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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Power Rankings: Let It Reign
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe (right) scored a goal and an assist in the first game of the season. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wasson/isiphotos.com)
Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe (right) scored a goal and an assist in the first game of the season. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wasson/isiphotos.com)

By NWSL Media Staff

 

Week 1 Power Rankings

The NWSL season kicked off this weekend with eight of the league’s nine teams in action. See where each team falls in the first edition of the power rankings.

 

1
SEATTLE REIGN FC
1-0-0, 3 pts
Change: 
Last week: 

Seattle celebrated their first home game in style with a goal and an assist from Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe’s goal came on a direct kick in the 7th minute that curled far left just under the crossbar for the early go-ahead. She dished out a cheeky through ball to Jodie Taylor in the 35th minute to extend Seattle’s lead to 2-0. Reign FC were steady in the midfield through Allie Long, who earned her fist debut for Seattle.


2
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
1-0-0, 3 pts
Change: 
Last week: 

A no-look assist from Denise O’Sullivan set up Courage midfielder Debinha to score the game’s only goal. The Courage earned an important three points over Portland in a rematch of the 2017 NWSL Championship. The first half was scoreless thanks to an expected defensive battle between the two sides — but in the 70th minute an unmarked Debinha made all the difference.


3
UTAH ROYALS FC
0-0-1, 1 pt
Change: 
Last week: 

In Utah Royals FC’s first-ever NWSL game, Laura Harvey’s team settled for a 1-1 result against last year’s top offensive team, the Orlando Pride. Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir gets the praise for scoring the historic first goal, which came in just the 3rd minute of play. Diana Matheson served a dangerous ball in behind to Jónsdóttir, who was able to get a right-footed shot off, sliding through it in style.


4
HOUSTON DASH
0-0-1, 1 pt
Change: 
Last week: 

The Houston Dash picked up several new players on offense in the offseason, and on Sunday the Dash were new and fearless on the attack. In her first professional start, Kimberly Keever put Houston up 1-0 at home.


5
ORLANDO PRIDE
0-0-1, 1 pt
Change: 
Last week: 

The Orlando Pride settled for an even scoreline at home vs. Utah on Saturday, with their only goal coming on a controversial penalty kick. Alex Morgan had to leave the game early and is being evaluated per the league concussion protocol after a hard collision with Utah goalkeeper Abby Smith in the first half. Moving forward, Orlando will likely be very short-handed. They are already without Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond because of Australia’s qualifying tournament for the Women’s World Cup. They’ll soon be missing Marta, Monica and Poliana due to Brazil’s qualifying tournament as well. 


6
PORTLAND THORNS FC
0-1-0, 0 pts
Change: —
Last week: 

The 2017 NWSL champions weren’t able to get the result on the road and fell in their first season opener since 2013. Portland were missing a number of key players on Saturday. Emily Menges, Tobin Heath were out because of injury. They also won’t have Andressinha, Hayley Raso, Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter back with the team until late April because of international duty for Brazil and Australia.


7
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
0-1-0, 0 pts
Change: 
Last week: 

The Washington Spirit were down two goals at the half, however were able to battle back and cut the lead to one thanks to Joanna Lohman’s finish in the 68th minute. The Spirit have a young squad this season and their first match was a good start for the new team. With a professional game under Andi Sullivan’s belt, and with Ashley Hatch earning her first appearance for the Spirit, there will be plenty to build on for the Spirit’s home opener against the Pride on Saturday, March 31.


8
CHICAGO RED STARS
0-0-1, 1 pt
Change: 
Last week: 

The Red Stars sneaked in a late goal over the Dash on Sunday as Taylor Comeau helped the Red Stars steal a point on the road. However, the Red Stars are not in full force to start the season. Vanessa DiBernardo Julie Ertz, Casey Short and Yuki Nagasato all missed the game with injuries. They are also without the services of reigning NWSL MVP Sam Kerr, who is on international duty until late April with Australia. 


 
SKY BLUE FC
Change: 
Last week: 

Sky Blue FC didn’t play in Week 1. They open their season on Saturday, March 31, in North Carolina.


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