players this past weekend:
Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit (1-1; Goals: Press; Ordega)
Washington’s Francisca Ordega put her team ahead 1-0 late in the first half but the visitors were unable hang onto the lead as Christen Press first earned and then converted a game-tying penalty kick. Press raced into the left side of the penalty area and was chopped down in the 81st minute, prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot. The Red Stars captain then stepped up and nailed the pressure shot for her fourth goal of the season to salvage a point for Chicago at home.
The NWSL-leading NC Courage remains atop the table after a convincing 3-1 win against Boston on Saturday afternoon. Samantha Mewis assisted on the first of Kristen Hamilton’s two goals.
FC Kansas City vs. Seattle Reign (2-2; Goals: Kelly, Newfield; Kawasumi, Rapinoe)
In a highly competitive game in Kansas City on Saturday afternoon, the teams reach the 81st minute tied 1-1 courtesy of a Megan Rapinoe goal for Seattle that skipped past Nicole Barnhart from distance and a precise header from Alexa Newfield of FCKC that sailed just over the arm of flying Reign goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer. Then Japan’s Nahomi Kawasumi worked herself free inside the penalty box with a nifty move and finished a right-footed shot to make it 2-1 Seattle. The lead that would last only three minutes as FCKC’s Maegan Kelly scored the equalizer off a powerful header from Yael Averbuch’s driven inch-perfect cross for the 2-2 final score.
Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride (2-4; Goals: Poliana, Prince; Camila, Marta (2), Kennedy)
Carli Lloyd played 73 minutes in her 2017 NWSL debut, but it was the Brazilians who took the spotlight on Saturday evening in Houston. Five-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta scored twice and added two assists, while fellow Brazilians Camila (Orlando) and Poliana (Houston) also found the back of the net. Camila scored on a sizzling blast from outside that immediately became an NWSL Goal of the Year candidate. Australian Alanna Kennedy also scored for Orlando, bagging the fourth and final goal.
Portland Thorns vs. Sky Blue FC (1-3; Goals: Sinclair; Rodriguez, Kerr (2))
Sky Blue FC went into Providence Park and pulled off a huge win to hand the Thorns their first home loss of the season. Raquel Rodriguez scored 25 seconds into the match (a new NWSL record for fastest goal scored), and Australian Sam Kerr, bagged two goals off fantastic individual efforts while also providing the assist on Rodriguez’ score.
WNT Players in NWSL Action – Week 9
Defender Julie Ertz – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Midfielder Lindsey Horan – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Midfielder Allie Long – 62 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Defender Ali Krieger – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Forward Sydney Leroux – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Midfielder Samantha Mewis – 90 minutes, ASSIST (NC Courage)
Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Midfielder Morgan Brian – 83 minutes (Houston Dash)
Midfielder Carli Lloyd – 73 minutes (Houston Dash)
Forward Christen Press (capt.) – 90 minutes, GOAL (Chicago Red Stars)
Midfielder Megan Rapinoe – 89 minutes (Seattle Reign FC)
Defender Abby Dahlkemper - 90 minutes (NC Courage)
Defender Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Defender Meghan Klingenberg – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Defender Kelley O’Hara – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Did Not Play
Goalkeeper Jane Campbell – Unused substitute (Houston Dash)
Forward Alex Morgan – Hamstring injury (Orlando Pride)
Forward Lynn Williams – Ankle injury (NC Courage)
Midfielder Rose Lavelle – Hamstring injury (Boston Breakers)
Forward Mallory Pugh – Ankle injury (Washington Spirit)
Midfielder Tobin Heath – Back injury (Portland Thorns)
Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris – Quad injury (Orlando Pride)
Forward Amy Rodriguez – Torn ACL; Out for the season (FC Kansas City)