The NWSL QuickCap: Week One

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*Announcer voice* And here is your weekly recap of NWSL games.

Actually, I hate talking. That’s why I write. And I have no idea what sort of voice I’ll be writing in as this goes. Newsy? Sardonic? Trolling? Quickly fired? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Anyway, *Announcer voice* here is your weekly recap of NWSL games.

North Carolina defeated Portland 1-0 in a rematch of last year’s final, except for Long, Hatch, Henry and various other notable names moved in a very busy offseason. Per the internet, because I’m always at mass during the Lifetime Random Live Sporting Event Without Lead In or Follow Up, the one goal was by Débora Cristiane de Oliveira, but you can call her Debhina.

In a battle of the two newest teams in the league, Orlando and Utah tied 1-1. Utah, looking remarkably like FCKC but with Kelley O’Hara and without Shea Groom—and coached by Laura Harvey—gave up a PK (converted by Marta) on an iffy Sauerbrunn handball. Utah’s first franchise goal came from Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir, taking up the mantle of Only Icelandic Player in the NWSL as Dagný Brynjarsdóttir is on maternity leave. Notable from this game may not be the lack of finishing from either side, but the collision between Utah’s GK Abby Smith (late of Boston) and Orlando’s Alex Morgan (late of Epcot) that has Morgan in the concussion protocol.

Seattle is currently the highest-scoring team in the league, following a 2-1 win over Washington. Megan Rapinoe, looking to continue her strong form from last season, and England’s Jodie Taylor, scored in the first half for the Reign, and Joanna Lohman struck for the rebuilt Washington in the second. This game featured the return of Michelle Betos to NWSL, in net for Seattle. While only traditional Hot Take specialists are up in arms at this point, the Spirit featuring the future of the USWNT in Mallory Pugh, Rose Lavelle (injured) and Andi Sullivan will surely be under the microscope as the season progresses.

In the most surprising result of the week, Houston showed up. Oh, there’s more. They were competitive and controlled much of the game, leading 1-0 on a Kimberly Keever (no profile picture on the NWSL site, even) goal until Chicago’s Taylor Comeau equalized at 90’+2. With Sam Kerr on Matildas duty and Ertz and Short among the injuries, Chicago is probably going to look very different in future games.

Sky Blue had the bye.

So bye. Until next week.

Image courtesy of Leanne Keator