NWSL Power Rankings, Week 8 Edition

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The National Women’s Soccer League has come to its first break of the season after 8 weeks of intense action, and we have the latest Power Rankings to tide you over until league play resumes.

1 (-). Chicago Red Stars (5-2-1; def. Seattle 1-0)

Fresh off a two game sweep of North Carolina, red hot Chicago hosted equally red hot Seattle in a battle for second place in the league, and it was the Red Stars who emerged victorious. Despite conceding the majority of possession to the Reign, Chicago proved dangerous on the counter, peppering Haley Kopmeyer’s goal for 90 minutes, and finally breaking through the tough Seattle defense in the second half for the only tally of the match.

Next match: 6/17 vs Washington at 4 PM EST

2 (-). Portland Thorns FC (4-1-3; def. Sky Blue 0-2)

It was the Lindsey Horan Show for Portland, as the US international put in a very strong performance and scored both of the Thorns’ goals to earn a solid road win over Sky Blue. Adrianna Franch also had a very good night in goal, making several key saves to record her 5th shutout of the season.

Next match: 6/17 vs Boston at 10 PM EST

3 (+2). North Carolina Courage (6-3-0; def. Kansas City 2-0)

Needing a win to stay atop the standings heading into the break, North Carolina took on Kansas City and emerged as the victors in a dominating performance. McCall Zerboni put the Courage ahead in the second half, and Ashley Hatch scored her first professional goal to ice the result. Katelyn Rowland had a fairly uneventful afternoon in goal, as the anemic KC attack was easily brushed aside by the NC defense.

Next match: 6/17 vs Boston at 7:30 PM EST

4 (-1). Seattle Reign FC (3-2-3; lost to Chicago 1-0)

In a season of Dr Jeckyl/Mr Hyde performances from Seattle, it was Mr Hyde’s turn to play against Chicago. While the midfield did their job in controlling possession and generating chances, the forwards were successfully stymied by the rock solid Red Stars backline. But although she took a loss, Haley Kopmeyer was outstanding in goal, turning what could have been a rout for Chicago into a narrow defeat.

Next match: 6/17 @ Kansas City at 4 PM EST

5 (+1). Sky Blue FC (4-4-1; lost to Portland 0-2)

Finishing, or lack thereof, was the name of the game for Sky Blue against Portland. Although the Sky Blue midfield did well to create several good chances, the forwards (Sam Kerr in particular) squandered every single opportunity provided to them. And while the injury-riddled backline gave a decent effort, poor marking on set pieces proved to be their undoing.

Next match: 6/17 @ Portland at 10 PM EST

6 (-2). Boston Breakers (2-4-2; lost to Orlando 2-0)

The slide that began in May for Boston continued into June, as for the second consecutive game, the Breakers conceded two quick goals to their opponents and then found themselves chasing the game and unable to erase the deficit. Rose Lavelle was a nonfactor for Boston, and the Breakers’ patchwork backline proved unfit for the task of shutting down the Pride attack.

Next match: 6/17 @ North Carolina at 7:30 PM EST

7 (+1). Orlando Pride (2-3-3; def. Boston 2-0)

After a frustrating loss to Sky Blue, Orlando instituted a big shake up of their lineup against Boston and the changes paid off, as they punished the Breakers with two goals in the first 15 minutes. Marta struck first by converting the first penalty in the Pride’s history, and Jasmyne Spencer scored her second goal in two games to give Orlando a lead they would not relinquish.

Next match: 6/17 @ Houston at 8:30 PM EST

8 (-1). FC Kansas City (3-3-2; lost to North Carolina 2-0)

Kansas City headed to North Carolina on the back of consecutive wins over Washington and hoping for a further momentum boost. But the Blues were sent home with no points after a disappointing loss to the Courage. Despite the defense limiting their opponent’s chances on goal, two defensive lapses ultimately cost KC the match, and the offense was nowhere to be found on the day.

Next match: 6/17 vs Seattle at 4 PM EST

9 (-). Washington Spirit (2-5-1; def. Houston 2-0)

After consecutive losses to Kansas City, Washington took on a struggling Houston squad and came away with three vital points to climb out of the cellar. Cheyna Williams put the Spirit on the front foot within 3 minutes, and Mallory Pugh opened her NWSL account with a second half goal, while Stephanie Labbe added another brilliant performance to her resume with a number of quality stops.

Next match: 6/17 @ Chicago at 4 PM EST

10 (-). Houston Dash (2-6-0; lost to Washington 2-0)

New(ish) coach, same outcome for the reeling Houston Dash. Omar Morales’ tenure as interim head coach did not get off to a good start, as his team fell behind early and never recovered. The Dash midfield was completely outplayed by their opposition, and what chances did come the way of the Houston forwards were turned away with little difficulty by Stephanie Labbe.

Next match: 6/17 vs Orlando at 8:30 PM EST.