USWNT Rewind: Current Move Atop Table As NWSL Regular Season Enters Home Stretch

Following a pair of victories over Nigeria in the September FIFA window, the U.S. Women’s National Team players quickly returned to action with their respective clubs with less than a month remaining in the NWSL regular season.

It was a big weekend for the Kansas City Current, which moved into first place in the standings for the first time ever with a 1-0 road victory over NJ/NY Gotham FC on Sunday afternoon. Hailie Mace, who saw time in both of the USA’s matches against Nigeria for her first caps since 2018, scored the game’s only goal in the 78th minute as she converted from the penalty spot. With the win, the Current have now won four of their last five games and extend their overall unbeaten streak to 13 games in a row, the second-longest such streak in NWSL history.

WATCH: MACE MOVES CURRENT TO TOP OF TABLE



While Kansas City currently holds the top spot in the standings with 32 points from 18 matches, the NWSL Shield Race looks primed to come down to the wire with the top four teams in the standings separated by just two points.

Portland Thorns FC, who won the Shield in 2021, are second in the table with 31 points from 18 games played and kept pace with a 2-0 road victory over the Orlando Pride on Friday evening. The match also marked the return of Crystal Dunn, who came on in the late stages of the second half for her first action for club or country since giving birth to her son Marcel in May. Dunn trained with the USWNT during the September Camp as she continued her return to fitness. 

San Diego Wave FC are third in the standings, level on points but trailing Portland on goal differential. The Wave played the Washington Spirit in a 4-3 thriller on Saturday afternoon at Audi Field, a back-and-forth affair which resulted in a long-awaited victory for the home side. U.S. Under-20 Women’s Youth National Team forward Jaedyn Shaw gave the visitors from San Diego the lead in the seventh minute, tallying her second goal in just her second professional appearance. The Spirit responded quickly with a goal in the 11th minute assisted by USWNT midfielder Ashley Sanchez and scores in the 30th and 44th minutes to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room. San Diego roared back and drew level behind a second-half brace from Alex Morgan, who extended her lead in the Golden Boot race. Morgan, who her scored her 119th international goal in the USA’ September 3 win over Nigeria, converted from the penalty spot in the 57th minute and headed in the equalizer in the 82nd minute for her 14th and 15th goals of the season, respectively. Morgan’s 15 regular season goals are her most ever in an NWSL campaign and are just three shy of tying the NWSL single-season scoring record of 18 goals set by Australia’s Sam Kerr during the 2019 season.

WATCH: MORGAN HEADER PULLS WAVE LEVEL


 

The Wave’s comeback was spoiled however when the Spirit were awarded a penalty kick deep into second-half stoppage time. Spirit forward and 2021 Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch coolly converted from the spot to secure a 4-3 victory for Washington, which marked the club’s first victory across all competitions since May 1, snapping a 16-game winless run in the NWSL regular season.

WATCH: HATCH LIFTS SPIRIT TO VICTORY



The Houston Dash played Angel City to a 1-1 draw on Sunday to maintain its position at fourth in the standings, but just two points back of the first-place Current. Angel City also remains very much in the playoff race with 26 points from 17 matches. The expansion side is currently seventh in the table but sits just one-point back of Chicago in sixth and with games in hand.


Fifth-place OL Reign and the sixth-place Chicago Red Stars drew 2-2 on Friday night in Seattle. OL took an early lead but the visitors from Chicago scored in first half stoppage time to level the score at halftime. The Red Stars took a 2-1 lead in the 68th minute following a penalty kick, but Rose Lavelle provided the heroics for the home side in the 80th with a brilliant left-footed strike from distance, assisted by Megan Rapinoe.

WATCH: LAVELLE SCORES EQUALIZER IN SEATTLE


 

Rounding out the weekend action, the North Carolina Courage continued their recent run of form with a dominant 5-1 victory over Racing Louisville on Saturday night. The victory was the fourth in five games for the Courage, who now find themselves eighth in the standings, just two spots back from another postseason appearance.

 

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

 

Wednesday, September 14

NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. Angel City FC

7:00 p.m.

Paramount+

NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City Current

8:00 p.m.

Paramount+

Friday, September 16

NWSL: Racing Louisville FC vs. Orlando Pride

7:30 p.m.

Paramount+

Saturday, September 17

NWSL: Washington Spirit vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC

7:00 p.m.

Twitch

NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. OL Reign

7:30 p.m.

Paramount+

NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. Houston Dash

8:00 p.m.

Paramount+

NWSL: San Diego Wave vs. Angel City FC

10:00 p.m.

Paramount+

Sunday, September 18

D1 Féminine: Olympique Lyon vs. ASJ Soyaux

6:45 a.m.

Ata Football

NWSL: Kansas City Current vs. Portland Thorns FC

5:00 p.m.

Twitch

 

 

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