A lot of answers and details about who might win this season were revealed during the second week of NWSL Week 2 games. This second weekend was equally as dramatic as the first because to the amount of ability in the league and the significant amount of penalties called.
These are your NWSL Week 2 power rankings based on team performances and potential as the standings shake themselves out, with numerous clubs shuffling around every week based on the previous game.
NWSL Week 2 Top Teams
The Portland Thorns had a strong first half followed by a shaky second, but Sophia Smith, the league’s MVP and NWSL hat trick queen, led Portland to a 4-1 victory over the Kansas City Current on the road.
With a 2-0 victory over NY/NJ Gotham FC, the OL Reign secured the win on their cross-country visit. With a goal in the first half, Jess Fishlock gave the Reign the lead; Bethany Balcer added another in the second. The rest was handled by Reign’s defense. The Reign’s home opener against the San Diego Wave FC will let us know how good they are.
After winning its second straight game, San Diego Wave FC is on a roll. After defeating North Carolina Courage 3-1 on Saturday night, the club saw their second wave of success. An even battle was displayed at the beginning of the first half, but as the game continued, things changed.
Despite losing to the San Diego Wave, a young, developing team maintained their calm in an intimidating setting, competed until the last whistle, and saw numerous rookie players have an impact. For the majority of the first half, the Courage handled the intimidating setting admirably, dominating in possession and shots. But shortly before halftime, the Wave capitalized on a mistake to score. It would be very difficult to recover from the momentum swing shortly before the break.
NWSL Week 2 Playoff Contenders
The Washington Spirit settled for a 2-2 draw after leading by two at halftime. They couldn’t pull back ahead in the late stages of the match and each team settled for a point. Washington will have next weekend off during the upcoming international window, giving Trinity Rodman and Ashley Hatch a chance to recharge.
Midway through the second half, with the score tied, Houston took the lead with a penalty after a VAR call. Ordóñez successfully converted the spot kick, and the Dash held on to secure the victory. With its first victory of the year, Houston has now defeated the Red Stars three times in a row during the regular season since last year.
The Chicago Red Stars dropped their first match at home to the Dash and after being competitive away at San Diego. Their young players have some good passages of play and vets Mallory Swanson and Alyssa Naeher stepped up multiple times for the team to will keep them in the game.
In a highly anticipated rematch of the NWSL Championship game, the Kansas City Current came close to tying the score in the second half before falling far short to the Portland Thorns. Although it’s early, the Current have lost both of their games so far, and they continue to have a long number of injuries.
NWSL Week 2 Question Marks
Angel City defeated the Orlando Pride on the road to record their first victory of the year. After ten lengthy minutes of extra time, Angel City scored the game-winning goal, and Katie Johnson’s strike was the latest recent game-winning goal in NWSL history. Angel City may have the players to come off the bench and routinely change games, but their starters need to demonstrate their ability to win ugly to climb the rankings.
In a contest of two halves, the OL Reign defeated Gotham FC. Each team got five shots in the first half, which was full of activity. Many scoring opportunities were produced by Gotham FC, including two by Kristie Mewis and Midge Purce. However, the game was essentially over after falling behind in the second half. Gotham kept up the pressure in the second half and had a few excellent chances to score in the waning minutes, but they fell short.
Even though a tie isn’t a victory, on a day when Racing Louisville trailed 2-0 at the half, it seemed like a win. Racing didnt win either of its first two games, but it has tied two games with solid, playoff-caliber teams while playing without its captain, among other things.
There were a few bright spots in the Orlando Pride’s loss to Angel City. Messiah Bright, the rookie from TCU, scored her first professional goal in her first home game in the NWSL. She tied the game, but Orlando ultimately fell short and is winless with the league’s worst goal difference.
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