Week two of the National Women’s Soccer League took place this weekend with three games on Saturday and two on Sunday, as all 10 teams continue to find their footing in the young 2016 season. Here’s how the U.S. Women’s National Team players performed:
On Saturday afternoon, the Orlando Pride hosted its first NWSL game, and recorded its first win in franchise history in front of 23,403 fans when it welcomed the Houston Dash to the Orlando Citrus Bowl. The Pride took down the Dash 3-1 behind a Houston own goal, and tallies from Lianne Sanderson and captain Alex Morgan. The electric crowd set a new NWSL single-game attendance record, breaking the previous record of 21,144 set by the Portland Thorns in its first post-World Cup match on July 22, 2015.
After a scoreless first half, the Pride took an early second-half lead in the 46th minute after Morgan’s shot deflected off Houston defender Andressa for an own goal. Then, in the 57th minute, Sanderson etched her name in the Orlando record books when she scored the first home goal by a Pride player to give the home side the 2-0 lead. Morgan made it 3-0 in the 61st minute, scoring her first goal of the season in only her second game with her new club. Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris had a terrific performance, recording seven saves on the night. Following a 75th-minute goal from Andressa to cut the Pride’s lead, Harris sealed the game with back-to-back saves in the 80th minute. Next, Orlando travels to Chicago for a Sunday afternoon matchup (May 1, 6 p.m. CT), while Houston returns home to welcome Sky Blue FC on Friday (April 29, 7:30 p.m. CT).
The game marked the return of Dash and WNT midfielder Morgan Brian, who had been sidelined the past few weeks due to a minor hamstring injury. Additionally, Dash and WNT captain Carli Lloyd was substituted in the 13th minute of the game due to a right knee injury after attempting to win the ball from a defender in the fourth minute. Lloyd was diagnosed with a an MCL sprain and will miss 3-6 weeks.
The Chicago Red Stars returned home to Toyota Park and bounced back from a disappointing season opening 3-1 loss in Houston, with a 1-0 victory against the Western New York Flash on Saturday afternoon. Following its impressive win against defending champs FC Kansas City the week prior, the Flash were aggressive early on, but a goal in the 28th minute from Chicago native Casey Short halted all momentum. Red Stars captain Christen Press had a chance to make it a two-goal game just before the half, but was kept at bay thanks to a fingertip save from Flash goalie Sabrina D’Angelo. Chicago goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, who was acquired in the offseason, earned her first clean sheet of the season. The Chicago Red Stars host the Orlando Pride on Sunday in the first meeting between the two sides.
Portland began its four-game road trip on Saturday when the Thorns visited FC Kansas City. The game’s final 1-1 score line was the first draw of the 2016 NWSL season.
Despite playing much of the second half with only 10 players, FCKC held on to tie the Thorns and earn its first point of the season. U.S. U-23 international Shea Groom opened up the score line with a goal off a Heather O’Reilly assist in the 30th minute, giving the Blues the lead at the half. Just like they did in last weekend’s victory against Orlando, Thorns and WNT midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan combined in the second half to tie the game in the 78th minute after Heath’s corner kick was headed to the back of the net by Horan. Horan leads the league with two goals, while Heath leads the league with three assists. Next, FC Kansas City travels to Seattle (May 1, 4 p.m. PT), while Portland visits Boston (May 1, 5 p.m. ET) on Sunday.
On the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader, the Washington Spirit won its second consecutive game, downing Sky Blue FC 2-1 in New Jersey. Spirit and WNT defender Ali Krieger gave Washington the lead in the 41st minute with a powerful shot from outside the penalty box that sailed just over the goalkeeper’s extended arm. The goal was Krieger’s third career NWSL goal. In the second half, forward Crystal Dunn recorded her second assist of the year in the 56th minute as she set up teammate Diana Matheson for the 2-0 Spirit lead. With the victory, the Spirt now sits atop the NWSL with six points ahead of its road trip to face the Western New York Flash on Friday, April 29 at 7 p.m. ET. Also in action on Friday will be SBFC, which visits Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium (7:30 p.m. CT).
In a matchup between winless teams, Seattle Reign FC prevailed with a 3-0 victory against the Boston Breakers at Jordan Field on Sunday afternoon. Seattle dominated much of the game, including a strong performance from Reign and WNT goalkeeper Hope Solo. The game marked Solo’s first win and shutout of the season.
Morgan Brian – 64 minutes (Houston Dash)
Crystal Dunn – 90 minutes, assist (Washington Spirit)
Whitney Engen (capt.) – 90 minutes (Boston Breakers)
Ashlyn Harris – 90 minutes (Orlando Pride)
Tobin Heath (capt.) – 90 minutes, assist (Portland Thorns FC)
Lindsey Horan – 90 minutes, GOAL (Portland Thorns FC)
Julie Johnston – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Meghan Klingenberg – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Ali Krieger (capt.) – 90 minutes, GOAL (Washington Spirit)
Carli Lloyd (capt.) – 12 minutes (Houston Dash)
Allie Long – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
Samantha Mewis – 90 minutes (Western New York Flash)
Alex Morgan (capt.) – 90 minutes, GOAL (Orlando Pride)
Alyssa Naeher – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Kelley O’Hara – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Heather O’Reilly – 90 minutes, assist (FC Kansas City)
Christen Press (capt.) – 90 minutes (Chicago Red Stars)
Christie Rampone(capt.) – 90 minutes (Sky Blue FC)
Becky Sauerbrunn (capt.) – 90 minutes (FC Kansas City)
Hope Solo – 90 minutes (Seattle Reign FC)
Emily Sonnett – 90 minutes (Portland Thorns FC)
* Jaelene Hinkle – Did not play (Western New York Flash)
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|Seattle Reign FC||2||1||1||0||4||2||2||3|
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