FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage postponed due to weather

NewsJuly 23

Euro 2017: Scotland vs. Portugal (Matchday 2, Group D)

Euro 2017July 23

Jane Campbell and the Houston Dash look to keep the ball rolling

Player FeatureJuly 21

Euro 2017: Iceland vs. Switzerland, France vs. Austria (Matchday 2, Group C)

Euro 2017July 21

Jill Ellis names 23-player roster for Tournament of Nations

USWNTJuly 20

Outside the Box Scores: Nothing like a late game-changer

StatsJuly 19

Euro 2017: Norway vs. Belgium, Denmark vs. Netherlands (Matchday 2, Group A)

Euro 2017July 19

Sky Blue FC waive Kim DeCesare

NewsJuly 19

Euro 2017: Spain vs. Portugal, England vs. Scotland (Matchday 1, Group D)

Euro 2017July 19

Week 13 Player of the Week: Andressinha

NewsJuly 18

Euro 2017: France vs. Iceland (Matchday 1, Group C)

Euro 2017July 18

Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso among five NWSL players named to Australia’s roster for Tournament of Nations

Tournament of NationsJuly 17

Power Rankings: Toni Pressley, Pride put on a show and shoot to No. 1

Week 13July 17

Week 13 Rewind: Dash extend unbeaten streak, Kerr strikes again, Thorns best Courage

Week 13July 15

Euro 2017 Match Day 1: Norway vs. Netherlands, Denmark vs. Belgium (Group A)

Euro 2017July 15

Where to Watch: NWSL players at the European Championships

Euro 2017July 14

Putting the joy in junkyard dogs, Lynn Williams is back in North Carolina

Player FeatureJuly 14

League Leaders: Sam Kerr, Megan Rapinoe, Marta

By the NumbersJuly 14

Rumi Utsugi named to Japan’s Tournament of Nations roster

Tournament of NationsJuly 14

Marta, Camila among six NWSL players named to Brazil’s Tournament of Nations roster

Tournament of NationsJuly 14

Francisca Ordega placed on the 45-day disabled list

NewsJuly 13

NWSL issues fines to two clubs

NewsJuly 13

Outside the Box Scores: Magic on the pitch in Piscataway

StatsJuly 12

Player of the Week: Sam Kerr

Week 12July 11

Power Rankings: Hat-trick hero Sam Kerr, Sky Blue power to No. 1

NewsJuly 10

Week 12 Rewind: Kerr and Sky Blue make history, Marta and Pugh tally braces

Week 12July 08

Jess Fishlock suffers MCL sprain; Week 12 injury report

NewsJuly 07

Breakers to honor Tony DiCicco Friday night at match vs. Red Stars

NewsJuly 07

USWNT to host September friendlies vs. New Zealand in Denver and Cincinnati

USWNTJuly 07

Outside the Box Scores: Throwing down the gauntlet

NewsJuly 05

Megan Rapinoe named Player of the Week

NewsJuly 05

Kickin’ It to Florida Championship Weekend Sweepstakes

SweepstakesJuly 03

Power Rankings: Red Stars fight their way to No. 1

Week 11July 03

Orlando Pride waive defender Laura Alleway

NewsJuly 03

Week 11 Rewind: Rapinoe’s brace, late drama in Orlando, Kerr’s game-winner

Week 11July 03

Alex Morgan available for Pride on Saturday, could make her 2017 NWSL debut

NewsJune 30

June Team of the Month announced

NewsJune 30

Sam Kerr named June Player of the Month

NewsJune 30

Christine Sinclair appointed to Order of Canada

NewsJune 30

Boston Breakers claim forward Katie Stengel off waivers

NewsJune 30

Canada and the United States to meet in November home-and-home series

NewsJune 29

Midweek rewind: Kerr’s bicycle kick, comeback wins, Sinclair’s brace

Week 11June 28

Outside the Box Scores: Corner kick Courage

StatsJune 28

Emilie Haavi named to Norway’s Euro 2017 roster

NewsJune 28

Spirit waive Katie Stengel and Cameron Castleberry

NewsJune 28

Poliana named Player of the Week

NewsJune 28

U.S. Soccer announces Girls Fantasy Camp this August in Los Angeles

U.S. SoccerJune 27

Yanara Aedo signs with the Washington Spirit

NewsJune 27

Rachel Corsie named to Scotland’s Euro 2017 roster

Euro 2017June 27

Houston’s Kealia Ohai to miss rest of season with ACL injury

NewsJune 26

FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage postponed due to weather

The game will be rescheduled for a later date

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FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage was postponed because of inclement weather. (Photo credit: Amy Kontras/isiphotos.com)

FC Kansas City vs. North Carolina Courage, which began play on Saturday night, has been postponed due to severe weather in the Kansas City area, the NWSL announced. The game was stopped in the 38th minute because of lightning in the area.

The kickoff for the game had been pushed back one hour because of a heat advisory.

The game will be replayed from the start and the stats from the game that kicked off on Saturday night will not be counted.

Euro 2017: Scotland vs. Portugal (Matchday 2, Group D)

Amanda Da Costa (Portugal) and Rachel Corsie (Scotland) are in the starting XI

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Boston Breakers midfielder Amanda Da Costa is in the starting XI for Portugal on Sunday at Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Mike Gridley/isiphotos.com)

Two NWSL players will be in action — Boston Breakers midfielder Amanda Da Costa (Portugal) and Seattle Reign FC defender Rachel Corsie (Scotland) — as Scotland takes on Portugal at the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands.

Kickoff is at Noon ET.  Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

Both players are in the starting XI for the game as Group D concludes the second Matchday of the tournament.

Both Portugal and Scotland fell in their first-ever Euros games on Wednesday. Portugal lost 2-0 to Spain and Scotland fell 6-0 to England

Jane Campbell and the Houston Dash look to keep the ball rolling

The Houston Dash haven't lost in their last five matches

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Jane Campbell grabs the ball during a regular season match between the Houston Dash and the Portland Thorns FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne for isiphotos.com)

Since June 24, no other team in the NWSL has picked up as many points as the Houston Dash. The Dash haven’t lost a single game of their last five — the only team to stay out of the loss column in the same span. They’ve only conceded three goals, and scored seven. The Dash are five points back from a playoff spot, but have as many wins this season as the Seattle Reign and Orlando Pride. The difference is losses, but there’s still time. The season is still under their control, and there’s a will to win.

“You guys are making sure they’re not putting anything special in our food, right?” Rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell joked on the phone, when asked if there’s some secret to what’s happening in Houston. She’s been a key part of Houston’s results — earning two clean sheets and adding 20 saves since June 24.

On a more serious level, Campbell broke down everything happening behind-the-scenes from a player perspective. “After the first FIFA break, we had a lot of changes with the team — more so the staff. It was kind of just like a new staff, to be honest,” she said. “Everything was revamped, new people came in, new opinions came in. Obviously, Carli Lloyd came back.”

The Dash have been here before too. They had a similar losing streak last season as spring turned to summer, before turning the ship around in the second half of the season. Last year, it was too little too late as they finished in eighth place, ten points off the playoff pace.

“I wasn’t on the team last year, but last year they did have that losing streak too — they didn’t want a repeat of last year,” Campbell continued. “We don’t want to go down that bad path. With a whole new staff coming in, and new ideas, and new sets of eyes, and coaches not really knowing us that well, that actually helped us, I think. The players just in general, we were like, we have to do something to change and get points. Even one point is better than none. We rally around each other, just having each other’s backs. There’s obviously moments in the games when we don’t play our best, and momentum isn’t going our way, and the ball’s not going our way, and we’re getting unlucky bounces and that kind of thing. But in those moments, instead of of being negative, we were just like, okay, let’s regroup and try to get the ball rolling our way. That’s helping us a lot. “

The losing streaks might have echoed across the seasons, but 2017 has looked pretty different in Houston, from staff turnover to a culture change to players in and out of the roster. In fact, the Dash only have one player on the roster who’s played every minute of all 14 games so far this season, midfielder Amber Brooks. Lloyd returned from a stint at Manchester City at the perfect time, but then the team lost forward Kealia Ohai to an ACL injury for the rest of the season. The season has been give and take, up and down, but Houston will certainly hope the upswing they’re on doesn’t stop any time soon.

“I think we’ve changed quite a bit,” interim head coach Omar Morales said in a team video. “I think the mentality has changed, I think our play has changed — I think every aspect of everything of this club has changed completely. I think when you get a little bit of success, the team feeds off that.”

Let’s rewind on the Dash season a bit. On May 27, the Dash lost to Seattle at home in BBVA Compass Stadium, 2-0. By that Monday, head coach Randy Waldrum was out. Morales stepped in as interim head coach on June 6, after only having joined the team as an assistant this season. On June 17, Carli Lloyd made her return in orange to NWSL action, but the Dash lost to the Orlando Pride 4-2.

But since June 24, the Dash haven’t lost. They bounced back against the Pride, picking up a 2-0 win on the 24th, beaten FC Kansas City and the Washington Spirit as well. They earned a point against the Breakers and the Thorns — but they’re not happy with just a single point. They’re on the hunt for all three, every game.

“What I messaged to the team was, six weeks ago, we were happy we just drew Portland and now it’s not enough. After the last few weeks we’ve had, a draw’s not enough for us. We want to go out and get the three points, and that shows that the culture’s changed some and that the expectations have changed some,” Morales said on July 14. “As a coach, that’s what you want out of your team.”

Campbell agrees that the expectation is to earn all three points. “The Portland game for sure, that was just a dagger to the heart to us,” she said. “We felt like we let ourselves down. We gave them a late goal and we lost two points. Same with the Boston game. Boston put up a really good fight that first game. We know it’s going to be hard to play them again, especially now that we both know each other really well. But in that first game, we felt a little robbed. We were pretty disappointed we couldn’t get the three points. Coming in this next week, we’re aiming to do whatever we can to get those three points and make certain we keep them out of the game as much as possible.”

If anyone is keeping opposing teams out of the game, it’s Campbell. In Houston’s 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit last week, Campbell made eight saves. But to her, there’s no difference between a clutch performance like that, or a calmer game. Saves are saves.

“I think it’s part of the job. There’s not really a difference between mentally preparing for Boston or mentally preparing for Washington. Every team in this league is so solid, and each game can go a certain way,” she said. “For me, specifically, my mental preparation doesn’t really change. It’s just: going out to play a soccer game, and that’s what it is. I’m just trying to help the team perform and be a solid backbone for them.”

When Campbell and the Dash square off against the Boston Breakers this weekend, they’ll be looking to play a different game than that scoreless draw they played on June 28. Houston is carrying another streak against Boston, having gone undefeated in their last four matches against the Breakers with three wins and that one draw. The team has also outscored Boston 8-2 in those four games. History’s on their side, but that doesn’t mean they’re taking anything for granted.

“We’re taking it game by game. We can’t look at this losing streak, or this winning streak we have,” Campbell said. “It’s one game at a time, one point at a time, one goal at a time, just being super simple with it, just trying to keep the momentum going.”

Euro 2017: Iceland vs. Switzerland, France vs. Austria (Matchday 2, Group C)

Amandine Henry and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir will be in action on Saturday

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Portland Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry will be in action for France at Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

Saturday at Euro 2017: Iceland vs. Switzerland (Noon ET) and France vs. Austria (2:45 p.m. ET). Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

Portland Thorns FC teammates Amandine Henry (France) and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (Iceland) will be in action on Saturday. The two met on Tuesday as France topped Iceland 1-0 in their opening game of UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands.

Henry was fouled in the box in the 85th minute and earned the deciding penalty kick as the No. 3 team in the world escaped a close game with the 1-0 win.

Jill Ellis names 23-player roster for Tournament of Nations

The roster features 22 NWSL players, with all 10 teams represented

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Sam Mewis, Lindsey Horan and Ali Krieger celebrate Horan's goal against Japan on June 2, 2016. All three are on the USWNT Tournament of Nations roster. (Photo credit: Brad Smith for isiphotos.com)

On Thursday, U.S. Soccer and head coach Jill Ellis named the 23-player roster for the 2017 Tournament of Nations. The roster includes Carli Lloyd of the Houston Dash, Becky Sauerbrunn of FC Kansas City, Alex Morgan of the Orlando Pride and Megan Rapinoe of Seattle Reign FC, and is heavily dominated by players from the National Women’s Soccer League. Twenty-two of the 23 players feature in the league, and all 10 NWSL clubs are represented on the roster. The Chicago Red Stars and North Carolina Courage lead the league, sending four players each.

The United States will host three teams a second time this year as a complement to the SheBelieves Cup in March. The Tournament of Nations features six matches over eight days between the U.S., Japan, Australia and Brazil — and all four nations will feature players from the NWSL.

But in addition to the familiar faces for the USA, there are also are nine players on this roster with 25 caps or fewer — and three players who are waiting on a senior team debut. This is Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith’s third call-up to a USWNT camp, and North Carolina Courage defender Taylor Smith’s second trip to training with the team, after this year’s January camp.

Boston Breakers midfielder Margaret Purce gets her first call-up to the senior team, after time with the U-17, U-20 and U-23 squads. Purce, the No. 9 overall draft pick for the Breakers this year, is the first player from Harvard University to get a U.S. national team call-up.

Defender Ali Krieger of the Orlando Pride makes her return to the roster, and she could hit the 100 cap mark during this tournament. She currently has 98 appearances with the national team, with defender Kelley O’Hara of Sky Blue FC not far behind at 96 caps.

Houston Dash midfielder Morgan Brian and Alex Morgan are back after both missed out on selection with injuries. Three NWSL players were unavailable for Jill Ellis on this roster due to injuries: Tobin Heath of Thorns FC (back), Ashlyn Harris of the Pride (quad), and Rose Lavelle of the Breakers (hamstring).

One notable item from the official roster release: forward Sofia Huerta of the Chicago Red Stars will also be in camp with the national team for the entire tournament, though currently she is not eligible to play for the United States. Huerta has represented Mexico, with five caps for the senior team as well as featuring at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The U.S. Soccer Federation reports it is pursuing a change of association on Huerta’s behalf with FIFA, and if successful, Huerta could don the red, white and blue in the future.

All six games of the Tournament of Nations will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks. The first match between the U.S. and Australia will air on ESPN on July 27 at 10 p.m. ET. ESPN2 will carry the USWNT matches against Japan on July 30 at 7:15 p.m. ET and Australia on August 3 at 10 p.m. ET.

The three other matches of the tournament will all be available via ESPN3. Fans will be able to watch Brazil vs. Japan on July 27 at 7:15 p.m. ET, Japan vs. Australia on July 30 at 5:15 p.m. ET and Australia vs. Brazil on August 3 at 7:15 p.m. ET.

In a Q&A with U.S. Soccer, Ellis said, “With the many NWSL players in this tournament from all four teams, it speaks to the quality of the league and it will be exciting for fans that watch these players compete for their clubs to see them play intense matches for their countries. For the fans, it’s going to be a chance to see World Cup veterans and rising stars on all four teams. Every game of the six should be extremely entertaining.”

NWSL fans can follow all the Tournament of Nations action via the NWSL website and mobile app, as well as using the hashtag #ToN2017 and following the league’s social media on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

U.S. Women’s National Team 2017 Tournament of Nations Roster by Position:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Abby Smith (Boston Breakers)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars), Taylor Smith (NC Courage)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage), Margaret Purce (Boston Breakers), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

FORWARDS (7): Crystal Dunn (Chelsea FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Sydney Leroux (FC Kansas City), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (NC Courage)

National Women’s Soccer League players featured on Tournament of Nations rosters:

AUSTRALIA (5): Lydia Williams (goalkeeper, Houston Dash), Steph Catley (defender, Orlando Pride), Alanna Kennedy (defender, Orlando Pride), Hayley Raso (forward, Portland Thorns FC), Sam Kerr (forward, Sky Blue FC).

BRAZIL (6): Bruna Benites (defender, Houston Dash), Camila (defender, Orlando Pride), Debinha (midfielder, North Carolina Courage), Andressinha (midfielder, Houston Dash), Marta (forward, Orlando Pride), Mônica (defender, Orlando Pride)

JAPAN (1): Rumi Utsugi (midfielder, Seattle Reign FC)

Outside the Box Scores: Nothing like a late game-changer

A deep dive into regular-season goals scored in the 90th minute or later

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Kristen Edmonds scored two goals after the 90th minute in 2016 vs. the Boston Breakers, both the equalizer and game-winning goal. (Photo credit: Roy K. Miller for isiphotos.com)

Featuring research by Tyler Dencker.

There are stories to be found in statistics. From analyzing the box scores to keeping detailed spreadsheets tracking our favorite stats, we’re ready to shine a bright light for you thanks to Opta. After digging into this week’s data, we decided to do a deep dive into late goals through all five seasons of the National Women’s Soccer League.

To the 90th minute and beyond

Last week in Outside the Box Scores, we only looked at the late game dramatics that seem to happen at Yurcak Field involving Sky Blue FC.  And then it happened again: on July 15, Sam Kerr scored in the 90th minute changing the outcome of a game. Kerr is now the only player in NWSL history to score in the 90th minute or later two games in a row — and the only player to score a deciding goal in the 90th minute or later two games in a row.

Kerr’s not the first player to change the way a game has ended twice, but she’s in some solid company on that front. Five other players have two career goals in the 90th minute or later that have either equalized for their club or won the game during the regular season: Diana Matheson (during her time with the Washington Spirit), Lynn Williams (as a forward with the Western New York Flash), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Kristen Edmonds (Orlando Pride) and Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC).

Edmonds stands out on the list, as she’s the only player to ever two goals in the 90th minute or later of a regular season match. She tallied the equalizer for the Pride in the 90th minute against the Boston Breakers last season, then added the game-winning goal in the 90+3’ as well.

Overall, there have been 35 goals scored through all regular season games since 2013. There have been 16 game-winning goals, and 17 equalizers. Of the 456 regular season games played through this past weekend, 34 games have been decided in the 90th minute or later — only 7.5% of the NWSL regular season.

And yes, Michelle Betos of the Portland Thorns remains the only goalkeeper to ever score a stoppage time stunner.

Now, while there have been plenty of late goals so far this season, there is one reason why we might have them on the brain this month. On July 8, three different games were decided by a goal in the 90th minute or later — an event that has never happened in the NWSL before. Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan’s equalizing free kick in Houston, the Washington Spirit’s equalizing penalty kick from Mallory Pugh, and Kerr’s winner (and hat trick earner) in New Jersey were the first three goals this season to decide a game in the 90th minute or later. Kerr then provided her own repeat performance on July 15th against the Chicago Red Stars for the fourth so far this season. In 2016, there were only five total 90’+ goals that changed the outcome of a game.

Considering the data from a team level, the North Carolina Courage have yet to either score or concede a stoppage time goal — though the Western New York Flash scored five and allowed two during their time in the NWSL. The Washington Spirit have scored the most late deciding goals in 90’+, with seven, followed by the Chicago Red Stars with six, and Sky Blue FC with five.

Notably, the Houston Dash have never scored an equalizer or game-winner after the 90th minute of a regular season game.

Four teams have only allowed two late goals to drop points: Portland Thorns FC, Seattle Reign FC, Washington Spirit and the Orlando Pride. Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breakers have conceded the most, with six each through all regular season games played to date.

So far in 2017, there have six total goals scored in the 90th minute or later. So while we might see more deciding goals late this year compared to last season, the overall rate between the two seasons is comparable. By the end of the regular season in 2016, there were 16 90’+ goals, with 5 being game-changers. Last summer, no one in the NWSL scored a late game-changer during the regular season after the end of July — and with the feel of the 2017 season so far, it’s probably safe to assume all bets are off for the close of the 2017 season.

Quick hits

Portland Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch picked up her seventh shut-out of the season in the 1-0 defeat of the North Carolina Courage this past Saturday. In 2016, no other goalkeeper had more than six. The single-season record for clean sheets is 10, set by FC Kansas City’s Nicole Barnhart in 2013.

The Orlando Pride had contributions from all over the field in Saturday’s 4-1 win over FC Kansas City, but Alex Morgan contributed a solid 90 minutes beyond converting the penalty kick for her first goal of the 2017 season. She led the team with seven shots and four shots on goal. She also led the Pride with four key passes, and perhaps most important in Orlando’s quest for the playoffs: she and Marta both created four chances each in that game. They’ll need to replicate that against a top team to prove they’re real postseason contenders, but the Game of the Week on Lifetime against the Chicago Red Stars should give them the perfect opportunity to do just that.

It’s not just the Houston Dash stringing together some solid performances after a losing streak (as noted in the Opta Tweet of the Week below). The Boston Breakers are four games in to an unbeaten streak after a four-game losing streak earlier this summer. On Saturday, those two teams will battle to see whose streak continues when the Dash host the Breakers at 8:30 p.m. ET. Of course, the Breakers have one other streak they’d actually like to end, as they are still looking for their first win on the road in 2017.

Opta Tweet of the Week

Euro 2017: Norway vs. Belgium, Denmark vs. Netherlands (Matchday 2, Group A)

Emilie Haavi, Nadia Nadim, Line Sigvardsen Jensen expected to be in action

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Boston Breakers forward Emilie Haavi is representing Norway at Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

The UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands continues Thursday with Group A action: Norway vs. Belgium (Noon ET) and Netherlands vs. Denmark (2:45 p.m. ET). Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. 

Three NWSL players are expected to feature in the games: Boston Breakers forward Emilie Haavi (Norway), as well as Portland Thorns FC forward Nadia Nadim and Washington Spirit midfielder Line Sigvardsen Jensen (Denmark).

Norway vs. Belgium (Noon ET)

Norway fell to 1-0 to the Netherlands on Sunday in the opening game of the tournament. Haavi entered the match as a second half substitute and played the final 24 minutes of the match.

Netherlands vs. Denmark (2:45 p.m. ET)

Nadim and Sigvardsen Jensen both started for Denmark in the 1-0 win over Belgium on Sunday.

Sky Blue FC waive Kim DeCesare

DeCesare had appeared in 15 games for Sky Blue FC over the past two season

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Sky Blue FC forward Kim DeCesare was in her third season with the team. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

Sky Blue FC have waived forward Kim DeCesare, the team said on Wednesday.

DeCesare was in her third season with the team and had made 15 appearances for the squad prior to this year.

“On behalf of us all at Sky Blue FC, we want to thank Kim for everything she has done for our club.“She has been an important asset to us over the years, both on and off the field. We will certainly miss Kim in New Jersey, and we wish her the greatest of successes as she moves forward,” Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly said in a team press release. 

Euro 2017: Spain vs. Portugal, England vs. Scotland (Matchday 1, Group D)

Portugal and Scotland are making their Euro debuts

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Rachel Corsie in action for Seattle Reign FC. (Photo credit: Sam Ortega/isiphotos.com)

Boston Breakers midfielder Amanda Da Costa (Portugal) and Seattle Reign FC defender Rachel Corsie (Scotland) are expected to be in action on Thursday as Group D begins play at the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands. 

Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

Spain vs. Portugal (Noon ET)

Portugal is currently ranked No. 38 in the world. This is their Euros debut. Da Costa has appeared in eight games for the Breakers this season. She made her international debut for Portugal vs. Spain on December 1, 2015.

England vs. Scotland (2:45 p.m. ET)

Scotland, currently ranked No. 21 in the world, are also making their Euros debut, after just missing the tournament in 2013. She has appeared in seven games for the Reign so far this season.

Week 13 Player of the Week: Andressinha

Andressinha helped the Dash extend their unbeaten streak to five games

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Houston Dash midfielder Andressinha has been named Player of the Week for Week 13 by the NWSL Media Association. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)

Houston Dash midfielder Andressinha has been named Player of the Week for Week 13 by the NWSL Media Association.

Andressinha scored her second goal of the season as the Dash extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a 2-1 win over the Washington Spirit.

The Brazilian midfielder’s strike came in the 53rd minute, Houston’s second goal of the match and the eventual game-winner. Forward Rachel Daly passed the ball to Andressinha, open at the top of the 18. She struck it one-time, chipping it with her right foot and sending it just out over the fingertips of Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé. Her effort was nominated for the Week 13 NWSL Goal of the Week.

Andressinha finished the game with a passing accuracy of 83.7%, including 79.4% in the opposition half. She had 72 total touches — second-best on the team — as well as three total shots and two chances created, according to Opta.  

Andressinha, who was recently named to Brazil’s roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations, is the second Dash player to win the award this season, joining fellow Brazilian Poliana, who won the award in Week 10. She’s the third-youngest NWSL Player of the Week winner ever and the first player born after 1995 to be honored.

The Dash have not lost since Week 8 and are 3-0-2 over their five game unbeaten streak.

She is the sixth Dash player to ever win Player of the Week, joining Poliana, Daly, Kealia Ohai, Chioma Ubogagu and Bianca Henninger.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Euro 2017: France vs. Iceland (Matchday 1, Group C)

Amandine Henry and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir will be in action on Tuesday

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Portland Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry, the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup Silver Ball winner, will be in action for France at Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

Two members of the Portland Thorns — midfielders Amandine Henry (France) and Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (Iceland) — and will be in action on Tuesday when Group C begins play at the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands as France takes on Iceland at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

France is currently ranked No. 3 in the world and looking for their best-ever finish at the Euros, having never made it past the quarterfinals. They won the SheBelieves Cup in March, finishing off the tournament with a 3-0 win over the United States. In that game, Henry made a save off the line to keep the U.S. off the scoresheet. 

Iceland is currently ranked No. 19 in the world. In 2013, they made the quarterfinals of this tournament, their best ever finish, before falling to Sweden. Brynjarsdóttir missed the first part of the season with a back sprain but played in

Sam Kerr, Hayley Raso among five NWSL players named to Australia’s roster for Tournament of Nations

Australia will first play the United States on July 27

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Portland Thorns FC forward Hayley Raso has been named to Australia's Tournament of Nations roster. (Photo credit: Sam Ortega/isiphotos.com)

Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr and Portland Thorns FC forward Hayley Raso are among five NWSL players named to Australia’s roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations.

Kerr is the reigning two-time Player of the Month and currently leads the NWSL with 10 goals. Raso scored her second goal of the season in Week 13, the only goal in Portland’s 1-0 win over North Carolina.

Orlando Pride defender Steph Catley and midfielder Alanna Kennedy were also named to the roster, as well as Houston Dash goalkeeper Lydia Williams.

Australia’s Tournament of Nations schedule:

July 27

USA vs. Australia

10 p.m. ET, ESPN

CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)

July 30

Japan vs. Australia

5:15 p.m. ET

Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, California)

August 3

Australia vs. Brazil

7:15 p.m. ET

StubHub Center (Carson, California)

Power Rankings: Toni Pressley, Pride put on a show and shoot to No. 1

Orlando Pride and Houston Dash make big gains in this week's power rankings

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Ali Krieger, Alanna Kennedy and Alex Morgan celebrate during the 4-1 win by the Orlando Pride over FC Kansas City at Orlando City Stadium. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper for isiphotos.com)

The Orlando Pride equaled a club record with four goals as they romped to a 4-1 victory over FC Kansas City in Week 13.

Alanna Kennedy, Alex Morgan, Toni Pressley and Kristen Edmonds all lit up the scoreboard for the Pride – with Pressley scoring an absolutely screamer with a thunderous left-footed strike.

Morgan’s tally was her first of the year as Pride fans look for their team to kick into another gear with the return of the U.S. international. Morgan and Marta take aim at sending Orlando to playoffs for the first time.

The big win for the Pride shook up the power rankings, with the Houston Dash also making some noise. See below to find out where your team comes in this week.

1

ORLANDO PRIDE
5-5-4, 19 pts

Up: 3
Last week: 4

Toni Pressley dropped a whole mess of jaws with a wonder goal and Alex Morgan tallied her first goal of the season to help the Pride to the biggest win in club history with a 4-1 thumping of FC Kansas City. Orlando is 4-2-1 in their last seven and now stand just three points out of the playoffs.


2

HOUSTON DASH
5-7-2, 17 pts

Up: 3
Last week: 5

Dash kept their charge going with a 2-1 victory over Washington. Houston tied a club record with their fifth consecutive game without a loss as Brazil internationals Poliana and Andressinha both found the back of the net against the Spirit. The Dash will have Carli Lloyd back in Week 14 against Boston.


3

SKY BLUE FC
7-6-2, 23 pts

Down: 2
Last week: 1

Samantha Kerr continued to add to her MVP credentials with the game-tying goal in a 2-2 draw with Chicago. The Australia international is now the league leader with 10 goals on the season and has scored in each of the last four games.


4

CHICAGO RED STARS
7-3-4, 25 pts

Down: 1
Last week: 3

Christen Press became the fourth player to score 30 goals in NWSL history and added an assist in Week 13, but the Red Stars threw away a two-goal lead and had to settle for a 2-2 draw against Sky Blue.


Down: 3
Last week: 2

The Courage were held scoreless for the second time in the last three games as they were beat 1-0 by Portland in Week 13. Carolina’s lead at the top of the league has shrunk to two points and the Courage will look to hold on to it in Week 14 vs. Kansas City.


6

PORTLAND THORNS FC
6-4-4, 22 pts

Up: 2
Last week: 8

Hayley Raso scored a huge goal to lead the Thorns to a 1-0 win over league leaders North Carolina. The goal gave Portland just their second win in the last six games. The three points kept the Thorns in the fourth and final playoff spot as they get set for the business end of the schedule.


7

SEATTLE REIGN FC
5-3-6, 21 pts

Down: 1
Last week: 6

The Reign recorded their league-high sixth tie this season as Nahomi Kawasumi scored to help the team earn a 1-1 draw with Boston. It was the fourth goal of the year – to go along with six assists – for the Japan international.


8

BOSTON BREAKERS
3-6-5, 14 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 9

The Breakers earned a hard fought point on the road as they battled back for a 1-1 draw against Seattle behind a game-tying goal from Adriana Leon. Boston is unbeaten in their last four, but with just one win during that stretch.


9

WASHINGTON SPIRIT
3-7-3, 12 pts

Down: 2
Last week: 7

Estelle Johnson scored the first goal of what has already been a distinguished NWSL career, but the Spirit saw their winless run extended to three games with a 2-1 road loss to Houston. It won’t get easier for Washington, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip.


10

FC KANSAS CITY
3-7-4, 13 pts

Last week: 10

Maegan Kelly scored her second goal of the season but FC Kansas City fell to a 4-1 defeat versus Orlando. It was a club-record fourth consecutive loss for the Blues. They’ve gone winless in their last seven games – also a club record.

Week 13 Rewind: Dash extend unbeaten streak, Kerr strikes again, Thorns best Courage

Plus: Orlando nets four, Reign-Breakers draw in Seattle

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The Houston Dash beat the Washington Spirit 2-1 on Saturday night. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)

A quick look back at an eventful Week 13:

Portland Thorns FC 1 North Carolina Courage 0

Thorns forward Hayley Raso scored the game’s only goal and goalkeeper Adrianna Franch picked up her seventh shutout of the season as Portland knocked off the first-place North Carolina Courage. Recap


Sky Blue FC 2 Chicago Red Stars 2

Another week, another dramatic late header goal for Sam Kerr. The Sky Blue forward scored her tenth goal of the season, a 90th minute header to salvage a draw at home over the Chicago Red Stars. Recap


Orlando Pride 4 FC Kansas City 1

Alex Morgan scored her first goal of the 2017 season, a first-half penalty kick, as the Pride won big at home over FC Kansas City. Pride defender Toni Pressley scored the first goal of her NWSL career in the win. Recap


Houston Dash 2 Washington Spirit 1

The Houston Dash extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a home win over the Washington Spirit. Andressinha and Poliana scored for the Dash, while Jane Campbell made eight saves to earn the win. Recap


Seattle Reign FC 1 Boston Breakers 1

Seattle forward Nahomi Kawasumi and Boston forward Adriana Leon both scored as the Reign and Breakers tied 1-1 in Seattle. Reign coach Laura Harvey coached her 100th game. Recap

Euro 2017 Match Day 1: Norway vs. Netherlands, Denmark vs. Belgium (Group A)

Emilie Haavi, Nadia Nadim, Line Sigvardsen Jensen to feature on Day 1

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Nadia Nadim and Denmark will be in action on Day 1 of Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

The UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands begins Sunday with Group A action as Norway takes on the host nation at Noon ET and Denmark meets Belgium at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Three NWSL players are expected to be in action as Boston Breakers forward Emilie Haavi represents Norway and Denmark features Portland Thorns FC forward Nadia Nadim and Washington Spirit midfielder Line Sigvardsen Jensen.

Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The final will be broadcast on ESPNU.


Norway vs. Netherlands (Noon ET)

Norway is currently ranked No. 11 in the world. At this tournament in 2013, they finished second, losing to Germany in the final.

Haavi broke her jaw in the preseason, but made her NWSL debut on May 27. She has appeared in six games for the Breakers since then, starting five. She started and played 59 minutes for Norway in the 1-0 loss to the United States on June 11.


Denmark vs. Belgium (2:45 p.m. ET)

Denmark is currently ranked No. 15 in the world. In 2013, they lost in the semifinals of the tournament to Norway.

Nadim has scored four goals for the Thorns this season, tied for most on the team. Sigvardsen Jensen has a goal and an assist for the Spirit.

Where to Watch: NWSL players at the European Championships

Seven NWSL players will take part in Euro 2017

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Nadia Nadim (far left) and Amandine Henry (No. 28) of Portland Thorns FC will be taking part in Euro 2017. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

When the UEFA Women’s Euro tournament kicks off on Sunday in the Netherlands, seven NWSL players across six teams will take part. Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The final will be broadcast on ESPNU.

WHO TO WATCH:

France (No. 3 in the world)

Amandine Henry (Portland Thorns FC)

Norway (No. 11)

Emilie Haavi (Boston Breakers)

Denmark (No. 15)

Nadia Nadim (Portland Thorns FC)

Line Sigvardsen Jensen (Denmark)

Iceland (No. 19)

Dagný Brynjarsdóttir (Portland Thorns FC)

Scotland (No. 21)

Rachel Corsie (Seattle Reign FC)

Portugal (No. 38)

Amanda Da Costa (Boston Breakers)


Groups

Group A: Netherlands, Norway, Denmark, Belgium

Group B: Germany, Sweden, Italy, Russia

Group C: France, Iceland, Austria, Switzerland

Group D: England, Scotland, Spain, Portugal


HOW AND WHERE TO WATCH:
Every game of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. The final will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Schedule of games involving an NWSL player:

Sunday, July 16

Norway vs. Netherlands (Noon ET)

Denmark vs. Belgium (2:45 p.m. ET)

Tuesday, July 18

France vs. Iceland (2:45 p.m. ET)

Wednesday, July 19

Spain vs. Portugal (Noon ET)

England vs. Scotland (2:45 p.m. ET)

Thursday, July 20

Norway vs. Belgium (Noon ET)

Netherlands vs. Denmark (2:45 p.m. ET)

Saturday, July 22

Iceland vs. Switzerland (Noon ET)

France vs. Austria (2:45 p.m. ET)

Sunday, July 23

Scotland vs. Portugal (Noon ET)

Monday, July 24

Belgium vs. Netherlands (2:45 p.m. ET)

Norway vs. Denmark (2:45 p.m. ET)

Wednesday, July 26

Iceland vs. Austria (2:45 p.m. ET)

Switzerland vs. France (2:45 p.m. ET)

Thursday, July 27

Scotland vs. Spain (2:45 p.m. ET)

Portugal vs. England (2:45 p.m. ET)

Full Euro 2017 Schedule

Putting the joy in junkyard dogs, Lynn Williams is back in North Carolina

Last season's MVP and Golden Boot winner, Lynn Williams discusses the first-place Courage season

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Lynn Williams prior to the May 24 match between the North Carolina Courage and Sky Blue FC. Williams scored her third goal of the 2017 season, and the Courage won the game 2-0. (Photo credit: Andy Mead for isiphotos.com)

North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams made her return to the National Women’s Soccer League this past Saturday, after missing three games thanks to a knock to her ankle during U.S. women’s national team training. Williams turned in a 66-minute performance that included six shots and three key passes in the 2-0 win over Seattle Reign FC at home. Now in her third season in the league — and part of the huge 2015 NWSL Draft class that included teammates Abby Dahlkemper, Sam Mewis and Jaelene Hinkle in the first round — Williams is working on winning back-to-back NWSL Championships. And maybe, just maybe, with the way the Courage season is going so far, picking up the NWSL Shield along the way.

First, a quick recap of Lynn Williams’ whirlwind 2016: NWSL Most Valuable Player and NWSL Golden Boot winner for 11 goals and five assists in 19 games played during the regular season. She scored both goals in extra time during the wild semifinal against Thorns FC, including the game-winner that sent the Western New York Flash onto the NWSL Championship. One week later, she had her first call-up to the USWNT, then scored the equalizing goal in the 120+4’ during stoppage time of the Championship match to force penalties.

Oh, and she converted the final penalty for Western New York — before Flash goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo made the winning save — to win the 2016 NWSL Championship on October 9. Ten days after that, she made her USWNT debut. Less than a minute after stepping onto the pitch at Rio Tinto Stadium, she scored her first goal wearing red, white and blue.

So yes, there’s a lot to live up to for Lynn Williams after break-out performances for her club and country. And her 2017 NWSL hasn’t quite gotten off to a similar start – she’s currently four goals behind last year’s mark of seven scored through Week 13. Part of that has been injury, and not just her own. Her partner on the top line, Courage forward Jessica McDonald had to recover from a left hamstring strain, as Williams suffered her right ankle sprain.

Williams has scored three goals so far this season, McDonald has added a pair of her own. In the meantime, rookie Ashley Hatch has stepped up, along with forwards Kristen Hamilton and Makenzie Doniak. The dynamic is different in 2017 as well – less big wins, more gritty 1-0 performances. Head coach Paul Riley has taken to posting photos of his notes for the team’s mentality on Twitter. This year’s theme: junkyard dogs.

“I think last year a lot of people didn’t see us coming,” Williams explains. “When we would play them, we were definitely the underdog and I think we took a lot of criticism. We really embraced that. It was us against the world, almost. This year, we have a little bit more of a target on our back. Going from a team where people didn’t expect us to win, or some people don’t even think we might have deserved to win, and we still have that target and that underdog kind of feel. Instead of letting it hinder us, we turn it and let it help us. So, if we’re going to have this target on our back, we have to think like a junkyard dog.”

Riley’s notes have phrases such as, fear nothing and be great in act as in thought. Some might interpret these as platitudes, but ultimately they reveal the entire approach to North Carolina Courage style of play. Players who play like junkyard dogs, Williams says, “they’re the kind that are going to defend their land and their territory no matter what. They’re grinding, they grit it out. Not every game has to be pretty, as long as you put in your whole effort. The games that we have done well, it has been about us performing and giving it our all. The games we haven’t performed well are when we have taken our foot off the pedal. We just always go back to that and think, if we’re not giving it our all then we’re doing ourselves a disservice. That’s the mentality we have.”

And this mentality seems to be working. The Courage are ahead of the pace they set in 2016 as the Western New York Flash – the team was 8-4-1 through 13 games played at this point last season. They were in third place in the standings, but only a point off the Shield-winning Portland Thorns’ record. This year, they’ve picked up an extra win, even if the Chicago Red Stars and Sky Blue FC are nipping at their heels.

The wins are different and the home field is new, and so is the team chemistry on the top line. Those injuries to Williams and McDonald have had ripple effects, including new combinations including Williams and Ashley Hatch. The Courage have first-place worthy success, in part thanks to this new flexibility in who starts up top. It doesn’t hurt that the team is good enough and confident enough to learn on the fly.

“With Jess, it was definitely — I was looking up to Jess more. How can I work off Jess? Once we figured that out, we kind of just knew how to play with each other, and we were very good about feeding off each other and saying, ‘Jess, I think you need to this,’ and she’d be like, ‘Lynn, I need you to do this,’” Williams says. “Once you play with each other for a long time, you know each other’s tendencies and all that good stuff. With Ashley, she’s just such a hard-working person. She gives it her all every single day. Toward the beginning of the season, obviously me and Jess were playing more and so we were still building that bond. And then unfortunately Jess got injured. Hatch came in and we almost had to get to know each other very quickly in that game, and how each other plays. I think we’re still building on that. It was that game and then unfortunately I got hurt, so I hadn’t been playing for a month.”

Another one of Riley’s keys to being a junkyard dog: we are only a drop of rain. Together, we are an ocean. Or in other words: team before individuals. Whether it’s Williams and McDonald, Williams and Hatch, or Hatch and McDonald start, it’s all in service of the result.

For Williams, it means building a new relationship. “I’m honestly excited to see where mine and Ashley’s bond goes. I have taken on more of… not an older role,” she laughs as she says this, deftly avoiding calling herself a veteran player at age 24, “but a role model in trying to help her out any time I can. She’s more of a quiet person, and if I ever see something that can help her game, I’m like, ‘Hatch, why don’t you try doing this?’ I hope that she feels comfortable doing that with me, because I’m not perfect either. I think we’re getting there, it’s only been two games playing with each other. It just takes time, but so far, I think it was good. Hopefully we can keep building off that. I think it was awesome that she was able to score. She’s on fire right now, so I hope she keeps going.”

If there is one consistent element for Williams and the Courage that hasn’t changed since last season and their time as the Western New York Flash, it’s the internal focus. “We don’t really look at the standings,” Williams said.

It’s not that the results don’t matter, that each win isn’t a step that brings them closer to another trip to the playoffs and a back to go back-to-back as NWSL champions. It’s simply that for North Carolina, they let others do the talking. “Everybody keeps talking about, like you guys have been top for however many weeks,” Williams tells NWSL Media. “Yeah, that’s so awesome and great, but there’s still so much season to go. You never know what’s going to happen. Obviously, I would love to stay on top the entire time, but if we don’t that’s okay. I think we’re just more worried about how we’re going to perform, and what we’re doing to prepare ourselves well.”

There’s no sign that Lynn Williams is disappointed with her season so far, simply because she isn’t. Her team is in first place, and picking up wins. That’s what matters.

“We’re just such a team team. Every time somebody scores, we’re just so happy for them. We don’t think, oh my gosh, I wanted that to be me. It’s more like, this is a team and if I can play that ball so she can score or if I can play the pass to the pass so that person can score – or if I’m not even on the field and somebody scores, I’m still going to be just as excited because I know I helped. I’ve helped every single day for other people to prepare for this moment, and hopefully it all comes together on the field. That’s us in a nutshell.

“I laugh because I look at the pictures when my teammates score, and I get so excited. And then I look at the pictures of when I score,” Williams says. “I need to work on my celebrations apparently. I think those pictures literally say a thousand words, and it’s that we are so genuinely happy for somebody to be scoring. We don’t care who it is as long as the ball gets in the back of the net.”

So is Lynn Williams thinking Sam Kerr-levels of celebration? Nope. “She can work on backflips,” she says, laughing. “I would break my neck.”

That joy you can see on the field from Williams and the Courage isn’t fake. The new digs in North Carolina have been treating them kindly; they love the field at Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary. They show up at local events and people already know who they are.

As ideal as the situation is, there is one area for improvement for Lynn Williams. She’s been on a quest to try a stadium dish, the Pork Tots from Backyward Bistro offered at the stadium on game days. So far, it hasn’t happened. “No! Nobody has given me pork tots!” Williams is still laughing when she says, “I’m so upset about it!”

“I love tots; I love pork,” Williams says. “I think the combination is amazing and I want to taste them. I keep hearing people are going to give them to me and I can’t find them. By the time the game is over, the vending thing is closed and it’s so upsetting.”

It might be a little hard to reconcile Lynn Williams, who is laughing and joking the entire interview, with the icon for the 2017 edition of the North Carolina Courage: the junkyard dog. But as much as the mentality is about grit and toughness, there’s another side to it. You fight for your pack. The Courage aren’t just the best in the league in the standings right now because of the soccer on the field. According to Williams, that’s just the external sign of the bond they share as a team.

“We’re such a close-knit group of women,” she says. She’s earnest, and the sentiment is real. “We’re so close, and we’re around the same age. It’s kind of cliché to say that we have a family feel, but we really do. We honestly genuinely love hanging out with each other. We’re with each other 24/7. We fight like sisters, and it’s just pretty amazing. I haven’t had this feeling on a team before, and I think that’s what you get out on the field as well.”

League Leaders: Sam Kerr, Megan Rapinoe, Marta

Kerr, Rapinoe and Marta lead the league in goals scored

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Three players are pulling away in the race for Most Valuable Player this season: Marta of the Orlando Pride, Sam Kerr of Sky Blue FC and Megan Rapinoe of Seattle Reign FC.

They finished 1-2-3 in the June Player of the Month voting. They are leading the Golden Boot race. They have showed no signs of slowing down in July.

Here’s everything you need to know about three midseason MVP candidates: Sam Kerr, Marta and Megan Rapinoe. 

Sam Kerr

Forward, Sky Blue FC

By the numbers:

Games Played: 13

Games Started: 12

Total Minutes: 1108

Goals: 9

Assists: 3

Shots on Goal: 27

Chances created: 20

Minutes per goal: 123.1 

Team record: 7-6-1, 22 points, 3rd place

Signature Game:

July 8: Sky Blue FC 3 FC Kansas City 2: Full Game | Highlights

With Sky Blue FC down 2-0 in the 78th minute, Kerr — the two-time reigning NWSL Player of the Month (May/June) — finally got her team on the board. With Kelley O’Hara providing the service from the right wing, Kerr made her run behind Kansas City defender Becky Sauerbrunn. She timed it perfectly, finding the near post on a diving header and catching goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart going the wrong way. Three minutes later, Kerr provided the equalizer. Daphne Corboz provided the assist, as Kerr exploited the gap near the top of the box between FC Kansas City defenders Brittany Taylor and Yael Averbuch. Her low one-time right-footed shot beat Barnhart to the far post.

Kerr finished off the signature performance in the 90th minute, not just the game-winning goal, but the 35th career of her NWSL career and the new league record. Taylor Lytle fed the ball into the box, and after a screen from Maya Hayes to keep Averbuch from intercepting it, Kerr shielded her touch from Sauerbrunn, shook away and finished for the hat trick.

The memorable performance set a number of records:

  • Eighth time in NWSL regular season history that a team rallied after trailing after the 75th minute.
  • Second time in regular season history that a team recovered from a two goal deficit to win.
  • 11th all-time hat trick, second-fastest hat trick, latest started hat trick, second hat trick in which all the goals came in the second half.

Honorable Mention:

Kerr’s two goals and one assist in a 3-1 road win over Portland.

Coach Quote:

Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly following the 3-2 over Sky Blue FC 

“Sam is playing at a different level right now. The most exciting thing about Sam is we truly believe there is still more to come from her. She is very young, and she is still very early in her development. These are the moments where she is proving to be one of the best players in the world. As her coach and as a fan, we could not be any prouder of her.”


Marta

Forward, Orlando Pride

By the numbers:

Games played: 12

Games started: 11

Total minutes: 1012

Goals: 8 (2 for 2 on PKs)

Assists: 3

Shots on goal: 16

Chances created: 34

Minutes per goal: 126.5

Team record: 4-5-4, 16 points, 6th place

Signature Game:

June 28: Orlando Pride 3 Sky Blue FC 2: Full Game | Highlights

Down 2-1 on the road to Sky Blue FC in the 77th minute, Marta received a pass just past midfield, dribbled forward for a few yards before passing to rookie Rachel Hill. Hill tapped it along to Steph Catley, making an overlapping run from the left wing and into the box. Catley’s cross to the center of the area was miscleared by Sky Blue defender Mandy Freeman and bounced right to Marta, who had snuck in near the penalty spot. Without waiting for the ball to drop, Marta one-timed it with her left foot, sending a low shot through three defenders and past Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan to tie the game.

Then on the game-winner in the 86th minute, Hill served a cross from the right wing that looked to be out of reach of any Pride players. As Sky Blue defender Kelley O’Hara went for the ball, Marta caught up with her, stole the ball, and ran back up the field, away from the endline. Catley made another overlapping run and Marta sent a backheel pass into the open space behind her. Catley then crossed it high into the six-yard box and Hill headed it home to give Orlando a 3-2 win. While she didn’t get an official assist for it, Marta’s bootprints are all over this play, and the victory.

It was the seventh time in NWSL regular season history that a team rallied for a win after trailing after the 75th minute.

Honorable Mention:

Marta’s two goals, two assists, 91.7 passing accuracy performance in a 4-2 win over the Houston Dash

Coach Quote:

Orlando Pride coach Tom Sermanni, following the 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC:

“[Marta] is such a good player. She is just such a wonderful player. She understands the game. She rarely makes a poor decision. And she’s just got a knack of being able to read the game ahead of other players. And that’s why she ends up in those situations.”


Megan Rapinoe

Forward, Seattle Reign FC

By the numbers:

Games played: 13

Games started: 13

Total minutes: 1150

Goals: 9 (3 for 3 on PKs)

Assists: 1

Shots on goal: 22

Chances created: 31

Minutes per goal: 127.8 

Team record: 5-3-5, 20 points, 4th place

Signature Game:

June 24: Seattle Reign FC 1 FC Kansas City 1: Full Game | Highlights 

Following a red card issued to defender Lauren Barnes in the 4th minute, the Reign were forced to playing the remaining 86 minutes with just 10 players at home vs. FC Kansas City. It was a tough task made even tougher when Seattle gave up a goal in the 16th minute. But Megan Rapinoe was up to the challenge.

With the Reign trailing 1-0, the team stayed on the attack and Rapinoe forced a big save from goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart in the 49th minute. Two minutes later, her corner kick was flicked on by Jess Fishlock, forcing a defender goal line clearance. In the 58th minute, Rapinoe would finally help Seattle get on the board by serving a dangerous cross into the box. Kansas City’s Becky Sauerbrunn tried to head it away from trouble, but her clearance went straight towards the goal, forcing a diving save from Barnhart. The rebound fell right to Seattle’s Nahomi Kawasumi for the game-tying goal.

Rapinoe didn’t get credit for an assist on Kawasumi’s goal, but it wouldn’t have happened without her. She finished the game with three chances created, three key passes and four tackles — all while her team played with only 10 players.

Honorable Mention:

Rapinoe’s two goal performance in Seattle’s 2-0 home win over Portland

Coach Quote:

Seattle Reign FC coach Laura Harvey, following the 1-1 draw with FC Kansas City 

“There’s not many people in the world of women’s football who can put a ball in like [Rapinoe], where it’s, ‘Is it a shot? Is it a cross?’ And from a defending perspective … is the worst thing to defend. That indecision is what makes it difficult. That’s why [Sauerbrunn] flicked it, because she was like, ‘Am I going to flick this and [Barnhart’s] not going to be able to save it, or am I trying to head a cross away?’ … It’s what makes [Rapinoe] great to me. I’m never going to tell her what to do with the ball. She is who she is because she knows what to do. She knows her strengths, she can play off both feet. She’s always going to go for one in the game where she looks for something and it goes out for a throw, but she’ll get one right. Tonight she got more than one right, but the one we needed her to, we scored from.”

Rumi Utsugi named to Japan’s Tournament of Nations roster

Japan opens the Tournament of Nations vs. Brazil on July 27

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Seattle Reign FC midfielder Rumi Utsugi will be competing in the upcoming Tournament of Nations (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

Seattle Reign FC midfielder Rumi Utsugi has been named to Japan’s 23-woman roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations.

Japan, Brazil, Australia and the United States will face each other from July 27-August 3 in the new tournament.

Utsugi has appeared in 10 matches for the Reign this season. She was the only NWSL player named to the roster.

Japan is currently ranked No. 6 in the world.

Japan’s Tournament of Nations Schedule:

July 27

Brazil vs. Japan

7 p.m. ET

CenturyLink Field  (Seattle, Washington)

July 30

Japan vs. Australia

5:15 p.m. ET

Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, California)

August 3

United States vs. Japan

10 p.m. ET, ESPN2

StubHub Center (Carson, California)

Full Roster:

Goalkeepers (3):

Saito Ayaka (Begalta Sendai Ladies), Ikeda Akiko (Urawa Reds Ladies), Yamashita Annudi (Nittele Beza)

Defenders (7):

Samejima Aya (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Nakamura Kaede (Albirex Niigata Women), Sakamoto Ribo (AC Nagano Parseiro Women), Takagi Hikari (Nojimasutera Kanagawa Sagamihara), Oya Ayumu (Ehime FC Ladies), Kitagawa Hikaru (Urawa Reds Ladies), Ichise Nana (Begarta Sendai Ladies)

Midfielders (8):

Sakaguchi Yumeho (Nittele Beza), Madoka Haji (Iga Football Club Kunoichi), Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign FC), Nakajima Tomomi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Naomoto Hikaru (Urawa Reds Ladies), Nakamori Yu (Nittele Beresa), Sumida Yu (Nittele Beza), Hasegawa Yu (Nitere Beresa)

Forwards (5): Tomari Shiho (AC Nagano Parseiro Women), Suganawa Yuuki (Urawa Reds Ladies), Yokoyama Kumi (1. FFC Frankfurt), Tanaka Miyan (Nitere Beleza), Kuwana Fuwa (Nitere Beza)

Marta, Camila among six NWSL players named to Brazil’s Tournament of Nations roster

Brazil will first play Japan on July 27

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Orlando Pride teammates Marta and Camila have been named to Brazil's Tournament of Nations roster. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

Marta and Camila of the Orlando Pride are among six NWSL players named to Brazil’s roster for the upcoming Tournament of Nations.

Marta is currently third in the league with eight goals in 12 games. She has added three assists. Camila has scored three goals and three assists so far this season.

Brazil (currently ranked No. 8 in the world), Japan, Australia and the United States will face off from July 27-August 3 in the new tournament.

Monica (Orlando Pride), Debinha (North Carolina Courage), Andressinha and Bruna Benites (Houston Dash) round out the NWSL players named to the roster for Brazil.

Brazil’s Tournament of Nations schedule:

July 27

Brazil vs. Japan

7:15 p.m. ET

CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Washington)

July 30

United States vs. Brazil

8 p.m. ET, ESPN2

Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego, California)

August 3

Australia vs. Brazil

7:15 p.m. ET

StubHub Center (Carson, California)

Francisca Ordega placed on the 45-day disabled list

The Spirit also announced that Cali Farquharson has been removed from the disabled list

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Washington forward Francisca Ordega has scored four goals for the Spirit this season. (Photo credit: Mike Gridley/isiphotos.com)

The Washington Spirit placed forward Francisca Ordega on the 45-day disabled list because of a chondral defect on her right knee, the team announced Thursday.

Ordega, who leads the Spirit with four goals this season, will undergo arthroscopic surgery. The team said she is expected to make a full recovery.

“Franny had had a great first half of the season,” Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra said in a team press release. “She has made great strides and improvements in her game. We all feel as bad as she feels but know she will be back.”

Also on Thursday, the Spirit announced that Cali Farquharson has been removed from the disabled list as is available for the team. She had been recovering from a torn ACL suffered on September 7, 2016 vs. Seattle Reign FC.

“Cali has done a tremendous job through the recovery process,” Gabarra said in the release. “She has looked very sharp in training and is ready to go.”

NWSL issues fines to two clubs

Houston Dash and FC Kansas City fined for comments critical of the match officials

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Houston Dash Interim Head Coach Omar Morales watches his team during the match between the Dash and the Portland Thorns FC at BBVA Compass Stadium. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne for isiphotos.com)

The National Women’s Soccer League released the following press release Thursday:

CHICAGO (July 13, 2017) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that the Houston Dash and FC Kansas City have been fined an undisclosed amount for comments critical of the match officials, which were made by Houston head coach Omar Morales, Houston midfielder Amber Brooks and Kansas City head coach Vlatko Andonovski regarding Saturday’s games against the Portland Thorns FC and Sky Blue FC, respectively.

In addition, the Dash have been fined an undisclosed amount for an inappropriate gesture made by Brooks on the field.

Outside the Box Scores: Magic on the pitch in Piscataway

Late game dramatics, a stifling defense from the Courage and more in this week's stats

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Sky Blue FC's Raquel Rodriguez and Erica Skroski celebrate Rodriguez's game-winning goal vs. FC Kansas City. (Photo credit: Robyn Walsh McNeil/isiphotos.com)

With additional research by Jacqueline Purdy.

There are stories to be found in statistics. From analyzing the box scores to keeping detailed spreadsheets tracking our favorite stats, we’re ready to shine a bright light for you thanks to Opta. After digging into this week’s data, here’s a look at some trends as we head into Week 13 in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Yurcak dramatics

Sky Blue FC is sitting in third place on the table and currently first place in the NWSL Power Rankings, and a big part of that is their success at home at Yurcak Field. They’re currently 4-2-0 in New Jersey, compared to their away record of 3-4-1.

But there’s some magic brewing on the pitch in Piscataway: some enchantment that keeps causing late game dramatics this season. Only one game so far this year hasn’t been decided by a goal in the last ten minutes of regulation play (a 0-2 loss to Portland Thorns FC on June 4). And of those five games with late goals, only one of those hasn’t finished in Sky Blue’s favor — that 2-3 loss to the Orlando Pride on on June 29.

This week’s win for Sky Blue over FC Kansas City was the second time in ten days for a late comeback at Yurcak. Those two games were also only the seventh and eighth times in NWSL history when a team rallied for a win after trailing for 75 minutes.

But here’s the full breakdown of all the wild finishes in New Jersey:

April 30: Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodriguez scores in the 83rd minute, the game-winning goal in a 1-0 win against FC Kansas City

May 20: Rodriguez scores in the 85th minute, the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win against the Houston Dash

May 27: Sky Blue FC forward Maya Hayes scores in the 82nd minute, the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win against the Orlando Pride

June 28: An away team finally gets some revenge, with Marta scoring in the 77th minute, then Rachel Hill scoring the game-winning goal in the 86th minute for a 3-2 upset for the Orlando Pride

July 9: Skye Blue FC forward Sam Kerr scores her hat trick starting in the 78th minute, then the 81st minute and 90th minute, which proved to be the game-winning goal against FC Kansas City.

Sky Blue FC gets another chance this weekend to make some magic at home, when they host the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. ET.

A stifling defense

As much attention as Kerr, Marta, and  Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe — three early candidates for the 2017 MVP award — are getting, none of them are on the team that’s quietly been getting results all season: the first-place North Carolina Courage. There are plenty of reasons why the Courage have earned their nine wins this season, whether it’s success on corner kicks or the run of form from rookie forward Ashley Hatch. But they have also enjoyed defensive success this year. North Carolina’s tied for second in the league in goals allowed with 12 goals conceded along with Portland, their competition for the NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime this Saturday. The Chicago Red Stars are still in first place with 11 goals conceded so far this season.

But where the Courage pull away away from the Red Stars is when you break down the numbers of shots faced. Through Week 12, the Courage have absolutely stifled their opponents’ attacks. They’ve faced 42 shots on target, and 111 shots total. Chicago’s not too far behind with 49 shots on target faced and 137 shots total.

Compare the Courage’s numbers this Saturday to the Reign, whom they defeated 2-0 in Cary, N.C.: North Carolina put up 29 shots but only allowed Seattle 13. They also have the largest difference for the season so far, with Seattle having conceded almost double the shots that North Carolina has, with 219 to 111. While Seattle is in the middle of the pack for goals allowed, this season they’ve allowed the most shots in the league, and the most shots on target at 75.

As for the Game of the Week on Lifetime, the Portland Thorns will certainly be looking for points at home in Providence Park — and they’ll need to work to limit North Carolina’s attack. Portland’s faced 64 shots on target (fourth in shots faced) but allowed 180 shots. It’s not just the Courage forwards that like to shoot either: midfielders McCall Zerboni, Sam Mewis and Debinha are all offensive threats.

Let’s get physical

Per Opta stats, our current leader in fouls conceded for the 2017 season is forward Francisca Ordega of the Washington Spirit. Through 12 games, she’s committed 33 fouls (with two yellow cards). Boston Breakers midfielder Rosie White isn’t too far behind her with 31 fouls but more importantly, six yellow cards so far this season.

Last season, Portland Thorns FC forward Nadia Nadim led the entire league in this stat with 35 fouls through 20 games. Through the first 12 games of last season, Nadim had only conceded 16 fouls. In 2017, there are already 17 players who have 17 or more fouls through Week 12.

Currently, Ordega can expect a whistle every 27 minutes she’s on the field; White every 30 minutes. Last season through the first 12 games, Nadim was whistled roughly every 63 minutes.

Houston Dash forward Carli Lloyd will sit out this weekend’s match at BBVA Compass Stadium against the Washington Spirit after being red carded for a high challenge in stoppage time. She’s also the player with the fastest foul conceded per minute rate, with a foul every 24 minutes in her five games played so far this season.

With the increased physicality this season, there are also players who are already nearing last season’s records for fouls won as well. In 2016, only two players won more 30 or more fouls: Orlando Pride’s Jasmyne Spencer (33 in 20 games played) and Portland Thorns FC’s Tobin Heath (30 in 14 games played).

This season, two players have already won 31 fouls. Sky Blue FC midfielder Raquel Rodriguez and Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan are tied as league leaders, with Thorns forward Hayley Raso not far behind with 29 fouls won.

A new streak in Boston

After Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith broke the record for most consecutive minutes without allowing a goal earlier this season, her teammate Sammy Jo Prudhomme has now already broken that new record.

Smith did not allow a goal over 254 minutes in four games — from Amy Rodriguez’s 48th minute goal for FC Kansas City on April 16 until North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald netted one in the 32nd minute on May 7. In between, Smith added two clean sheets in April against Sky Blue FC and Seattle Reign FC. The Breakers won both matches.

Rookie goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme has been working on her new streak since her debut on June 24th against the North Carolina Courage. While Courage forward Ashley Hatch scored the game-winning goal in the 44th minute of that game, Prudhomme hasn’t allowed one since, as the Breakers have picked up a win and two draws in their last three games.

Prudhomme hasn’t allowed a goal in 316 minutes, and has made 16 saves through three clean sheets on June 28, July 1 and July 7. With Smith off the injury report after battling through some right quad tendinitis and available once again, there might be a big decision looming ahead of Boston Breakers Matt Beard for this weekend as the team travels to Seattle.

As Beard told broadcaster Jordan Angeli after the match this past Saturday, “[Prudhomme]’s done great in Abby’s absence. Definitely gives me food for thought with regards to them two. Obviously there’s great competition now.”

Opta Tweet of the Week

Player of the Week: Sam Kerr

Kerr's hat trick led Sky Blue FC to a dramatic 3-2 comeback win

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Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr is tied for the NWSL lead with nine goals. (Photo credit: Jose Argueta/isiphotos.com)

There’s just no stopping Sam Kerr. After a record-breaking hat trick performance, Kerr has been unanimously selected as the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 12 by the NWSL Media Association.

Kerr scored three goals in the final 12 minutes on Saturday as Sky Blue FC erased a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 at home over FC Kansas City. With Kerr’s first goal coming in the 78th minute, it is the latest started hat trick in NWSL history. Her final goal — the game-winner — came in the 90th minute to complete the comeback.

Kerr’s hat trick on Saturday night tied her for the league lead in goals with nine, and gave her 35 career goals, two ahead of Jessica McDonald for the most in league history.

That. Was. Nuts. what a teaaaaaaam,” Kerr wrote on Twitter immediately following the game

For her first goal — a brilliant diving header to put Sky Blue FC on the board — Kerr snuck in behind defender Becky Sauerbrunn to get on the end of a perfectly placed cross from defender Kelley O’Hara. The goal pulled Kerr into a tie with McDonald for the all-time lead with 33.

Just three minutes later, Kerr tied the game and became the all-time leading scorer with 34 goals. Daphne Corboz threaded a through pass to Kerr in between two FC Kansas City defenders. Kerr one-timed her shot past FC Kansas City goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart to tie the game 2-2.

Kerr completed the hat trick with the game-winning goal in the 90th minute, the 35th of her NWSL career. With Sauerbrunn marking her closely, Kerr took a pass from Taylor Lytle, shook away from her defender and cooly hit a right-footed shot to the lower left corner of the goal to make it 3-2.

“Sam is playing at a different level right now,” Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly told reporters after the game. “The most exciting thing about Sam is we truly believe there is still more to come from her. She is very young, and she is still very early in her development. These are the moments where she is proving to be one of the best players in the world. As her coach and as a fan, we could not be any prouder of her.”

Saturday night’s win for Sky Blue FC was only the second time in regular season history that a team recovered from a 2-0 deficit to win and the eighth time in league history that a team won after trailing with 15 minutes to go in the game. It’s the 11th hat trick in NWSL history and only the second time that all three goals have been scored in the second half.

Kerr is currently the two-time reigning NWSL Player of the Month. She previously won Player of the Week in Week 9.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Power Rankings: Hat-trick hero Sam Kerr, Sky Blue power to No. 1

Sky Blue FC pulled off one of the greatest comeback victories in league history

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Sam Kerr celebrates with her teammates as Sky Blue rolled to a 3-2 victory on her hat trick. (Photo credit: Robyn W. McNeil for isiphotos.com)

With her team trailing by two with 12 minutes to play, Samantha Kerr scored a hat trick as Sky Blue FC pulled off one of the greatest comeback victories in league history.

It was just the second time an NWSL team has rallied from a two-goal deficit to win a game – with Sky Blue FC joining the Seattle Reign as the only teams to accomplish the feat during the regular season. Teams which have trailed by two in a match are now a whopping 2-146-15 all-time.

Kerr’s three-goal performance is the 11th hat trick in NWSL history and the fifth by a non-U.S. born player. In addition, it is the latest started hat trick in league history with the first of her three goals coming in the 78th minute.

It also ranks second in terms of time between all three goals with the 12 minutes between the Australia international’s tallies only trailing the 10-minute span it took Portland Thorns forward Christine Sinclair to notch her hat trick against the Boston Breakers in July 2014.

Needless to say, the three-goal explosion had an impact on the rankings.

1

SKY BLUE FC
7-6-1, 22 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 2

What hasn’t already been said about Sam Kerr? This week she added hat trick hero, all-time leading NWSL goal scorer and all-time NWSL points leader after a comeback 3-2 win over FC Kansas City. Could this be the year she and Sky Blue FC add NWSL champion to that list?


Up: 1
Last week: 3

After not scoring in Week 11, Ashley Hatch had to fix that. The rookie scored for the fourth time in the last five games to power the Courage to 2-0 win over Seattle. North Carolina have won four of their last five and every victory has featured a goal from Hatch.


3

CHICAGO RED STARS
7-3-3, 24 pts

Down: 1
Last week: 2

Alyssa Naeher didn’t even need to make a save as she notched her second consecutive shutout – and fifth clean sheet this season – behind the No. 1 defense in the league as the Red Stars earned a scoreless road draw against Boston.


4

ORLANDO PRIDE
4-5-4, 16 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 5

The Marta goal-scoring tour is coming to a town near you. The Brazil international continued to set the league on fire with another two-goal performance in a 2-2 draw with Washington. Marta now has eight tallies on the year, one off the league lead.


5

HOUSTON DASH
4-7-2, 14 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 6

It’s time for all of us to stop sleeping on the Dash. Houston woke up following their six-game losing streak, thanks in part to Rachel Daly and rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell. They’ve stepped it up and the Dash are now unbeaten in their last four after a 1-1 draw against Portland.


6

SEATTLE REIGN FC
5-3-5, 20 pts

Down: 2
Last week: 4

The Reign saw their four-match unbeaten run snapped by a 2-0 loss to North Carolina. It was the first game for Seattle without Jess Fishlock (left knee) as they look to manage until her return hopefully in August.


7

WASHINGTON SPIRIT
3-6-3, 12 pts

Last week: 7

Mallory Pugh went toe-to-toe with a legend in Week 12 as she scored two goals to match Marta and twice rally her team from deficits in a 2-2 tie against Orlando. It was an enticing glimpse at the potential Pugh brings to the table.


8

PORTLAND THORNS FC
5-4-4, 19 pts

Last week: 8

The game-tying goal Lindsey Horan scored on a free kick in second-half stoppage time was so pretty it could almost make you forget the Adrianna Franch save on a breakaway that made it possible – almost. Despite the 1-1 draw with Houston, the Thorns have just one win in their last five.


9

BOSTON BREAKERS
3-6-4, 13 pts

Last week: 9

Sammy Jo Prudhomme became the first goalkeeper in Breakers history to record three consecutive shutouts with an impressive eight-save performance in a scoreless draw with Chicago. The rookie has conceded just once in the first four games of her NWSL career.


10

FC KANSAS CITY
3-6-4, 13 pts

Last week: 10

FC Kansas City fans will feel hard done by the red card shown to Shea Groom in the first half of their week 12 contest against Sky Blue FC. KC led by two on the road at the time of the dismissal but three second-half goals by the hosts saw the Blues lose 3-2.

Week 12 Rewind: Kerr and Sky Blue make history, Marta and Pugh tally braces

Plus, Lindsey Horan scores a late equalizer on the road for Portland

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Sky Blue FC became the first team to reach 100 NWSL games. (Photo credit: Robyn W. McNeil/isiphotos.com)

A quick look back at an unforgettable Week 12 in the NWSL.

Sky Blue FC 3 FC Kansas City 2

Sam Kerr scored a hat trick for the NWSL history books, leading a 3-2 comeback win for Sky Blue FC in the game’s final 12 minutes and becoming the new NWSL all-time leading scorer in the process. FC Kansas City forward Shea Groom was issued a straight red card right before the end of the first half. Sky Blue FC’s comeback win was only the second time in regular season history that a team recovered from a two goal deficit to win. The historic victory came in Sky Blue FC’s 100th NWSL game, the first team in league history to reach the mark.


Orlando Pride 2 Washington Spirit 2

Marta scored two goals for the Orlando Pride, but Mallory Pugh equalized twice as the Washington Spirit tied the Pride 2-2. Pugh’s second goal came in the 90th minute as the rookie converted a penalty kick for her third goal of the season.


Houston Dash 1 Portland Thorns FC 1

Dash forward Janine Beckie scored in the 8th minute and Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan equalized with a free kick goal in the 91st minute  as Houston and Portland tied 1-1. Dash forward Carli Lloyd was sent off in the 92nd minute.


North Carolina Courage 2 Seattle Reign FC 0

The Courage regained sole possession of first place thanks to goals from rookie forward Ashley Hatch and midfielder McCall Zerboni.


Boston Breakers 0 Chicago Red Stars 0

Breakers goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme made eight saves and midfielder Rosie White contributed with a header save off the line as Boston held on for a 0-0 draw with the Chicago Red Stars. Prudhomme’s shutout streak now stands at 316 minutes without conceding a goal.

Jess Fishlock suffers MCL sprain; Week 12 injury report

Fishlock is expected to return in August

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Seattle Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock suffered a grade 2 MCL sprain in her left knee on Saturday night vs. Portland Thorns FC, the team announced Friday. The Reign said Fishlock is expected to return to full fitness in August.

Fishlock has two goals and one assist in 12 appearances so far this season. She was recently named to the June Team of the Month.

Around the NWSL

The NWSL released its weekly injury report ahead of Week 12’s games. View the full injury report.

Other notable updates:

North Carolina Courage forward Kristen Hamilton is out with a left hamstring strain suffered last weekend.

Boston Breakers goalkeeper Abby Smith was removed from the injury report when the team released it on Thursday ahead of Friday night’s meeting with the Chicago Red Stars. She has missed the last three games with right quad tendinitis.

Breakers to honor Tony DiCicco Friday night at match vs. Red Stars

Family, friends and former players will all attend Friday night's match against the Chicago Red Stars

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(Photo credit: J Brett Whitesell/isiphotos.com)

On Friday night, the Boston Breakers and the family of U.S. women’s national team and Breakers head coach Tony DiCicco will honor his legacy before the match against the Chicago Red Stars.

Tickets for the game are still available and can be purchased by visiting breakerstickets.com or by calling 617-945-1704.

Family, former teammates and players from the 1999 Women’s World Cup team will attend the match on Friday evening. The DiCicco family will also host a tailgate before the match, and fans and supporters are invited to share their memories of DiCicco. His former teammates will serve as honorary captains for the game, and the DiCicco family will also lead the Breakers and Red Stars out on Jordan Field at Harvard University.

While it’s one night in memory of one of the biggest influences on the women’s game, Friday night is yet another piece in documenting DiCicco’s last legacy in women’s professional soccer.

Amanda Duffy, NWSL Managing Director of Operations , arrived in Boston on Friday morning to attend the match. Being there in person was important for her. As she said, she traveled to New England to “be a part of that celebration of what Tony’s done for the game and for the league. It was just important to be here and share that time. I’m sure there will be plenty of stories told over the next 72 hours.”

Before Friday night’s events and game kick off, she spoke to NWSL Media about how DiCicco’s name will still be a crucial part of the women’s game in America. “Tony’s involvement with the game at all levels, and all sides of it, it’s all encompassing,” Duffy said. “The positive impact in all aspects is recognized by everyone. With the amount of time and effort, his motivation and passion drove the execution and implementation of the first women’s professional league, the WUSA. He didn’t just set a standard, but created the excitement and sense of pride behind everything that was happening in the women’s game following the ’99 Women’s World Cup. “

While DiCicco’s role in every league was different: from driving force in WUSA, to head coach in WPS, to honorary godfather and color commentator in the National Women’s Soccer League, ultimately his spirit has defined and shaped every version of the women’s game in the U.S. Duffy points to DiCicco for his integral role. “You talk about the work that was done behind the scenes and in front of cameras, in front of players, with U.S. Soccer, with every party that’s a part of the game, Tony was always there to talk about the game, talk about the women’s game, find ways to move the game forward.”

On June 21, former Boston Breakers defender Cat Whitehill told NWSL Media, “I don’t think it can be stated enough how important [Tony DiCicco] was to women’s soccer. I think when you go back, and you look at the history books, Tony’s fingerprints are all over it. That’s his legacy as a soccer coach.”

Duffy couldn’t have agreed more with that sentiment. “His fingerprints were all over the game because Tony was never above any of it,” she said.

“Tony wanted to be a part of all of it. That’s how your fingerprints get all over it. I think it’s one hundred percent accurate, and I think it speaks to his personality and character that there was nothing he was above or had moved past. It was always about the growth. He understood that meant rolling your sleeves up and having to do work that some people wouldn’t care to do at certain points in their career. “

As a more permanent testimony to the years of work and his lasting legacy, the Boston Breakers will also unveil a banner in DiCicco’s honor. The Breakers had already planned to induct him into their Pillars of Excellence, the team’s version of a hall of fame spanning the club’s history through its WUSA and WPS editions as well. The club has only named four players as Pillars so far, thanks to their respective “outstanding contribution not only to the Boston Breakers organization but also to the sport of women’s soccer.”

Tony DiCicco will rightfully join the ranks of the best of Breakers history: Maren Meinert, Angela Hucles, Kristine Lilly and Leslie Osborne. Mark Thomas, President of Business Operations for the Breakers, said that a ceremony is planned for next year for the actual honor. With the banner already ready, it made sense to present it with DiCicco’s family present on Friday night.

“A lot of people have the feeling that if it wasn’t for Tony, there may not be an NWSL in some respect,” Thomas said. “Obviously there’s not a direct link, but he’s always supported the team. He’s always supported the coaching staff and the ownership team here. It’s a very, very small offering that we’re doing on Friday. We wish it could be more, but every little bit counts, I suppose.”

Fans who aren’t located in Boston have also found a way to show their support for Friday night’s honors. NWSL and USWNT supporter Beverly Baird suggested that out-of-market fans buy tickets and donate them to the Boston Breakers non-profit, the Sports, Fitness and Leadership Foundation.

Last month, the league honored DiCicco with a moment of silence before every match during the weekend of June 24-25, as well as players and coaches wearing armbands with his initials during games.

In addition to DiCicco’s successful coaching record with the national team — a 105-8-8 overall record, winning the 1999 Women’s World Cup and a gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics — he played a large role in professional soccer in Boston.

DiCicco coached the Breakers from 2009 to 2011, when the team was part of the Women’s Professional Soccer league. He’s also the only coach in Breakers history to lead the team to two playoff appearances during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

DiCicco also served as a color commentator on several NWSL broadcasts – including during the 2013 NWSL Playoffs.

The DiCicco family has additional memorial events planned for the weekend of July 7-9, with more information available via tonydicicco.com.

USWNT to host September friendlies vs. New Zealand in Denver and Cincinnati

The games will take place on September 15 and 19

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The United States women’s national soccer team will host New Zealand in two September friendlies this fall. The first game will be at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado (10 p.m. ET, ESPN2) on Friday, September 15. The second will be held at Nippert Stadium on the campus of the University of Cincinnati (7:30 p.m. ET, FS1) on Tuesday, September 19.

U.S. women’s national team members Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC) and Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit) are from Colorado, while Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers) hails from Cincinnati.

“The fall friendly matches are an important transition period to 2018 and we want to get the most out of them by continuing to play teams with World Cup and Olympic experience like New Zealand,” U.S. head coach Jill Ellis said in a U.S. Soccer press release. “Denver has been a fun place to play for our team over the years, but we also enjoy going to cities where we haven’t been in a while, like Cincinnati. The fans there have shown extraordinary support for their USL team and we’re looking forward to an enthusiastic crowd for our match as well.”

The USWNT last played at at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in June of 2016, a memorable 3-3 draw with Japan. It will be the first USWNT match in Cincinnati since 2008, and first at Nippert Stadium, the home stadium of the United Soccer League club FC Cincinnati.

The United States is 12-1-1 all-time versus New Zealand, with the only loss coming in 1987.


Ticket info via U.S Soccer’s press release:  
Denver

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, July 14, at 10 a.m. MT through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-866-461-6556 (Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. MT; Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. MT). Tickets will be available at box office locations, if inventory remains, beginning Saturday, July 15. Dick’s Sporting Goods Park box office is open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the Pepsi Center box office is open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cincinnati

Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, July 21, at 10 a.m. ET through ussoccer.com and by phone at 1-800-745-3000. [Note: Tickets are not sold at Nippert Stadium except on the day of the event.] Groups of 20 or more can order at ussoccer.com.

Ultimate Fan Tickets (special VIP packages that include a premium ticket, a custom-made official U.S. National Team jersey with name and number, VIP access to the field before and after the game, and other unique benefits) are also available for both games exclusively through ussoccer.com.

Outside the Box Scores: Throwing down the gauntlet

This week in stats: Duels, passing, and Megan Rapinoe's penalty kicks

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Julie Ertz of the Chicago Red Stars takes on the Orlando Pride's Marta during their Week 11 match. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper for isiphotos.com)

There are stories to be found in statistics. From analyzing the box scores to keeping detailed spreadsheets tracking our favorite stats, we’re ready to shine a bright light for you thanks to Opta. After digging into this week’s data, here’s a look at some trends as we head into Week 12 in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Winning the duel

The Chicago Red Stars left Orlando on July 1 with all three points thanks to Christen Press converting the penalty kick. And in addition to that crazy sequence featuring a near-goal from a goalkeeper, followed by a defender clearance off the line into a shot off the crossbar, there were also some crazy numbers in the box score.

Chicago battled Orlando to win 69.2 percent of the duels in the match, winning 72 to Orlando’s 32. That’s the second-widest gap between two teams in a match so far this season. And while the Red Stars might have out-dueled the Pride, they did have to fight an uphill climb in one stat to walk away with the win. The Pride owned 62.1 percent of possession, and had 463 passes (76.7% accuracy) to the Red Stars’s 299 (65.9% accuracy).

The back line was huge for Chicago on Saturday, and they did plenty of work along with goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to keep the clean sheet despite the 20 shots that Orlando had. Taylor Comeau won 81.3 percent of her 16 duels, Kathleen Naughton 88.9% of her 9, Samantha Johnson won three of her four, and Sarah Gordon kept it perfect going four for four before she was subbed off.

There have been a few other games this season with wide gaps between the two teams in duels won or possession, but usually it’s only one stat that’s lopsided. This is the first game to have both clearly favor one team, and on top of that, have them favored in the opposite direction.

Back in May, Seattle Reign FC and the Orlando Pride settled for a 1-1 draw, but Seattle won 52 duels to Orlando’s 17 for a 75.4 percent duels won rate. That’s the highest mark so far this season — but the two teams split possession 55/45.

Two other teams have won a match despite being in the 30s for possession numbers — but they may have home field advantage to thank for the there points. On May 27, Sky Blue FC defeated Orlando 2-1 at home on Yurcak Field with only 33.3 percent possession over the 90 minutes. On June 24, the Washington Spirit upset the Portland Thorns with a 1-0 win and 38.0 percent possession.

A mid-season look at passing

Teams that pass well don’t always earn results, but there are some notable numbers from the 11 weeks of the season so far when it comes to passing and passing accuracy. There are three teams who have only broken 400 passes in a match once: the Boston Breakers, the Chicago Red Stars, and the North Carolina Courage. On the flip side, three teams have played in three games where they didn’t manage 300 passes: the Breakers again, with 280 vs. the Pride in the June 3 loss; the Red Stars with 298 vs. the Pride in that 1-0 win on Saturday; and the Spirit with 284 in the 6-2 drubbing at home.

Only half of the clubs have managed to have a team passing accuracy above 80 percent for at least one match, though these games are few and far between. The Seattle Reign have set the bar so far this season for highest passing accuracy in a game: they beat Houston on May 27, while keeping 86.2 percent of their 485 passes on target.

A team has only slipped into the 50s once so far this season, and that dubious honor goes to the Washington Spirit. They still earned a point from that match, however, picking up a draw against the Chicago Red Stars despite the 58.9% passing accuracy on June 17.

While most teams stay in the 60s and 70s for passing accuracy, there are two teams that have nearly managed to stay about 70% in every game. Both teams have only slipped once this season, and they might be two teams that don’t necessarily have the reputation for solid passing. The Houston Dash fell to 69.7 percent in their win against the Washington Spirit back on April 29, and the Orlando Pride dropped to 67.4 percent in their draw against the Seattle Reign on May 21.

One goal

During the month of June, while most teams scored and allowed plenty of goals, two teams had ones in those columns. The Washington Spirit had the better of the two options, only conceding one goal during the three games they played in June — a penalty kick from Christen Press. On the flip side, the Boston Breakers played four games last month, and only scored once. Adriana Leon scored in the 73rd minute against the North Carolina Courage on June 17, but that goal stands as the only tally of June for Boston. They did put an emphatic end to their 0-3-1 June by starting July with a 1-0 win over the Washington Spirit. The Breakers are still the only team to not yet break double digits for goals scored so far this season, with nine through Week 11.

“Rare.”

According to Opta, Megan Rapinoe is the only player to take two penalty kicks in the same game since the start of 2016. After Week 11’s games, she’s now firmly in the lead in the Golden Boot race with nine goals in 12 games played. That’s a goal every 117.7 minutes.

After Wednesday’s game in which she converted the two PKs against Chicago’s Alyssa Naeher, Rapinoe said, “”I don’t really study [Naeher’s] tells. Obviously, I take them against her from time to time in training, but I always feel like as the taker, if you put it right, and hit it right, that they should never save it. Sometimes they make great saves. For the second one, I was just too tired to be doing anything other than just get it in there.”

Opta Tweet of the Week

Megan Rapinoe named Player of the Week

Rapinoe scored four goals in two games in Week 11

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Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe now leads the NWSL with nine goals. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/isiphotos.com)

After scoring four goals in two games, Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe has been named Player of the Week for Week 11 by the NWSL Media Association.

Rapinoe was the only goal scorer for Seattle in the Reign’s two Week 11 wins, which moved the team into third place in the NWSL standings.

Her four goals also moved her into first place in the NWSL with nine goals, three clear of Sam Kerr and Marta, who are tied for second.

Her first brace came on June 28, in a comeback win for the Reign over the Chicago Red Stars. Rapinoe converted two penalty kicks as Seattle recovered from a 1-0 first half deficit to win 2-1. The game-tying penalty kick, a hard shot into the top left corner, came in the 58th minute follow a Red Stars handball in the box. She then converted the game-winner in the 84th minute, going to the right side of the goal, after being fouled in the box by Red Stars defender Casey Short. Both times, Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher dove the correct way, but could not stop Rapinoe’s kicks.

Her second brace came on Saturday night in the 15th all-time meeting between Seattle Reign FC and Portland Thorns FC. In the closing moments of first half stoppage time, Thorns midfielder Allie Long passed the ball back to defender Emily Sonnett. Rapinoe chased down the play and applied pressure to Sonnett, forcing a turnover in the box. Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch came out to try to clear the ball away, but Rapinoe’s sliding left-footed shot went past Franch to give the Reign a 1-0 lead.

Rapinoe’s second goal sealed the win in the 81st minute. Reign midfielder Christine Nairn sent a long ball that Rapinoe ran onto the end of inside the top left corner of the penalty area. With the ball still bouncing, Rapinoe hit a left-footed half volley low and to the far post to make it 2-0.

Rapinoe finished Week 11 with four goals, eight shots on goal and four chances created, according to Opta.

It’s the third time Rapinoe has won Player of the Week in her NWSL career and first since 2015. She is the fourth Seattle player to win the honor this season, joining Haley Kopmeyer, Jess Fishlock and Nahomi Kawasumi.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Kickin’ It to Florida Championship Weekend Sweepstakes

Enter for a chance to win at mylifetime.com/win

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Lifetime is sending one lucky fan and three of their friends/family members on an MVP Championship Weekend experience. Enter for a chance to win at mylifetime.com/win

The Grand Prize includes:

  • Trip for 4 to Orlando, Florida

  • Tickets to the NWSL Championship Game at Orlando City Stadium on October 14, 2017

  •  3-night stat at a Walt Walt Disney® World Resort hotel

  • Walt Disney® World park tickets

The Sweepstakes ends on August 6, 2017.

Ten second-place runner up winners will each win a NWSL swag bag.

Enter for a chance to win | Official Rules

Power Rankings: Red Stars fight their way to No. 1

Christen Press led Chicago to a win on the road in Orlando

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Christen Press scored a penalty kick for the Red Stars, earning them the win and the top spot in the power rankings for Week 11. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper for isiphotos.com)

Christen Press and the Chicago Red Stars rebounded from their first loss in nine matches with a tough 1-0 victory over the Orlando Pride in their second match of Week 11.

The U.S. international held her nerve from the penalty spot in the second half and Alyssa Naeher made four saves against Orlando as the Red Stars earned their fifth win in the last seven games. Chicago’s 16 points in their last seven games are the most of any club during that stretch.

Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe is putting on a clinic. The leading scorer in the league tallied four times in Week 11 – scoring every goal for the Seattle Reign in a pair of victories, including a 2-0 triumph in a grudge match with the Portland Thorns.

See below for where your favorite club slots in for this week’s rankings.

1

CHICAGO RED STARS
7-3-2, 23 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 2

Christen Press picked up her fifth goal of the season to lead the Red Stars to a 1-0 win against Orlando and pull Chicago within one point of the Courage at the top of the table. The U.S. international has scored or assisted on three game-winning goals this year.


2

SKY BLUE FC
6-6-1, 19 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 3

Samantha Kerr can’t stop scoring. The two-time reigning NWSL Player of the Month scored her fourth goal in as many games as Sky Blue FC toppled North Carolina to bounce back from a midweek loss.


Down: 2
Last week: 1

The Courage split their two games in Week 11 – with a 1-0 win over Boston followed by a 1-0 loss to Sky Blue FC. At the end of the day, North Carolina remained on top of the league.


4

SEATTLE REIGN FC
5-2-5, 20 pts

Up: 2
Last week: 6

Megan Rapinoe is on a mission. The U.S. international scored all four goals for the Reign to lead a pair of victories in Week 11. Rapinoe has tallied five times in the last three games and leads the league with nine goals.


5

ORLANDO PRIDE
4-5-3, 15 pts

Last week: 5

Aubrey Bledsoe continued her strong performance as the stand-in for the injured Ashlyn Harris with five saves in a loss to Chicago as the Pride split their two games in Week 11. Alex Morgan also made her first NWSL appearance since winning the UEFA Champions League with Olympique Lyon.


6

HOUSTON DASH
4-7-1, 13 pts

Up: 3
Last week: 9

Rachel Daly scored for the second game running and Nichelle Prince netted the game-winning goal as the Dash rallied for a 2-1 win over KC to push their unbeaten run to three games – their longest such streak this year.


7

WASHINGTON SPIRIT
3-6-2, 11 pts

Down: 3
Last week: 4

A 1-0 loss to Boston put the skids on a three-match unbeaten run as the Spirit suffered their first shutout in the last six games. On the positive side, Washington has allowed just two goals in the last four games.


8

PORTLAND THORNS FC
5-4-3, 18 pts

Down: 1
Last week: 7

A 2-0 setback to Seattle was the third loss in the last four games for the Thorns. Opponents have shutout Portland in two of the last three matches and the 2013 champs will look to get back on track against Houston in Week 12.


9

BOSTON BREAKERS
3-6-3, 12 pts

Up: 1
Last week: 10

Rookie Margaret Purce scored her first goal as professional to deliver a 1-0 win for the Breakers and snap a four-game losing streak as well as an eight-match winless run. Fellow rookie Sammy Jo Prudhomme has two shutouts in the first three starts of her career.


10

FC KANSAS CITY
3-5-4, 13 pts

Down: 2
Last week: 8

Shea Groom scored her first goal of the season to give FC Kansas City a lead against Houston, but the Blues weren’t able to make it hold up as they slumped to their fifth defeat of the season. KC is winless in their last five – one off the longest runs without a victory in club history.

Orlando Pride waive defender Laura Alleway

Australian international saw limited minutes in Orlando

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Laura Alleway during an away game between the Orlando Pride and North Carolina Courage during the 2017 season. (Photo credit: Andy Mead for isiphotos.com)

On Monday, the Orlando Pride announced they had waived defender Laura Alleway.

Alleway had seen limited minutes with Orlando through her two seasons with the club. She had 10 starts in 13 appearances for a total of 917 minutes. This season, she only played 136 minutes for the Pride.

“As one of our first overseas signings, Laura has represented the Pride with commitment, passion and distinction. Despite her change in role this season, she has continued to be a consummate professional and is always supportive of her teammates,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said in the Pride’s official release. “In her desire to play more minutes, we believe it is in Laura’s best interests to be free to pursue other opportunities. We wish her great success moving forward.”

Week 11 Rewind: Rapinoe’s brace, late drama in Orlando, Kerr’s game-winner

Megan Rapinoe leads the NWSL with nine goals

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Megan Rapinoe scored her eighth and ninth goals of the season on Saturday night in Seattle's 2-0 win over Portland. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/isiphotos.com)

A quick look back on the Week 11 weekend games:

Dash 2 FC Kansas City 1

Rachel Daly and Nichelle Prince scored second half goals as the Houston Dash came from behind to beat FC Kansas City 2-1 on the road to close out Week 11. FC Kansas City forward Shea Groom scored her first goal of the season in the loss. Full Recap


Reign 2 Thorns 0

Megan Rapinoe scored another brace — her second in as many games — as Seattle Reign FC topped Portland Thorns FC 2-0 in the 15th all-time meeting between the Cascadia rivals. Rapinoe now leads the NWSL with nine goals this season. Full Recap


Red Stars 1 Pride 0

Alex Morgan made her 2017 NWSL debut, but the Red Stars spoiled the Pride’s party with a 1-0 win thanks to a Christen Press penalty kick. Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe nearly scored in the 92nd minute, but midfielder Danielle Colaprico saved Bledsoe’s shot off the line. The clearance bounced to Ali Krieger, whose shot hit the crossbar. Full Recap


Breakers 1 Spirit 0

Breakers rookie Margaret Purce scored the first goal of her NWSL career as Boston snapped an eight game winless streak with a 1-0 win over the Washington Spirit. Boston goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme recorded her second consecutive clean sheet. Full Recap


Sky Blue FC 1 Courage 0

June Player of the Month Sam Kerr scored her sixth goal of the season as Sky Blue FC topped the first-place Courage 1-0 in North Carolina. Sky Blue goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan made four saves to earn the shutout. Full Recap

Alex Morgan available for Pride on Saturday, could make her 2017 NWSL debut

Morgan had been recovering from a strained left hamstring

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Alex Morgan scored four goal for the Pride in 2016. (Photo credit: Roy K. Miller/isiphotos.com)

Pride forward Alex Morgan will be in Orlando’s 18-player lineup for Saturday’s home meeting with the Chicago Red Stars and is expected to see her first minutes of the season, the team said on Friday.

Morgan had been recovering from a strained hamstring she suffered while playing with Olympique Lyonnais earlier this year, but has been medically cleared to play, the Pride said. She was officially added to the Pride roster for this season on June 21, but missed the last two Pride games because of her hamstring.

On Friday, the Pride removed her from the injury report. Orlando coach Tom Sermanni said he hoped to bring her on for the game’s final 20-30 minutes vs. the Red Stars.

“It gives her a chance to get in the game and actually get some game time under her belt,” Sermanni said. “She probably hasn’t played a full game for about seven weeks now so it will just be great to get her back out onto the field.”

Around the NWSL

The NWSL released its weekly injury report Friday ahead of Week 11’s weekend games. View the full injury report.

Other notable updates: 

Washington Spirit midfielder Mallory Pugh, who suffered a left ankle sprain on June 11 during warm-ups before the United States women’s national team’s 1-0 win in Norway, has been upgraded to probable by the Spirit.

Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico has been upgraded to probable after suffering a right ankle sprain last week. She missed the first game of her NWSL career on Wednesday because of the injury.

North Carolina Courage forward Jess McDonald, who has missed the last three games with a left hamstring strain, was also upgraded to probable. Lynn Williams (right ankle sprain) is also listed as probable for the Courage.

June Team of the Month announced

Kerr, Marta and three Courage players all on June's best XI

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June Player of the Month Sam Kerr is among the 11 players named to the June Team of the Month.

The North Carolina Courage stayed perfect in June with three wins, and three of their own headline the 11 players named to the Team of the Month, selected by the NWSL Media Association for June 2017. Forward Ashley Hatch, midfielder Samantha Mewis and defender Abby Dahlkemper join June Player of the Month Sam Kerr on the list.

Marta also was named to the June Team of the Month, after she led scoring in June, with four goals in four games as the Orlando Pride went 3-1-0.

Marta’s not the only new face on the best XI for June. She’s joined by Orlando teammate Ali Krieger, North Carolina’s Dahlkemper and Hatch, as well as NWSL leading scorer Megan Rapinoe.

Take a look at the full roster, which lines up in a 4-3-3 formation.

GK: Stephanie Labbé, Washington Spirit

Labbé only allowed one goal in June, a penalty kick conceded to Red Stars forward Christen Press during the 1-1 draw on June 17. She led the Spirit to a 2-0-1 record this month, and added 14 saves for her season total so far of 44.


D: Casey Short, Chicago Red Stars

Short and the Red Stars had a disappointing end to the month with Wednesday night’s midweek loss to the Reign, but the defender was a big reason for the 2-1-1 record in June. Short upped her offensive contributions this month, including setting up Press on the play that earned the PK against Washington and an assist for Sofia Huerta‘s game winner against Sky Blue FC on June 25.


D: Abby Dahlkemper, North Carolina Courage

North Carolina stayed perfect in June, adding another 3 wins to their league-leading 8-3-0 record. Dahlkemper logged 270 minutes, and plays a key part in the Courage offense with her corner kick contributions.


D: Ali Krieger, Orlando Pride

Krieger played every minute as she captained the Pride to winning nine points in June. Despite the 2-0 loss to Houston on the road, the Pride are in sixth place and only two points back from a playoff spot. She also proved this month she’s still got some serious wheels.


D: Estelle Johnson, Washington Spirit

Johnson is another backline warrior for Team of the Month, logging all 270 minutes during the Washington Spirit’s June campaign. She contributed nine interceptions, nine tackles and two blocks this month.


M: Marta, Orlando Pride

If Marta scores, the Orlando Pride are going to win. Or at least, that’s how it worked in June. She scored four goals and added two assists for the Pride, including the equalizer against Sky Blue on Wednesday night that sparked the late comeback on the road.


M: Samantha Mewis, North Carolina Courage

If the North Carolina Courage have a quarterback calling the players, it’s definitely midfielder Samantha Mewis. 241 touches on the ball in June, 173 passes, and two assists from Mewis equalled a perfect month for the Courage.


M: Jess Fishlock, Seattle Reign FC

Fishlock can always be trusted to patrol the midfield for Seattle, but she was a key part in Seattle’s big midweek victory over the Chicago Red Stars. She led the Reign with six tackles, two interceptions and 14 gained possessions — the kind of contribution the Reign need from Fishlock to stay in playoff contention.


F: Megan Rapinoe, Seattle Reign FC

Megan Rapinoe scored three goals for Seattle this month, including both penalty kicks in the 2-1 win over the Red Stars on Wednesday. But Opta stats show there’s one other reason Rapinoe made Team of the Month: key passes (per the Opta glossary: a pass that is “instrumental in creating a goal-scoring opportunity”). Rapinoe had nine of them this month, including four against the Red Stars on June 4.


F: Sam Kerr, Sky Blue FC

Team of the Month two months in a row, Player of the Month two months in a row. Kerr’s putting on a show out in Piscataway, New Jersey. That bicycle kick was just the cherry on top, and Kerr’s fifth goal this season.


F: Ashley Hatch, North Carolina Courage

With forwards Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald spending most of June on the injury report, Courage rookie Ashley Hatch has used her opportunity to shine — and score goals. She scored in all three games this month for North Carolina, including the game winner in Boston on June 24.

The NWSL Team of the Month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Sam Kerr named June Player of the Month

Kerr also won the award in April

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(Photo credit: Robyn W. McNeil/isiphotos.com)

Here’s the short version of Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr’s June: She flipped after scoring. She flipped while scoring. She helped break the fastest goal record.

Basically, Sam Kerr did everything this month. And now Kerr has been named June Player of the Month by the NWSL Media Association.

Kerr earns the honor for the second straight month, only the second player in NWSL history to record the feat, joining former Reign FC midfielder Kim Little, who won in April and May en route to winning league MVP in 2014. (Little also later won the award again in July of that same year.)

The 23-year-old Australian international scored three goals and one assist in June and won Player of the Week honors for her performance in Sky Blue FC’s big 3-1 in Portland in Week 9. She assisted on Raquel Rodriguez’s goal just 24.76 seconds into the game, officially the fastest goal in NWSL history. On the goal, Kerr’s initial cross was blocked, but she grabbed the rebound and found Rodriguez open in the box for the goal.

She then recorded two breakaway goals to seal the three road points, celebrating with a memorable backflip after her second goal. Also on the second goal, she headed the initial ball down to herself, maintaining control while she raced down the field before beating Thorns FC goalkeeper Adrianna Franch.

Then on Wednesday night at home vs. Orlando, she forced a great save from Pride goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe, earned a penalty kick for Sky Blue — and scored an unforgettable bicycle kick at the start of the second half.

“That’s what Sam can do,” Sky Blue FC coach Christy Holly said Wednesday, following the bicycle kick. “She’s a special player.”

Kerr finished the month with three goals, one assist, eight chances created and eight shots on goal, according to Opta. She is the first Sky Blue FC player to ever win the honor twice. She now has 31 career goals, second among all active NWSL players.

The NWSL Player of the Month is selected each month of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

Christine Sinclair appointed to Order of Canada

Sinclair has scored 168 goals in 259 appearances for Canada

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Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair was appointed to the Order of Canada. (Photo credit: Sam Ortega for isiphotos.com)

On Friday, Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair was appointed as an Officer to the Order of Canada — one of the nation’s highest civilian honors.

Sinclair has represented Canada for 17 years, scoring 168 goals in 259 appearances for the senior national team. She’s led Canada to two consecutive Olympic Bronze medals in 2012 and 2016, as well as a CONCACAF Championship.

In her career with the Thorns, Sinclair has scored 27 goals in 74 appearances, and captained the team to the 2016 NWSL Shield for the best regular season record.

“I think what’s special for me is that this goes beyond soccer,” she told Canada Soccer.   “I am a very, very proud Canadian, I am proud of where I am from, and to be recognized in this nature is surreal.  It’s not something you can dream about happening to you… I can dream of winning a World Cup or an Olympic Gold Medal, and that’s my job, but to have your country recognize you – I don’t even know what to say.”

Boston Breakers claim forward Katie Stengel off waivers

Breakers waive defender Kylie Strom for roster space

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Forward Katie Stengel will soon be in Breakers Blue. (Photo credit: Tony Quinn for isiphotos.com)

On Friday, the Boston Breakers announced they had claimed forward Katie Stengel off waivers. The team waived defender Kylie Strom to free up a space on the roster.

“Katie is a player that will bring more quality, experience, and competition to our roster,” Boston Breakers head coach Matt Beard said in the team’s official release. “I’m looking forward to working with her.”

The Washington Spirit waived Stengel and midfielder Cameron Castleberry on June 28 in order to free up roster space for international forwards Estefanía Banini and Yanara Aedo.

Stengel started three of the five games she appeared in for the Spirit during the 2017 season. According to The Bent Musket’s Stephanie Yang, Stengel will not be available for the Breakers’s July 1st game against her former club, the Washington Spirit.

Canada and the United States to meet in November home-and-home series

Canada will host the United States on November 9 in Vancouver

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(Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

Canada and the United States will meet in November in a two-game home-and-home series, Canada Soccer and U.S Soccer announced Thursday.

The first game will take place on November 9 at BC Place in Vancouver and the second game will be on November 12 at a United States venue to be determined.

The United States and Canada have a long history between the two sides, including the epic 2012 Olympic semifinal match won by the United States, widely considered one of the greatest women’s soccer games of all time.

“There is always a friendly rivalry with the USA and it’s also hard to forget London 2012 – that memory sticks with you,” Canada coach John Herdman said in Canada Soccer press release. “But what this match offers us, at near the beginning of our four-year cycle, is a chance to get another true tier one test with a young team.  By the end of this year we will have played the Olympic Gold and Silver Medallists and the world’s number one team, so this match will really give us a good indication of where our gaps are, two and three years out from the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 and Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”

The U.S. women’s national team has fond memories of BC Place, as it was the site of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Final win over Japan, featuring Carli Lloyd’s hat trick and goal from midfield.

The USWNT is 47-3-6 all-time vs. Canada, with Canada’s last win coming in 2001. The last time the two teams met was in 2016 at the CONCACAF Women’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, a 2-0 win for the United States as both teams qualified for the Olympics in Brazil.

The two games will be the United States women’s national team’s final games of 2017.

Tickets for the match in Vancouver will go on sale July 5 at 1 p.m. ET on Ticketmaster.ca and group tickets are available now

Midweek rewind: Kerr’s bicycle kick, comeback wins, Sinclair’s brace

Week 11 kicked off with four midweek games

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Marta led the Pride to a 3-2 road win over Sky Blue FC on Wednesday night. (Photo credit: Robyn Walsh McNeil/isiphotos.com)

Sam Kerr scored an unforgettable bicycle kick. Megan Rapinoe notched her league-leading seventh goal of the season as the Reign came away with a big home win. Marta led the Pride to a comeback win over Sky Blue FC. Christine Sinclair scored a brace in an emphatic Portland win. Week 11 kicked off with four memorable midweek games.

Orlando Pride 3 Sky Blue FC 2

Sam Kerr netted a brilliant, stunning bicycle kick to put Sky Blue FC up 2-1 over Orlando at the start of the second half, but it wasn’t enough as the Pride stormed back for a 3-2 come from behind win on the road at Yurcak Field. Marta and rookie Rachel Hill scored in the game’s final 13 minutes, with Marta starting both plays that led to the two late Orlando scores. Hill’s goal came off a header in the 86th minute, her first career NWSL goal.


Portland Thorns FC 3 FC Kansas City 0

Christine Sinclair netted a brace as Portland won emphatically at home, 3-0 over FC Kansas City. Australian international Hayley Raso also scored for the Thorns, a highlight-reel worthy long-distance chip of goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart from a tight-angle on the right wing.


Seattle Reign FC 2 Chicago Red Stars 1

Chicago’s unbeaten streak came to an end in Seattle, the toughest place in the league to earn road points, as the Reign won 2-1 behind a pair of second half Megan Rapinoe penalty kicks. The Reign are unbeaten in their last 12 home games, the longest active streak in the league.


Houston Dash 0 Boston Breakers 0

The Dash and Breakers settled for a 0-0 draw on Wednesday night in Houston. The Breakers had a late goal by forward Adriana Leon disallowed in the 84th minute. Rookie goalkeeper Jane Campbell earned her second straight shutout as the Dash earned points for the second consecutive game.

Outside the Box Scores: Corner kick Courage

A look at trends in corner kicks, goal scoring and more

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Abby Dahlkemper of the North Carolina Courage leads the league in corner kicks. (Photo credit: Andy Mead for isiphotos.com)

By Meg Linehan, with additional research by Jacqueline Purdy

There are stories to be found in statistics. From analyzing the box scores to keeping detailed spreadsheets tracking our favorite stats, we’re ready to shine a bright light for you thanks to Opta. After digging into this week’s data, here’s a look at some trends as we pass the midpoint of the 2017 season in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Control, command, corner kicks

The North Carolina Courage have controlled the top of the table so far this season, along with a few of the Opta stat columns. But there’s one in particular that jumps out: corner kick accuracy. The Courage are ranked No. 1 in the league with a 64.1 percent accuracy rate on 78 corners (Opta excludes short corners from this stat, though the Courage have 89 total).

FC Kansas City is in second place, but it’s not even close. In fact, no other team is even about 50 percent in their corner kick accuracy. The Blues have a 45.7 percent accuracy rate for 35 corner kicks. There’s actually a 50 percent difference between the Courage and Washington Spirit, who are tenth in the league for corner kick accuracy at 14.0 percent on 50 corners.

A big part of the reason why the Courage are enjoying some boosted stats on their set pieces: they force more corner kicks than any other team in the league. They lead the league with 89 total. The second-ranked Houston Dash have 62. In the 11 games the Courage have played so far, they’ve only conceded 42 corner kicks to their opponents total.

Courage defender Abby Dahlkemper leads the leagues in corner kicks taken with 67.

Their corner kick domination has payed off in goals scored as well. Jessica McDonald’s record-breaking goal came after an Dahlkemper corner kick in Boston. And while they didn’t pick up a win in Chicago on May 27, defender Abby Erceg headed in a Samantha Mewis corner kick. The Courage are able to maintain a high level of offensive pressure, and corner kicks are a big part of their 8-3-0 record so far in 2017.

How do you measure a goal?

After last week’s Opta Tweet of the Week, we wanted to take a deeper look at some of the  top goal scorers in the NWSL this season.  While after last Saturday’s loss to the Houston Dash, Marta’s average has gone up to 148.6 minutes per goal, she’s also only nine games and five goals into her NWSL career.

For some of the league’s leading scorers with a bit more history under their belts, their numbers aren’t actually that far off from Marta’s limited sample.

Christen Press, forward for the Chicago Red Stars, has scored 28 goals in 47 games played. That’s good for one goal scored every 149.0 minutes — and the most effective for the leading scorers in the NWSL. Portland Thorns forward Nadia Nadim scores one goal every 169.1 minutes, and that career number is in large part thanks to a brilliant 2014 campaign. In her first season in the league with Sky Blue FC, she scored seven goals in 495 minutes played, for a goal every 70.7 minutes.

Houston Dash forward Carli Lloyd scored her first goal of the 2017 season on Saturday to bring her career total to 26. Over her career 4,792 minutes in the NWSL regular season, she scored a goal every 184.3 minutes.

Sky Blue FC forward Sam Kerr just cracked 30 goals scored through her five years in the league, and has scored one every 177.5 minutes played. Kerr also has the distinction of leading the league in shooting accuracy this season, with a 72 percent rate that tops players with at least 16 shots.

Team effort

Four different players from the Orlando Pride have won the NWSL Save of the Week Award for the 2017 season. Defender Steph Catley was the latest for her clearance during Week 10 action against the Houston Dash. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris has won twice in 2017, in Weeks 1 and 4, along with goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe in Week 9. Catley’s fellow defender Monica also won the honors back in Week 2.

Only one other team this year has multiple players winning the award: goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and midfielder Danielle Colaprico of the Chicago Red Stars have both won this season.

One other notable stat for Save of the Week and the Orlando Pride: Marta has forced the most award nominations this year with four attempts on goal turning into highlight-reel saves for her opponents. That includes this week’s candidate from Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell, along with saves from North Carolina Courage’s Sabrina D’Angelo in Week 3, Seattle Reign FC’s Haley Kopmeyer in Week 6, and Boston Breakers’ Abby Smith in Week 8. Sky Blue FC forward Kelley O’Hara is second with three Save of the Week nominations forced.

When the goals were scored

It’s always worth keeping track of when teams are scoring and conceding goals, but there are some relevant numbers from the season so far that could play into Week 11’s midweek games.

The Chicago Red Stars are heading to Seattle, and they’re the only team in the league still yet to score during the opening 15 minutes of play. The Red Stars have split the goal scoring between the two halves fairly evenly so far, with six first half goals and eight second half goals, but they are the only team without that big early advantage so far this year.

Seattle, for their part, has been equally goal happy in both halves of their games so far, with their 20 goals split evenly between the first and second. They do slightly favor the tail end of the first half, with five goals scored between the 31st minute and the half.

The only other team to break double digits for second half scoring is Sky Blue FC, who scored 10 of their 16 total goals in the second half.

Three teams share the struggle of late conceding this season: Seattle, Orlando and Washington have all allowed four goals in the final 15 minutes of play.

Finally, the Boston Breakers will hope to hold the Houston Dash scoreless for the whole game when they travel to BBVA Compass Stadium on Wednesday night — but their particular challenge will be making it through the first 15 minutes without conceding. They lead the league with seven goals allowed at the start of the game, and no other team has more than two. Granted, Boston has conceded the fewest second half goals this season with four so far. But they’ve also only scored four second half goals themselves, tied for fewest in the league.

Opta Tweet of the Week

Emilie Haavi named to Norway’s Euro 2017 roster

Norway will face the Netherlands on July 16

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Emilie Haavi has started four games for the Breakers this season. (Photo credit: Mike Gridley/isiphotos.com)

Boston Breakers forward Emilie Haavi has been named to Norway’s roster for July’s UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands.

Haavi broke her jaw in the preseason, but made her NWSL debut on May 27 and has started four games for the Breakers this season.

Norway, currently ranked No. 11 in the world, will open the tournament vs. the host nation on July 16.

View the full roster:

Spirit waive Katie Stengel and Cameron Castleberry

Stengel scored four goals last season for Washington

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Katie Stengel will soon be in Breakers Blue. (Photo credit: Nicole Gamard/isiphotos.com)

Forward Katie Stengel and midfielder Cameron Castleberry have been waived for the Washington Spirit, the club announced Wednesday.

Stengel had appeared in five matches for Washington this season. She scored four goals in 19 appearances for the Spirit last season. Castleberry was drafted in the fourth road of the 2017 NWSL College Draft. She appeared in two games this season.

The Spirit recently announced that forward Estefanía Banini would be rejoining the team this season. On Tuesday, the team announced the signing of forward Yanara Aedo.

Poliana named Player of the Week

Poliana tallied two assists in Week 10

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Poliana recorded two assists vs. the Pride in Week 10. (Photo credit: Trask Smith/isiphotos.com)

Houston Dash defender Poliana has been named the Player of the Week for Week 10 by the NWSL Media Association following her performance on Saturday vs. the Orlando Pride.

Poliana is the first Dash player this season to win the award and the first defender this season to receive the honor. She is the first Brazilian player to ever be named NWSL Player of the Week.

On Saturday vs. the Pride, the Brazilian international tallied two assists, three chances created and an 89.5% passing accuracy (including a perfect 18 for 18 in the offensive half of the field), according to Opta. She also recorded four tackles, four clearances and three interceptions.

Her first assist came in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time on Carli Lloyd’s goal. Poliana found space on the right wing and dribbled into the box. Without an angle to shoot, she dropped the ball back to Lloyd, who hit it home for her first goal of the season.

Poliana’s second assist came in the 62nd minute as she took a pass from Lloyd and again found space on the right side. The 26-year-old then sent a low cross into the box, right to the feet of Rachel Daly, who knocked it in for her second goal of the season.

Poliana nearly tallied two goals of her own — forcing a first half goal line clearance from Pride defender Steph Catley and then hitting the post in the second half.

This season, Poliana leads the Dash with three goals and two assists.

She is the fifth Dash player to ever win Player of the Week, joining Daly, Kealia Ohai, Chioma Ubogagu and Bianca Henninger.

The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis. For more information on the NWSL Media Association, follow them on Twitter.

U.S. Soccer announces Girls Fantasy Camp this August in Los Angeles

The Camp will take place at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson from August 1-4

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U.S. Soccer, a partner of the NWSL in developing the women’s game in the United States, has announced a Girls Fantasy Camp this August in Los Angeles, Calif. The Camp, hosted at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson from August 1-4 around the Tournament of Nations, is a special fundraiser and an exclusive opportunity for girls to live and train like Youth National Team players.

Camp proceeds will support the U.S. Soccer Development Fund, with an emphasis on need-based scholarships for both Girls’ and Boys’ Development Academy players. Launched in 2015, U.S. Soccer Fantasy Camps have fundraised more than $215,000 to help develop world-class players, coaches and National Teams.

The inaugural Tournament of Nations will feature national teams and NSWL stars from four countries: Australia, Brazil, Japan and the United States. Fantasy Camp participants will have VIP behind-the-scenes access to the tournament doubleheaders on August 3rd.  Fantasy Camp includes:

  • On-field tickets to U.S. WNT v. Japan and Australia v. Brazil on Thursday, August 3
  • Pregame VIP stadium tour, including access to the U.S. WNT locker room
  • Daily training sessions led by former U.S. WNT players at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center
  • Behind-the-scenes access to the U.S. WNT camp
  • Hotel accommodations and all meals
  • Honorary one-year membership in the Supporters Circle of the Development Fund
  • Customized U.S. Soccer jersey, training apparel and more
  • Ground transportation, including airport transfers if needed

The Girls Fantasy Camp is open to girls of all skill levels born in the years 2003, 2004 and 2005. Participation is made possible through a $3,395 donation to the U.S. Soccer Development Fund. U.S. Soccer is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and approximately 50% of your donation is tax deductible.

For more information: Register Now | Fantasy Camp FAQ Guide | About the Development Fund

Space is very limited for the Camp with a roster size comparable to that of a National Team and filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. Questions? Contact fantasycamp@ussoccer.org or call 312-528-1220.

Yanara Aedo signs with the Washington Spirit

Aedo was a member of the Washington Spirit Reserves in 2015 and 2016

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Yanara Aedo has signed with the Washington Spirit, the team said on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Washington Spirit)

The Washington Spirit have signed Chilean international forward Yanara Aedo, the club announced Tuesday, pending the receipt of her International Transfer Certificate.

Aedo was a member of the Washington Spirit Reserves in 2015 and 2016. She last played with Valencia, in Spain.

“We look forward to bringing Yanara back to the club as a fully contracted professional,”  Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra said in a team press release. “She has worked tremendously hard training with our pro team and playing with the Reserves the past two seasons. Her qualities as a player will help us continue to improve and compete every week.”

Aedo made her senior international debut for Chile in 2010 at the age of 17. As a member of the Spirit Reserves, she scored both goals in a 2-1 win over the Colorado Pride in the title game as the team won the 2015 USL W-League championship.

Rachel Corsie named to Scotland’s Euro 2017 roster

Scotland plays England on July 19

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(Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

Seattle Reign FC defender Rachel Corsie has been named to Scotland’s roster for July’s UEFA Women’s Euro tournament in the Netherlands.

Corsie has one assist in seven appearances so far this season. She missed last week’s game vs. FC Kansas City with a left knee bone bruise.

Scotland will face England in its opening match of the tournament on Wednesday, July 19.

Scotland will be without former Seattle Reign FC midfielder Kim Little, who tore her ACL earlier this year.

View the full roster:

Houston’s Kealia Ohai to miss rest of season with ACL injury

Ohai is the final remaining member of the original Dash squad from 2014

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The Houston Dash's Kealia Ohai faced off against Rachel Hill and Kristen Edmonds in a game against the Orlando Pride. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne for isiphotos.com)

On Monday, the Houston Dash confirmed that forward Kealia Ohai would miss the remainder of the 2017 season after suffering an injury during Saturday’s 2-0 win over the Orlando Pride. After medical assessment, Ohai was diagnosed with a Grade 3 ACL sprain and medial meniscus tear in her left knee. The Dash also confirmed that she will be placed on the disabled list for the rest of the season.

Ohai had previously started in every match so far for Houston, and scored two goals and added two assists.

Dash interim head coach Omar Morales said in the team’s official release, “The injury to Kealia is a big hit to the team, not only on the field but off the field due to the leader that she is. With her being the captain, you are losing a big piece of your team. We have to stay strong for her, push for her, win some games and build on the momentum from Saturday. We will keep her in mind because she has done so much for us this year.”

Ohai posted a short statement on Twitter after the news that she would miss the rest of the season. She said, “I am devastated but so excited to start my recovery and get back on the field. There is something so beautifully unpredictable about this game, but that is why I love it so much.”