How Well Did the NWSL Internationals Do in Week 5?


If you missed the games this week, we’ve got you covered! Now, a lot of internationals did not play this weekend, most of it due to the fact they just came off of World Cup Qualifiers. But here is a wrap up of how all your favorite international players did:

The Australians:

Kyah Simon (Houston Dash)
Rating: 8/10
Simon made her debut for Houston and played a full 90. She didn’t receive the ball very much in the first half as a striker, but she moved into the #10 role in the second half and got more touches on the ball. She did make a beautiful dribble and got a clear shot, but it went over the crossbar.  She also made a few good passes, but other than that nothing too spectacular.

Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars)
Rating: 9/10
Kerr was an impact player even in her debut, which is no surprise. She was on the same page as her teammates which made things a lot easier for everyone. Kerr made a wonderful opportunity late in the game in which she flicked the ball to herself over the defender and ripped a shot, but it was just over the bar.

Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride)
Rating: 7/10
Kennedy had great moments, but she didn’t seem completely in-sync with everyone. Of course, that should come with time. She still had an okay game. She took a few knocks during the game which isn’t exactly an ideal welcome, but she seemed to shake them off and kept playing. Kennedy had a clear opportunity on goal, but her first touch let her down and took the angle off. She did make up for it with a beautiful backheel that got Ali Krieger in a great crossing position.

Emily Van Egmond (Orlando Pride)
Rating: 8/10
Van Egmond was subbed on late in the match but inserted herself well. Got on the ball, seemed confident, and combined with her teammates well. She also had a few nice through balls to Alex Morgan.

Steph Catley (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 7.5/10
Catley is always great at getting in the attack, but also getting back to defend. She had a solid performance for her new club. Great crosses and passes down the flank. She also closed down the attack of Orlando, which isn’t an easy job. Great night for Catley!

Katrina Gorry (Utah Royals)
Rating: 9/10
“Mini” came in late as a sub and had a great showing. She was the player for Utah that could switch the point of attack, which got them in on goal a few times. She also showed us that she is very dynamic in her passing, dribbling, and just her comfortableness in possession.


The Brazilians:

Debinha (North Carolina Courage)
Rating: 7/10
Came on as a sub late in the match. She did take a few shots, one was off target and the other one was handled easily by Campbell. She combined with her teammates well and gave them some good looks.

Marta (Orlando Pride)
Rating: 9.5/10
Marta was a magician as usual. Obviously, she had the stunning free-kick goal. She also did great at hustling to make something out of bad passes. She was calm on the ball and had lots of great combinations with the frontline of Orlando.

Mônica (Orlando Pride)
Rating: 7.5/10
Solid defending from Monica. There were several plays where she really stood her ground and got her team the ball back. Also, great play out of the back; she found the pocket of space and got it to the player every time.

Andressinha (Portland Thorns)
Rating: 6.5/10
Andressinha came on as a sub in the second half but just seemed to play simple tonight. We only saw one magical pass from her, whereas we are used to seeing lots of them from her. She got on the ball and seemed comfortable, now it’s just about being a little more creative.


The Canadians:

Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash)
Rating: 8.5/10
Outstanding match for Prince. She knew when to dribble, when to pass, and even when to shoot. Created plenty of opportunities for her teammates but they couldn’t get them on frame. Had a few key dribbles where she took on 2 or 3 players and came out of it still obtaining possession. Brilliant day for Prince!


Sabrina D’Angelo (North Carolina Courage)
Rating: 8/10
She played a full 90 and kept a clean sheet. Was not called upon very often in the match, but she did make a few good saves. A normal day for her.

Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride)
Rating: 8/10
Great play out of the back for Zadorsky, kept the Seattle attack locked down as well as giving Orlando a boost on the offensive side too. She did cover well when the outside backs got higher up the pitch, didn’t let anything get past her. Decent game from her.

Diana Matheson (Utah Royals)
Rating: 7/10
Not the usual performance from Matheson, but it was decent. Passed the ball well and knew when to go at defenses or calm the play down and pass it back. Got subbed out in the second half. She just didn’t make the impact she usually does.

Desiree Scott (Utah Royals)
Rating: 8.5/10
Scott is always so calm on the ball, she’s able to hold up the ball for Utah which they certainly needed. She did well to compensate for getting played the ball when her teammates weren’t open to receiving the ball. She did have the turnover that led to the Portland goal, but again that was due to her teammates not being open.

Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns)
Rating: 9/10
Got an assist that got Portland the point away from home. She was able to hold the ball in the attack and play make after calming down the play. She was all over the pitch for Portland, dropped back in the midfield at times, then she’d be making runs in behind. Great energy!


The Japanese:

Yuki Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars)
Rating: 7/10
Nagasato played in a lower role than what she usually plays. She didn’t have quite the impact she usually does, probably due to being in a new position. If she was to be played at striker with Sam Kerr, they’d likely produce some lovely football.

Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 9/10
Phenomenal game for Utsugi, she kept the ball for Seattle and allowed players to get forward. She was strong on the ball and confident. Utsugi had a great opportunity when the ball dropped perfectly for her off a cross, she hit it with the outside of her foot forcing a great save from Ashlyn Harris. She stamped her spot in a Seattle midfield with lots of depth.

Nahomi Kawasumi (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 8.5/10
Kawasumi always provides a great presence out wide and tonight she showed us that. She was unpredictable in her services. She’d play a lobbed cross, then she’d play a driven ground ball across which really asked a lot of Orlando’s defense to stop them. Great game for Naho.

The South Africans:

Janine Van Wyk (Houston Dash)
Rating: 9/10
A vital player in Houston’s backline, she blocked several shots that would’ve hit the back of the net if she wasn’t there to intervene. Provided cover for her teammates, as well as performing outstandingly in her own area. Amazing performance from Van Wyk.

Linda Motlhalo (Houston Dash)
Rating: 7/10
Started for Houston but taken off in the second half due to an apparent injury. She was the box to box midfielder today, she was found in the attack several times while also covering back in Houston’s own 18. Motlhalo plays way beyond her years. In my opinion she’s Houston’s best midfielder. She’s only going to get better from here!

The English:

Rachel Daly (Houston Dash)
Rating: 8.5/10
Excellent work as always from Daly, she plays extremely well wherever she’s needed. She looked very comfortable today, had some nice dribbles as well as great defensive moments.

Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 7/10
Great opportunity missed. It was a clear shot on goal inside the 6-yard box, she got it on target but not enough power or placement, Harris got an easy save. Other than that she didn’t have much support in the attack so she had a tall task to do. She’s had better games.

The New Zealanders:

Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage)
Rating: 6.5/10
Not Erceg’s best day on the pitch. Had several times she was beaten, and her teammates had to recover for her. Not a standout in today’s match, but hopefully she will return to her usual form next week.


The Irish:

Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage)
Rating: 9/10
O’Sullivan had quite a game. She was the link between the defense and the attack, which created lots of opportunities for North Carolina. Her ability to transition so quickly is something special. She had a few shots on target that she could’ve done better with, but other than that she was top quality.

The Nigerian: 

Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit)
Rating: 7.5/10
She scored a goal early in the game, due to her pace allowing her to get in front of the defender at the back post when the ball was played to her, and she tapped it in. She hustles day in and day out. Her pace is something Washington could definitely utilize in the long run. Other than that, she created some opportunities and got a few more shots off.


The Welsh:

Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 8/10
Also missed a great opportunity, she was in on goal with only Harris to beat and she put it over the bar. She did have a heck of a game in the midfield though. Lots of pressure on her but she was calm and composed on the ball. Had to exit early due to a hard knock on her leg, but hopefully, it’s not too serious.

The Dane:

Theresa Nielsen (Seattle Reign)
Rating: 7/10
Nielsen was subbed in way late in the game so she didn’t get a lot of touches. But the few she did have were completed passes. Didn’t get enough playing time to write more about.

The Norwegian:

Elise Thorsnes (Utah Royals)
Rating: 9/10
Outstanding game! Brilliant footwork and pace to get behind Portland’s backline. One instance in the game she had 2 defenders on her and she got out of the challenge with a brilliant move and got a cross off. An impact player for sure if they can feed her the ball more, but she made the most of her opportunities when she got them.

The Icelandic:

Gunny Jonsdottir (Utah Royals)
Rating: 9.5/10
The energy Gunny brings to a game is a thing of beauty. She is a pure box to box midfielder. You’d see her in the opposing box to get on the end of a cross, then back in her own box to block a cross. She really put in the work this game and it sometimes goes unrecognized. She’s a good passer on top of all that, and she’s a link up player so when she gets the ball you know she’s going to do something with it! She’s in top form right now!

The Swiss:

Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (Portland Thorns)
Rating: 8/10
Only played in the first half for Portland, but she had bright moments. She didn’t receive the ball as much as she should, being the quality player she is. As Portland get all their starters in I’m sure she will get the ball more. But she did do well when she got on the ball, like the brilliant backheel pass to Sinclair!

The Scottish:

Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals)
Rating: 9/10
Solid performance from Corsie, solid passing and defending, all you ask from a defender. She goes unnoticed most of the time but she is a brilliant player. She makes defending look easy with the way she goes about her tackles and just everything she does. Consistent player!

Image courtesy of Corri Goates
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