USWNT REWIND: Heath Debuts for Arsenal, NWSL Playoff Race Heats Up


Less than a week after closing out the September international window with an 8-0 victory over Paraguay in Cincinnati, the U.S. Women’s National Team players returned to action with their respective clubs over the weekend.


Coming off a two-goal performance in the September 21 win in Cincinnati, Catarina Macario came on at the half to play the final 45 minutes of Olympique Lyonnais’ 4-0 victory over Guingamp on September 24.

Elsewhere across the Atlantic, Tobin Heath made her Arsenal debut on September 26, entering the match in the 84th minute of the Gunners’ 5-0 win over Manchester City. Heath returns to the FA Women’s Super League after spending the 2020-21 campaign with Manchester United.

Entering the final month of the regular season, the competition for berths to the 2021 NWSL Playoffs is intensifying, with eight teams vying for the league’s six postseason spots. Led by goals from Carli Lloyd and Margaret Purce, NJ/NY Gotham FC boosted its playoff case with a 3-1 victory over the visiting North Carolina Courage on Saturday in the opening game of the weekend. Lloyd, who scored six goals in the USA’s two games against Paraguay, carried her momentum into club play, converting a penalty in the 28th minute after Purce was brought down in the area. 

WATCH: Lloyd Draws Gotham Level


Eight minutes later, Purce bagged a goal of her own with a one-touch right-footed finish in the 36th minute. The goal, which proved to be the game winner, was the fifth goal of the season for Purce, who returned from injury for her first game action since August 1.

WATCH: Purce Scores Game Winner for Gotham



The win snapped a seven-game winless streak for Gotham and keeps them in the playoff hunt, currently sitting just one point back of sixth place with six games remaining to play. Lloyd played the full 90 minutes in the victory while Purce went 73 minutes in the win. Lynn Williams tallied a game-high five shots in a 90-minute performance for the Courage.

The Chicago Red Stars were the big mover of the weekend, beating league-leading Portland, 2-1, on Saturday night to jump into fourth in the table. Mallory Pugh, who started both USWNT games against Paraguay and tallied a career-high three assists in the Sept. 16 match in Cleveland, continued her strong run of form and tallied the game-winning assist on a goal by Rachel Hill in the 65th minute as Chicago picked up its first regular season win over Portland since the 2013 season.



WATCH: Pugh Provides Pin-Point Assist




Pugh played 87 minutes in the victory while Tierna Davidson and Casey Krueger went the full 90 minutes in a strong defensive showing from Chicago. Crystal Dunn assisted Portland’s game-opening goal in the 24th minute and played the full 90 minutes in what was her 100th career NWSL regular season game. Becky Sauerbrunn also played 90 minutes for the Thorns, who remain in first place with 38 points, while Sophia Smith came on at halftime for Portland.

While the Thorns remain the league leaders, OL Reign continued its climb up the standings and now sit just three points back of their Pacific Northwest rivals after a commanding 3-0 victory over the Orlando Pride on Sunday night. Coming off a goal and three assists in her hometown of Cincinnati on September 21, Rose Lavelle had a strong showing for the Reign in 88 minutes of action while defender Alanna Cook played all 90 minutes in the clean sheet victory. Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris all went the distance for the Pride in the loss.

The Washington Spirit currently hold the sixth and final playoff spot, picking up three points with a 2-1 home victory over Kansas City on Sunday. Kelley O’Hara drew a foul in the area in first half stoppage time and Andi Sullivan calmly converted the ensuing penalty to draw the Spirit level after an early goal by Kansas City. Washington would score again in the opening seconds of the second half to come away with the win. O’Hara, Sullivan and Emily Sonnett all played 90 minutes for Washington while Adrianna Franch went the distance in goal for KC.

The Houston Dash remain very much in playoff contention and are level with Washington on points, keeping pace with a commanding 4-0 victory over Racing Louisville on Sunday. Kristie Mewis tallied a goal and an assist in a dominant performance by the Dash start to finish. Mewis scored in the 43rd minute to give Houston a 2-0 lead, capitalizing on an errant pass out of the back by Louisville. She also set up a goal by Nichelle Prince in the 83rd minute to add extra insurance in the victory and went the full 90 minutes in the win. Abby Dahlkemper and Jane Campbell also played 90 minutes as the Dash secured the shutout on the road.



WATCH: Mewis Capitalizes on Miscue




Information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.


Wednesday, September 29

Arsenal vs. Tottenham

FA Cup

2:15 p.m.

Friday, October 1

Bordeaux vs Olympique Lyonnais

D1 Féminine

3:00 p.m.

North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit


7:00 p.m.


Racing Louisville FC vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC


7:30 p.m.


Saturday, October 2

Aston Villa vs. Arsenal


12:15 p.m.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Orlando Pride


7:30 p.m.


Kansas City vs. Houston Dash


8:00 p.m.


Portland Thorns FC vs. OL Reign


10:00 p.m.




Go Deeper