There was a lot of action this weekend in the NWSL and some great games! If you missed them or even if you watched them you’ll want to read this! Here’s a wrap up of how all of the internationals in the NWSL played:
Kyah Simon (Houston Dash)
Good game for Simon, had lots of creative plays that got her teammates through. She played striker in the first half but was moved to the #10 role in the second. Personally I like her at both; it’s just a matter of what Houston needs. Her passes were good and she was a huge part of breaking down Sky Blue’s backline.
Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars)
Vs Orlando- Kerr played great as usual. Created lots of space for herself and her teammates. There were a few times she got through the entire Orlando defense and ripped off a shot. Most of them were way off target: not to take away from the brilliant dribbling, but as a striker she must hit the target more. When her striking partner Yuki Nagasato was subbed on they connected well but we are yet to see a full match with both of them playing as strikers.
Vs North Carolina- Sam put in 100% against the Courage, always running down defenders to try to gain back possession. Kerr scored a brilliant goal in the first half; the ball was played to Kerr, she settled it against the challenge of Dahlkemper and finished it into the bottom left corner. A great day for Kerr.
Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride)
Kennedy was back to being the connector in the midfield we’re used to, providing brilliant long balls placed perfectly between Chicago’s backline and Alyssa Naeher. She covered a lot of ground which took some pressure off of the backline. She was able to calm the play down and spread the ball over the field consistently. Nothing but positives from this game for Kennedy!
Emily Van Egmond (Orlando Pride)
Van Egmond tallied her first assist in purple and it was a beauty! She received the ball, picked her head up and placed the ball perfectly into Rachel Hill’s run and obviously Hill finished it, but a lot of credit to Van Egmond for reading Hill’s run. Also a lot of energy coming from Van Egmond, she also covered a lot of ground. Solid performance.
Steph Catley (Seattle Reign)
Good work up the flank today. Steph got in advanced positions but also tracked back well to not get caught on the counter. She provided decent corner services and is definitely someone to consider for corner kicks in Megan Rapinoe’s absence. Would like to see a little more from Catley.
Katrina Gorry (Utah Royals)
Gorry showed us what she’s capable of today, she spread the ball around the field well and got her teammates in behind a couple times. Her composure is amazing; the way she’s able to be so calm and collected when there are 4 defenders around her is impressive. She had some fun moments in the game, like when she pulled off a perfect scorpion kick that was a perfect through ball to the winger. Fun to watch!
Debinha (North Carolina Courage)
Good work from Debinha, she’s a very dynamic player. She created plenty of opportunities for North Carolina, but Naeher was having a phenomenal day in goal and she came up with several great saves. Debinha has been that player for North Carolina that can play the through balls to unleash their pacy attackers, which is much needed.
Marta (Orlando Pride)
Marta didn’t quite have the impact on a game the way she usually does. Her teammates didn’t get her the ball very much, which isn’t smart considering what Marta can do with the ball at her feet. She did well when she got the ball but it’s vital to Orlando’s success that she gets the ball more. She had a good vision when she played the ball across Chicago’s backline to Hill which was easily collected by Naeher, but other than that a rather quiet night for Marta.
Poliana (Orlando Pride)
Subbed in very late in the match (84’). Poliana still slipped a through ball in to Rachel Hill whose shot was saved but it was impressive how Poliana made an impact that late into a match.
Mônica (Orlando Pride)
Solid shift for Monica, consistently a rock in the backline. She’s always there to cover if her teammates get beat. She was great passing out of the back this week as well. There weren’t any specific instances that stood out but she had a pretty regular game.
Andressinha (Portland Thorns)
Outstanding performance from Andressinha, she came into the match and found it quite well. Andressinha is so creative; her vision is a thing of beauty. A situation where a normal player would just do the simple pass, she’d play a stunning through ball that gets her teammates in on goal. Her passing ability is something no one else in this league measures up to. A great day for her!
Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash)
Outstanding match for Prince. 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. Great day for Prince!
Lindsay Agnew (Houston Dash)
Agnew earned her first start for Houston, and she got herself an assist. A corner came in to the back post and Agnew tapped it back across the face of goal and Prince put it away. She definitely showed us she can be a starter all season with her defending and great passing. A good showing for her.
Sabrina D’Angelo (North Carolina Courage)
Wasn’t called upon much–on the Chicago goal she may have been a little out of position, but she made a huge save late in the game to keep North Carolina level. Sam Kerr was in on goal and D’Angelo made a huge kick save. But other than that a normal day for D’Angelo, one huge save and one not so great moment.
Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit)
Quinn was subbed in late in the first half and brought some energy to this Washington team. She was always running and giving it her all. She helped Washington get past the first wave of defense with her dynamic skills on the ball. But I’d like to see some more composure from Quinn, sometimes when she did break the press she’d play a bad pass, which isn’t terrible but it’s not exactly great to give up the ball at the halfway line. That should come with experience and time but it must be worked on.
Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride)
Very creative play out of the back: she’s always ready to start an attack and get the ball up quickly. The defensive side wasn’t as great this week as she let Sam Kerr get through a few times but covering Kerr is never an easy job.
Diana Matheson (Utah Royals)
Great game for Matheson, who got on the scoresheet, a just reward for her hard work. She and Estelle Johnson were running for a bad pass in Utah’s attacking third and Matheson slid to get the ball and when she got it, it was just her and the keeper, she calmly chipped it over Bledsoe and in the back of the net. She had some very creative passes as well as dribbles.
Desiree Scott (Utah Royals)
As I mentioned last week, Scott is so good at breaking pressure. When she receives the ball in a tough position she finds a way to get out of it with the ball. Her experience definitely gives a boost to the midfield of Utah which is mostly new to the NWSL. Not to mention her work rate that will put a smile on any coach. She’s a real unsung hero for Utah!
Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns)
Sinclair is always a vital asset to Portland’s attack, she is able to calm the play down and spray the ball out wide to create a crossing opportunity. Sinclair had a few shots, none of which hit the back of the net but credit to Michelle Betos for keeping Sinclair scoreless.
Janine Beckie (Sky Blue)
In the first half it seemed as Beckie couldn’t string any passes together, that did change in the second half where she seemed to play a little better. She either overhit them or she didn’t read the player’s run correctly. Beckie just didn’t quite find her rhythm tonight–not her best game.
Yuki Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars)
Vs Orlando- Came in the match in the 81’ minute, and still created some chances. She had a great flick header to Sam Kerr which got Chicago a great opportunity. When she and Kerr are playing together at striker they will be a dangerous duo.
Vs Chicago- Nagasato started in the striker role but was pushed into the midfield as a tactical change and it was a good move. Nagasato was on the ball more which Chicago needed, she had a phenomenal lobbed ball to Sam Kerr that got her in on goal but forced a great kick save out of D’Angelo.
Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign)
Scored the game winning goal for Seattle, she took a touch around the defender and ripped a perfectly placed shot into the bottom right corner. As well as the goal, she had a phenomenal game in the midfield. Calmed the play down and allowed her team to get forward, covered a lot of ground too. A solid shift for Utsugi.
Nahomi Kawasumi (Seattle Reign)
Kawasumi had a decent game, nothing too spectacular. She had some good services from out wide and had some nice dribbles. Kawasumi tallied an assist from her corner kick, but then there were times her play was a little sloppy.
The South Africans:
Thembi Kgatlana (Houston Dash).
Came in late (76’) and assisted on the game winning goal. A long ball was played over the top and with Kgatlana’s pace she got to it and played it across the face of goal to the oncoming Latsko and she tapped it in.
Janine Van Wyk (Houston Dash)
A fairly normal day for Van Wyk, was ready to defend when she was needed and had some decent passes. Nothing too special, but credit to her for being consistent.
Rachel Daly (Houston Dash)
A good day on the pitch for Daly, she showed her pace in the amount of times she was in on goal due to chasing down long balls. She scored Houston’s 2nd goal with and error from Sheiran but credit to Daly for creating the chance. She played outside back for the last part of the game, showing she can play wherever she’s needed.
Jodie Taylor (Seattle Reign)
Scored a PK to redeem herself from last week, ran hard and gave it her all but overall it just wasn’t her day. Credit to Taylor for converting the penalty but just a few minutes earlier she had an unmissable chance–Sonnet slipped on the ball, Taylor pounced and dribbled about 20 yards to put herself one on one with the goalie but Reynolds took her angle off and Taylor shot it straight at the keeper. She put in 100% effort but she should have come out of the game with 2 goals.
Katie Johnson (Sky Blue)
Bagged a brace in this weekend’s game, great day for Johnson. She scored with a header and a tap in but she was the target forward they were aiming for. Great passing, dribbling, and shooting as you can see. But that’s what you want from your forward, and she really delivered for Sky Blue today!
The New Zealanders:
Abby Erceg (North Carolina Courage)
Erceg shut things down quickly to keep Chicago out of North Carolina’s defensive half, she also assisted on the only North Carolina goal of the match. Overall a good day for her but she didn’t see too much action.
Katie Bowen (Utah Royals)
Came in as a sub in the 85’. Didn’t get on the ball much if at all.
Rebekah Stott (Sky Blue)
Played decent defense but gave a way a lot of passes due to Houston’s high press. Nothing spectacular from Stott tonight but she didn’t play badly. She will need to step up in future games against the likes of Portland or Seattle’s attacking power.
Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage)
O’Sullivan didn’t get on the ball as much as she usually does, but she had a great opportunity that forced a huge save out of Neaher. Good passing as always but a relatively quiet day for O’Sullivan.
Estefania Banini (Washington Spirit)
Subbed on in the 63’ and helped get Washington the ball in the attacking third. She showed us her skill on the ball and her playmaking ability. She played some smart through balls to Washington’s frontline that got them in on goal a few times, nothing came of them though. A good late sub for Washington.
Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit)
Ordega had a great game, she pressed high up on the pitch and caught Utah in possession a couple times. On top of that she is a dynamic dribbler–the way she’s able to turn so quickly is a handful for defenders.
Jess Fishlock (Seattle Reign)
Great work from Fishlock today, or in the words of last weeks commentator “Fishlocker”. She drew a penalty with a brilliant dribble in the box, she got sandwiched by 2 defenders and the penalty was called immediately. She was exciting in the attack, whenever she got the ball you know she’s going to do something with it. Subbed out in the second half due to an few knocks before today, but she was not going to miss this game.
Gunny Jonsdottir (Utah Royals)
Another player that works day in and day out for Utah, she’s running up and down the pitch constantly. It makes me tired just watching how much she runs. Jonsdottir was always going up for headers and giving it her all for every ball. She had a giveaway in the first half but Abby Smith recovered for her. Fantastic work rate!
Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic (Portland Thorns)
Played her first full 90 for Portland and looked motivated. Ana was great today as an aerial target in the box for the amount of services Portland put in. She did make the foul that got Seattle a penalty but she was just going hard for the ball. Very excited to see her season ahead.
Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals)
Another solid performance from Corsie, specifically her play out of the back. She is great at playing out of pressure which Utah needs. Great defending in her contributions toward keeping a clean sheet. A solid day!