USWNT REWIND: Scorers Shine Heading into September International Window
The U.S. Women’s National Team reconvenes in Cleveland for the first international window following the Olympics with several players looking to carry their scoring touch to Ohio after strong outings for their respective clubs. Catarina Macario, Casey Krueger, Alex Morgan and Sophia Smith all found the back of the net over the last week as the USA’s heads into its two-game set against Paraguay (Sept. 16 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Sept. 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and TUDN).
Macario found the back of the net three times this past week for Olympique Lyonnais, continuing her strong start to the season in France. The 21-year-old attacker opened the week with a goal – which proved to be the game-winner – in the 63rd minute of Lyon’s 2-1 win over Spanish side Levante in the second leg of the Second Round of the Champions League play, sending OL through to the group stage 4-2 on aggregate.
WATCH: Macario Scores Stellar Free Kick
USWNT goals also abounded on the other side of the Atlantic, beginning with a header goal from Krueger on Friday night to secure a road point for the Chicago Red Stars in a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dash. Houston opened the scoring in the 22nd minute after Kristie Mewis played a brilliant ball behind the Chicago backline, putting English international Rachel Daly in for the opening score. The Red Stars would come up with the equalizer in the 77th minute however, as Krueger headed in a rebound from a free kick for her first goal of the season and the seventh regular season goal of her NWSL career. Mewis played 90 minutes for Houston while goalkeeper Jane Campbell had four saves for the Dash on the night. Along with Krueger, Mallory Pugh and Tierna Davidson also clocked 90-minute efforts for Chicago before heading to camp in Cleveland.
WATCH: Krueger Comes Up With Equalizer for Chicago
On Saturday, Morgan wasted no time getting on the scoresheet in her first action since the Olympics. The prolific USWNT striker, who missed the first few club matches following Tokyo while recovering from a calf injury, subbed on in the 64th minute and scored just four minutes later, burying a left-footed blast into the back of the net on her first touch of the game as Orlando downed Racing Louisville, 3-1.
WATCH: Morgan Marks Return With Goal
Smith scored the lone goal in Sunday’s showdown between the Portland Thorns and North Carolina Courage, powering the visiting Thorns to a 1-0 win to maintain their lead atop the league table. Smith’s team-leading sixth goal of the season came in the 57th minute, a cool outside of the foot finish after breaking in behind the North Carolina defense.
WATCH: Smith Provides Game Winner for Portland
The goal was the first the Courage and goalkeeper Casey Murphy had allowed in 546 minutes, setting the NWSL shutout record. Murphy made seven saves for the Courage while Lynn Williams tallied three shots for the Courage in 90 minutes of action. Crystal Dunn played all 90 minutes in the shutout victory over her former club, in what was also the Thorns first road win ever against the Courage. Smith played 84 minutes in the victory while Lindsey Horan went 76 and Becky Sauerbrunn was a late second-half substitute for the Thorns.