Last month, the USWNT picked up two wins in rather lackluster friendlies against Norway and Sweden. The performances themselves did not do much to ignite the passions, but after the trip, fans and media were buzzing about something else that occurred - or rather, did not occur - during the games. Where was Sydney Leroux?
Sam Kerr is the greatest goal scorer in the history of the National Women’s Soccer League, but all anyone wants to talk about is those refs, man.
Sky Blue FC striker Kerr scored a brilliant second-half hat trick to be set the career mark with 35 goals in the NWSL, but all three goals came after a red card to FC Kansas City’s Shea Groom. And it wasn’t the only controversy involving the league's top players on Saturday.
Australia international and Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr is on fire. With two goals against Portland Thorns a couple weeks ago, she became Sky Blue’s all-time leading scorer, she's currently ranked fourth in the league’s all-time goal scoring list and she's the third best scorer this season behind Marta and Megan Rapinoe. Kerr also picked up NWSL Player of the Month honors for May and Player of the Week honors for week nine.
If the 23-year-old isn’t familiar to you now, she will be after you see this beauty she scored last night against the Orlando Pride.
The Houston Dash moved off the bottom of the NWSL table with a 2-0 victory over the Orlando Pride, powered by a Carli Lloyd strike. While at the other end of the table the North Carolina Courage continue to roll through the season, now with eight wins from 11 matches.
Kristen Hamilton couldn’t believe it: less than three minutes into her first career start in the NWSL, the high press of the NC Courage paid off when teammate Sam Mewis played her in to slot past the keeper.
Then, 10 minutes later, she doubled her team’s advantage as the ball fell to her feet after a scramble in the box and she made no mistake slamming it home for her second career goal.
“I almost don’t have words to describe it because it’s so different than what I’m used to,” Hamilton told The18.com this week.
A busy stretch of matches in the NWSL kicks off this weekend, with most teams set to play three games in the next nine days. Carli Lloyd is back with the Houston Dash, but that wasn’t enough to stop them from losing at home to an Orlando Pride side powered by Marta. The Pride added Alex Morgan back to their roster this week, who is still recovering from her injury in the UEFA Champions League Final.
NWSL Standings After Week 9:
North Carolina Courage: 21 points (+6 GD)
Chicago Red Stars: 17 (+4 GD)
Sky Blue FC: 16 (+1 GD)
The NWSL regular season is past the one-third mark, and the table is beginning to take shape. Here’s a look at the players and teams that are dominating the stat charts so far.
2017 NWSL Player Stats
A strong week nine from Marta has pushed her into a three-way tie at the top of the scoring chart.
Marta (Orlando Pride) - 5
Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign) - 5
A stellar 2017 season has come to a halt for young sensation Rose Lavelle. The Boston Breakers announced Thursday that she will be out four to six weeks due to a strained left hamstring. She picked up the injury during the USWNT’s recent trip overseas to take on Norway. Earlier in that trip, Lavelle scored the USA's only goal in a 1-0 victory against Sweden.
After a nearly two-week break, the NWSL returns to action having since its stars featuring in international friendlies across the globe. The Courage have dominated the first third of the season, and now get a home and away series with a Boston Breakers side who have to cope without Rose Lavelle (injured).
The NWSL is on a hiatus while various levels of international friendlies and tournaments take place. With a large portion of the NWSL’s talent in camp with their national teams, the domestic league has a chance to rest and assess the first third of the year. Two sides currently sitting outside of the playoff positions decided to make coaching shifts.
Seattle Reign Add NWSL And USWNT Experience