Below is a recap of the NWSL action of this past week.

 

Wednesday, July 22

FT – Boston Breakers 1-2 Chicago Red Stars

Boston Breakers, 3-8-3 (12 points)

Chicago Red Stars, 7-1-5 (26 points)

Soldiers Field Stadium, Allston, MA

A goal by Christen Press in the 89th minute was the difference as the Red Stars picked up the win on the road.

Chicago dominated the first half, outshooting the host Breakers 6-2. Nonetheless, the first place Red Stars found the net only once in the first half, as Melissa Tancredi scored on Alyssa Mautz’s cross. The Breakers tied the game in the 69th minute, when Kyah Simon’s header found the net for her first goal of the season.

Player of the Game: Christen Press

The World Cup alum came into the game as a substitute in the 60th minute, but she quickly took control and led Chicago downfield for a number of scoring opportunities. In her 31 minutes on the pitch, Press set up shots by Vanessa DiBernardo and Sofia Huerta, and took five shots of her own. Her blast in the 89th minute proved to be the game-winner for the Red Stars.

 

FT – Portland Thorns FC 0-1 Seattle Reign FC

Portland Thorns, 3-6-4 (13 points)

Seattle Reign, 8-3-3 (27 points)

Providence Park, Portland, OR

An NWSL record 21,114 attended the first of this week’s two matches between the Thorns and Reign. The two rivals played to a 1-0 score on Wednesday, with reigning MVP Kim Little scoring the difference-maker in the 57th minute.

Portland had a handful of scoring opportunities created by forward Christine Sinclair and midfielders Allie Long and Tobin Heath. The Thorns could not capitalize as the Seattle defense prevented them from finding the back of the net.

Players of the Game: Haley Kopmeyer + Seattle defenders

Kopmeyer is coming off a rough match versus Washington in which she allowed three Spirit goals, but the Seattle goalkeeper looks to have recovered nicely. Her save on Long’s free kick in the 79th minute prevented Portland from finding the equalizer.

The trio of Rachel Corsie, Stephanie Cox, and Lauren Barnes did a solid job of limiting Portland to only six shots through the entire game. Kopmeyer smothered all six to maintain the lead for Seattle.

 

Saturday, July 25

FT – Washington Spirit 1-1 Chicago Red Stars

Washington Spirit, 6-4-3 (21 points)

Chicago Red Stars, 7-1-5 (26 points)

Maureen Hendricks Field, Boyds, MD

Christen Press scored her second goal in as many games and gave Chicago a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute. The Red Stars kept the lead until the 83rd minute, when Crystal Dunn tied the game with her league-leading ninth goal of the season.

The draw kept Chicago in first place for the moment, but they slipped one point behind the Reign after Seattle’s commanding 3-0 win over the Thorns on Sunday. The Spirit remained in third place with a 6-4-3 record, and their 21 points gives them a three-point lead over fourth place Kansas City FC.

Players of the Game: Christen Press and Crystal Dunn

Both Press and Dunn were dynamic for their teams. In addition to scoring the only goals for each side, they dominated the offensive front by showing speed and power that kept the opposing defense on its feet. They each took two shots on goal and were the center of their team’s offensive opportunities.

 

FT – Western New York Flash 0-1 Houston Dash

Western New York Flash, 4-6-3 (15 points)

Houston Dash, 4-4-5 (17 points)

Sahlen’s Stadium, Rochester, NY

Carli Lloyd’s goal in the 49th minute was the only score of the game as Houston blanked the Flash, 1-0. Lloyd, who criticized the Flash organization after the team traded her last October, headered in a pass from defender Meghan Klingenberg to help Houston gain three critical points and move into fifth place in the league table.

The Flash could not figure out the Houston defense despite a last-minute Hail Mary attempt led by Lady Andrade and Samantha Mewis. Houston goalkeeper Erin McLeod made three critical saves in the final minutes to prevent the Flash from finding the equalizer.

Player of the Game: Erin McLeod

The Dash goalkeeper’s twelve saves capped off a strong performance by the Houston defense. McLeod smothered any attempt by the Flash to find the back of the net, including a point-blank shot by Mewis in stoppage time.

 

FT – Sky Blue FC 3-1 Boston Breakers

Sky Blue FC, 3-6-5 (14 points)

Boston Breakers, 3-8-3 (12 points)

Yurack Field, Piscataway, NJ

Sky Blue FC’s offense is showing signs of life after recording three goals for the second straight game. Behind goals by World Cup participants Kelley O’Hara and Sam Kerr, the hosts took twenty-six shots and demonstrated dominant possession. With the three goals, Sky Blue are no longer the lowest scoring team in the league. More importantly, the win moves Jim Gabarra’s team out of last place in the table.

Defender Lauren Lazo scored her first goal of the season for the Breakers, who have now gone seven consecutive games without a win. Boston is now 3-8-3 with 12 points on the season and now occupy the last-place spot in the league.

Player of the Game: Kelley O’Hara

O’Hara led the way and provided Sky Blue with the offensive spark that they missed all season. Along with Kerr, Nadia Nadim, and Katy Freels, O’Hara created momentum and a force that Boston could not keep up with.

 

Sunday, July 26

FT – Seattle Reign FC 3-0 Portland Thorns FC

Seattle Reign, 8-3-3 (27 points)

Portland Thorns, 3-6-4 (13 points)

Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

Portland saw the return of goalkeeper Nadine Angerer, who had been away for World Cup duties with the German national team. Unfortunately for the Thorns, her presence could not prevent Seattle from scoring three times.

The three goals – one by Jess Fishlock and two by Beverly Yanez – led the Reign to a 3-0 victory as they shut out the Thorns for the second time this week.

The Reign moved back into first place with a one-point lead over Chicago. The Thorns, meanwhile, have now lost three consecutive games and fall from sixth to seventh in the league table. Their offense has been dismal lately – they have not scored since July 3.

Player of the Game: Beverly Yanez

As usual, Yanez was in the center of Seattle’s offense on Sunday. She did an excellent job of keeping the ball in Reign possession and away from Portland defenders. Her two goals on Sunday were her seventh and eighth of the season.

 

All NWSL games can be streamed on the league’s official YouTube channel.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: