The NWSL just completed their fourth week of their young season. There are two unbeaten teams left (Washington Spirit & Portland Thorns) and there is one winless team as well (Boston Breakers). Let’s take a look at what happened in the NWSL during week four.
Breakers still looking to break through
The first game of the weekend saw the Chicago Red Stars traveled to Jordan Field in Allston, MA to take on the Boston Breakers. After a 1-0 victory by Chicago, their third straight 1-0 victory, Boston is still trying to find the win column. It has not been a good year for Boston as they have still yet to register a goal while giving up six so far in the young season.
Chicago scored in the 60th minute on Christen Press’ third goal of the season. Alyssa Naeher recorded her third straight shutout on the season and currently is tied for the league lead with Stephanie Labbe (Washington). Boston is in complete disarray and they need to figure things out before it is too late.
Chicago takes on FC Kansas City (0-3-1, W-L-T) this Friday while Boston battles Sky Blue FC (1-2-1) on the road this Friday as well.
Portland Thorns, Washington Spirit battle to a draw
The last two unbeaten teams in the NWSL remained that way after a hard fought battle. The Portland Thorns and Washington Spirit battled to a 0-0 draw, but both teams had their chances. It appeared Crystal Dunn scored in the first half, but the goal was called back after being ruled offside.
Tobin Heath of Portland received her second yellow card and was sent off in the 88th minute. Immediately after that, Washington went on the attack. During the remaining two minute plus five minutes of stoppage time, the Spirit had a shot go directly at goalkeeper Adrianna Finch, one hit the post and another went right over the crossbar. Portland should be happy to sneak out with a point.
Portland will take to the road to face off against their I-5 rivals, the Seattle Reign (2-2-0), this coming Saturday while Washington will host the Houston Dash (2-1-1) on Saturday.
Western New York Flash steal three points from Sky Blue FC
Sky Blue FC hosted the Western New York Flash looking for their first win since the opening weekend against the Seattle Reign. A lot of firsts happened in this game. One being the Flash scored their first goal from the run of play and also scored more than one goal in a game for the first time in 2016. The other being Jeon Ga-Eul making her first appearance for Western New York. In doing so, she became the first Korean-born player to play in the NWSL.
Sky Blue got on the board first in the 35th minute when Maya Hayes scored the opening goal of the game. Raquel Rodriguez found her teammate behind the defense and Hayes made the Flash pay. Western New York got on the board in the 72nd minute via penalty. The referee whistled for a handball in the box and Jaelene Hinkle converted from the spot to tie the game 1-1. Four minutes from the end of the game, the Flash took the lead. Hinkle found Jessica McDonald in the box and she challenged Sky Blue goalkeeper Caroline Stanley in the air. Sam Mewis was able to get to the loose ball and smash it into the back of the net to give Western New York the win.
Sky Blue will host Boston (0-4-0) on Friday while Western New York will travel to Orlando to take on the Orlando Pride (2-2-0) this Saturday.
FC Kansas City hopes for a win are dashed by Houston
The two-time defending champions FC Kansas City are four games into the season and are still looking for their first victory in 2016. During a two-minute span, the Houston Dash scored two goals on the defending champs. A goal in the 69th minute from Denise O’Sullivan was followed up by a goal in the 70th minute from Chioma Ubogagu. Kansas City scored a consolation goal in the 87th minute from Yael Averbuch, but the damage had already been done.
Kansas City will look for their first win of the season when they host Chicago (3-1-0) on Friday. Houston will look for their second straight road win when they head to Boyds, MD to take on the Washington Spirit (3-0-1).
Seattle Reign wilt away in Orlando
The Seattle Reign traveled to the land of magic to take on the Orlando Pride on Sunday. The Reign were unable to conjure up any magic and limped home after a 2-0 defeat to the Pride. Orlando earned their first clean sheet in history with the win.
Orlando scored in just the 12th minute of the game when Sarah Hagan outmuscled rookie defender Carson Pickett at the back post. Three minutes from time, Orlando found the scoresheet once again. Lianne Sanderson scored after Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo was unable to corral a shot from Alex Morgan. Sanderson was able to score into the wide open net.
The Pride will host Western New York (2-2-0) while the Reign will welcome Portland (2-0-2), both game coming on Sunday.
Here are how the standings look after four weeks: