Congratulations, NWSL fans: we got through the international break! And even though we didn’t get to see our favorite clubs play this past week, we did get to see some of our favorite NWSL players do some pretty great work on the national team level. In case you missed it, here is a quick recap of just five amazing things that happened this past week for our NWSL stars:
Estefanía Banini’s Free-Kick Goal
Washington Spirit’s Estefanía Banini may have had the greatest goal of the international break. The Argentinian forward had a free-kick opportunity from right outside the box in their match against Brazil, and she did not waste it. She hit a screamer to the top right corner of the net and it left the audience speechless. Unfortunately, Banini’s heroics were not enough to pull out a win for Argentina, but damn if I don’t want to watch this on repeat:
Ayer Argentina perdió 1-3 ante Brasil en la Copa América Femenina pero la noticia del partido fue este golazo de Estefania Banini
— DEPORTV (@canaldeportv) April 6, 2018
Alex Morgan Did Alex Morgan Things
Four goals in two national team matches? I’ll take it. Alex Morgan was a woman on a mission this past week against Mexico, and that mission was dominance. Morgan played in what looked to be mid-season form as she was the constant threat for the US inside the box. On set pieces, in transition, and with the ball, she seemed to be unstoppable. Add in beautiful passes from Megan Rapinoe and what do we have? A confident striker that was a terror for Mexico’s defense. No doubt she will be taking some of that momentum with her back to Orlando.
Katie Johnson’s Chip
It was a tough international break for Mexico, but for the NWSL fans out there, they got to see a nice, cheeky little shot from Katie Johnson, the Mexican and Sky Blue forward. Alyssa Naeher hit a bit of a rough patch in the first of the USA-Mexico friendly when coming off the line. Katie Johnson was there to capitalize on that, and it was quite a goal. She chipped Naeher as she came off her line, a decision I’m sure the goalkeeper wishes she could have back. Check it out below.
— Our Game Magazine (@OurGameMagazine) April 6, 2018
Carli Lloyd Got 100
With a goal in the first and second of the US-Mexico friendlies, Carli Lloyd achieved the 100 goal milestone that everyone has been waiting for. It was only a matter of time before it happened, and I don’t think anyone was surprised when it did. Though the 100th goal was not a pretty one by any stretch of the imagination, a goal is a goal. And that one, my friends, was a big one. Even if Carli Lloyd likes to pretend that it was no big deal. If you want to watch it again (because who doesn’t?) here’s the clip:
Carli Lloyd scores her 100th goal for the USWNT. pic.twitter.com/n2Ecbo48yB
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) April 8, 2018
Jess Fishlock Flew Home in Style…Jodie Taylor Did Not.
When England and Wales played this past week in a World Cup qualifier, it made opponents out of Seattle Reign teammates Jess Fishlock and Jodie Taylor. The match was a hard-fought draw, with Wales (and Fishlock) coming out ahead of England. But the weirdest thing that happened was that Taylor and Fishlock both took the same flight back to the United Kingdom—only Fishlock got a business-class seat and Taylor was left in economy. And of course, as all good teammates would, Fishlock made sure Taylor was aware:
— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) March 29, 2018
Obviously, a lot more happened over the international break, but I only have five slots to fill, so go check out some recaps and brush up on your international soccer IQ. Just make sure you come on back and get ready for tomorrow and Sunday. The NWSL has returned to us, my friends. Let’s not miss a second of it.