Week three is in the books. Let’s get to it.
Utah Royals 0-1 Chicago Red Stars
I thought about becoming a Utah fan, but then I remembered we can never be royals.
This game featured great defense by Utah, other than giving up a single goal to Danielle Colaprico in the 27th minute. It also featured no offense from Utah, meaning Chicago probably could have had at least a draw if they hadn’t shown up. Utah lead in fouls (10-6) and more notably in offsides (6-1).
Kelley O’Hara played the first half and Amy Rodriguez returned to the field in the 77th minute. Stephanie McCaffrey returned for Chicago, very late, which is something of note, I guess. I said a couple weeks ago that A-Rod couldn’t take over a game and I stand by that only because she didn’t, but with five more minutes I think she would have tied this one.
Washington Spirit 2-4 North Carolina Courage
Mallory Pugh opened the scoring at 3’ for Washington, then Crystal Dunn responded at 20’ and McCall Zerboni at 24’ and then everyone took a break on the scoring until the second half, just to toy with my prediction that this would be a high-scoring affair.
Zerboni scored again at 48’, Washington’s Francisca Ordega closed the gap in the 58th, and then Lynn Williams put it away at 66’. I think both teams could have scored more, but didn’t want to make the other franchises feel bad. I would have expected Zerboni to go for the Gordie Howe hat trick late in the second half.
Sky Blue FC 0-1 Seattle Reign
Seattle remained undefeated and very visible in uniforms that should have a sponsorship deal with Mountain Dew or toxic waste.
Megan Rapinoe converted a PK on an inexplicable hand ball in the early part of the first (6’ for the purists) but Kailen Sheridan saved a Jodie Taylor penalty in the 86th, plus a stunning stop on the follow up by Seattle’s Dallstream.
The majority of the stream, when not obscured by rain, featured Seattle possessing the ball and pounding away but never breaking through for a run-of-play goal. New Jersey put together some offense in streaky spurts but seems to be lacking cohesion at all areas of the pitch.
Portland Thorns 2-1 Orlando Pride
Chioma Ubogagu for the Pride at 20’, The Great Horan for the Thorns at 28’ and the ageless Christine Sinclair with the final scoring at 39’. Then they did a second half which featured the lack of an Orlando midfield, a lot of Thorns rolling around holding ankles (and laughing, if you’re Emily Sonnett), plus Sydney Leroux making a case for the Selke Trophy as best defensive forward.
Post-game stats say 54% possession for Portland but that is why statistics lie, because I watched the game and don’t think Orlando ever had the ball, apart from rebounding shots and passing them back out to Thorns players.