USWNT REWIND: Lyon Clipped in UEFA Women’s Champions League Final, Pride Sets Record for Consecutive Wins in NWSL

Trinity Rodman and Audrey Kingsbury celebrate with the Washington Spirit team after a match
Trinity Rodman and Audrey Kingsbury celebrate with the Washington Spirit team after a match

For the second year in a row and third time in the last four seasons, Barcelona FC have won the UEFA Women’s Champions League, topping eight-time champions Olympique Lyonnais 2-0 on Saturday in the Final in Bilbao. U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Lindsey Horan, who helped Lyon win the 2021-22 Champions League title, saw her bid for a second Champions League trophy fall short, despite a strong 90-minute performance in the midfield. Horan, who made history as the first USWNT player to start multiple finals in the Champions League era, finished the 2023-24 Champions League campaign making nine appearances – all of them starts – while logging 741 minutes of play and three goals for Lyon.

Another heavyweight clash highlighted the weekend in NWSL as the Orlando Pride – who entered the weekend unbeaten on the season and in the midst of a seven-game win streak – hosted a red-hot Portland Thorns squad that came into the Friday night showdown in Florida having won each of their last six games. In the end, it was the hosts from Orlando who prevailed, winning 2-1 to extend their win streak to an NWSL record of eight in a row. Zambian international Barbra Banda scored both goals for Orlando on the evening and is now tied with Portland’s Sophia Smith for the league lead in scoring with eight goals on the season. Banda scored in the 30th and 40th minutes to give the Pride a 2-0 advantage at the half before the Thorns pulled one back in the 71st minute on a goal assisted by Olivia Moultrie.

Approaching the halfway mark of the regular season, the Pride currently lead the league with 27 points from 11 matches (8W-0L-3D) while the Thorns are in fourth with 19 points (6W-1D-4L).

The Kansas City Current, the only other unbeaten team remaining in the NWSL, sits second in the standings (25 pts; 7W-0L-4D) after a 1-0 road victory over Utah Royals FC (4 pts; 1W-9L-1D). KC is now unbeaten in 13 consecutive regular season games, a run that includes its first 11 matches in 2024 and the final two games of the 2023 campaign.

Reigning NWSL Champions NJ/NY Gotham FC (18 pts; 5W-2L-3D) extended its unbeaten streak to six games in a row with a 2-0 win over Bay FC (9 pts; 3W-8L-0D) on Friday evening in San Jose. Goals in the 31st and 33rd minutes lifted Gotham to its fourth win in the last five games while also registering the clubs’ fourth clean sheet of the 2024 campaign.

The Washington Spirit (24 pts; 8W-3L-0D) also earned their fourth win in five games and extended their win streak to three with a 3-0 win over Seattle Reign FC (7 pts; 2W-8L-1D) on Friday night at Audi Field. Midfielders Andi Sullivan and Croix Bethune, who will both join the USWNT as training players for the upcoming training camp in Denver, both scored for the Spirit in the win. Bethune tallied the game’s opening goal – her fourth of the season – in the 21st minute and Sullivan doubled Washington’s lead from the penalty spot in the 39th. The third overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, Bethune also assisted the Spirit’s third goal of the game in the 45th minute for her league-leading eighth assist of 2024. Seattle scored twice in the second half to chip away at the Spirit lead but couldn’t complete the comeback as Washington remains unbeaten at home this season.

The Houston Dash (12 pts; 3W-5L-3D) picked up their first home victory of the 2024 campaign with a 3-0 win over the North Carolina Courage (15 pts; 5W-6L-0D) on Friday night. Dash captain and goalkeeper Jane Campbell made three saves on the night as she recorded her fourth clean sheet of the season.

Racing Louisville FC (12 pts; 2W-2L-6D) picked up its first win away from home this season with a 1-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars (16 pts; 5W-5L-1D) on Saturday afternoon. It marked the second win of the season for Louisville and the club’s first since April 20.

In the lone draw of the weekend, Angel City FC (11 pts; 3W-5L-2D) and San Diego Wave FC (12 pts; 3W-4L-3D) played to a 0-0 stalemate on Thursday night at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. The teams combined for 16 shots on goal but neither could find the back of the net as the Wave recorded their fourth shutout of the regular season and Angel City, its second.

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