The NWSL season is now well underway but Week 2 featured four low-scoring games plus an outburst from Seattle, which almost out-scored the rest of the league combined. The other nine teams combined for six goals in three 1-0 wins and a 1-1 tie while Seattle put five past Houston before allowing a late goal in the 5-1 victory at home. In Europe, the first legs of the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals commenced with Alex Morgan’s Olympique Lyonnais defeating Carli Lloyd’s Manchester City by a 3-1 score in Manchester.
The other big news of the weekend was the NWSL announcement that brand new, state-of-the art Orlando City Stadium will host the NWSL Championship Game on October 14, 2017.
Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City (1-0 Chicago; Goal: Ertz)
She may have a new name this season but Julie Ertz (formerly Julie Johnston) still has the same game, and that includes a talent for scoring an impressive goal on occasion. Playing in the center midfield – a positon she played in college and early in her Youth Women’s National Team career, Ertz tallied her first goal of the season, and first for Chicago, in front of her home crowd. She timed her run perfectly to sweep home a cross from Sofia Huerta in the 41st minute past former WNT goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, who proved tough to beat all afternoon. The goal stood as the game-winner in 1-0 victory for the Red Stars which earned its first points of 2017. Christen Press missed a penalty kick in the 49th minute that would have made it 2-0.
FC Kansas City had several chances in stoppage time, but was unable to break through the Red Stars defense and goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who recorded three saves in the game.