Two games past the midseason point, it’s clear the North Carolina Courage is running away with the best record in the NWSL this year. With only one loss so far, the more pressing question is perhaps whether any other teams have a chance to beat them at all.
More specifically, the Courage have decisively taken down two of their greatest contenders, the Portland Thorns and the Seattle Reign, both with massive 4-1 score-lines. They seem to work even better against their closest rivals, and relish dropping the hammer on any team that comes at them with an open strategy.
To that effect, it’s possible this is a useless exercise, and the Courage truly are on a roll that can’t be contained. But this sport is vast, and if teams can’t beat North Carolina playing beautiful soccer, they might still be able to set themselves up in a position to just get lucky enough to pull out a win.
Thinking Inside the Box
Much is made of North Carolina’s lauded midfield box, a four-player formation that utilizes the vision and movement of Sam Mewis and McCall Zerboni behind the forward leaning tandem of Debinha and Crystal Dunn, who themselves run behind two attackers up front (frequently Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald). This formation…
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