Portland Thorns FC once again found Boston a tough place to play on Saturday, losing to the Breakers on a stoppage-time goal by Kristie Mewis. That leaves the Chicago Red Stars as the lone remaining unbeaten team in the NWSL this season.
The week that was:
Huerta, Red Stars keep rolling
Sofia Huerta scored a brace for the second straight match to move into a tie for the league scoring lead with four goals. She has made the loss of Christen Press — also a four-goal scorer, in three games — to the World Cup a seamless one for Chicago. The Red Stars (3-0-2, 11 pts.) aren’t running away with the league, but they remain unbeaten through five matches and they are getting production from the players they need to step up in the absence of internationals. But they are only one game into a four-game road trip, which next brings them to Kansas City and Seattle. Those two matches will be massive tests for Chicago.
Portland still figuring things out
I had a tweet drafted about the 0-0 final in Boston between the Thorns and Breakers and I was ready to compliment the Thorns’ defense for a decent night at the office. But then Michelle Betos mis-played a through ball — using her head outside the box instead of letting it come inside the box to her hands — and Kristie Mewis lobbed the Thorns keeper after an unlucky 90 minutes of missed opportunities. The good news for the Thorns is that they didn’t give up two goals inside the first 15 minutes, like they did in their previous two matches. The bad news is, they collapsed on the opposite end. Portland, as it has been since the league’s inception, remains the most compelling and unpredictable NWSL team.
Physical play rears its ugly head
Thursday’s scoreless draw between the Western New York Flash and FC Kansas City is up there for one of the uglier games the league has seen. The Flash played a bruising match that stymied FC Kansas City’s midfield, but the visitors failed to muster up many opportunities of their own. Each team escaped should-be read cards toward the end of the match; Chantel Jones shoved Shea Groom to the ground and Groom, already on a yellow card, had just come in studs-up on the back-up Flash goalkeeper, who was in the game after an early injury to rookie Sabrina D’Angelo. Twenty-one fouls and eight yellow cards later, this one was not a good advertisement for the league.
The week ahead:
Sky Blue FC at Boston Breakers (Friday, 7 p.m. ET)
Washington Spirit at Western New York Flash (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
Chicago Red Stars at FC Kansas City (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET)
Houston Dash at Portland Thorns FC (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET)
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