By NWSL Media StaffWeek 3 Power Rankings
The NWSL returned this weekend with eight of the league’s nine teams in Week 3 action. The NWSL will be back for more in just two days for a pair of midweek games on Wednesday, April 18. See where each team falls in the third edition of the power rankings.
3-0-0, 9 pts
The Courage hold onto the top spot after earning a 4-2 road win over the Washington Spirit on Saturday. McCall Zerboni led the way with a brace, while Crystal Dunn and Lynn Williams each scored. The Courage improve to 3-0-0 on the season and lead the league in goals (6.) The Courage will only have a couple days off before hosting Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday.
2-0-0, 6 pts
Megan Rapinoe once again was the difference maker for the Reign. NWSL’s March Player of the Month scored her second goal of the season off a penalty kick chance in just the sixth minute of play in the Reign’s 1-0 victory over Sky Blue FC on Sunday. Rapinoe and the Reign will face another high-powered offensive team — the North Carolina Courage for a midweek match-up.
2-1-0, 6 pts
The Thorns have turned their season around after suffering a loss to the Courage in opening weekend. On Sunday, the Thorns earned a 2-1 win over the Orlando Pride to improve to 2-1-0 on the year. Christine Sinclair scored her third goal of the season in the win, while Lindsey Horan also scored, her second of 2018. The Thorns will meet the Washington Spirit on Friday, and from the looks of what the Thorns have off the bench too (in Ana-Maria Crnogorcevic and Ifeoma Onumonu) they are well equipped to keep the goals coming.
1-1-1, 4 pts
The Red Stars spoiled Utah Royals FC home opener on Saturday thanks to a volley finish from midfielder Danielle Colaprico. Colaprico’s goal gave the Red Stars their first lead of 2018 and eventually their first three points. Before Saturday’s victory, the Red Stars had scored late in Week 1 to secure a draw against the Houston Dash and in Week 2 scored twice but fell 3-2 to Portland Thorns FC.
1-2-0, 3 pts
The Spirit weren’t able to get the result over the Courage on Saturday, but the young team didn’t go down without a fight. Mallory Pugh put her team on the board first with a goal in just the third minute. While the Courage were able to convert three unanswered goals after that, Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe came up big for her side earning six saves on the day, with the Courage getting off 10 shots on goal. Francisca Ordega scored the Spirit’s second goal in the second half. The Spirit will travel to Providence Park on Friday to face the Thorns and will look to secure their first road win of 2018.
0-1-2, 2 pts
Utah Royals FC made a splash with their home opener, but they are still putting the pieces together on offense. Since scoring in the third minute of Week 1, they have gone 267 minutes without a goal. They did get an offensive spark in Week 3 from the return of forward Amy Rodriguez. Rodriguez came into the match in the 77th minute, her first game since tearing her ACL last April. Utah Royals FC have a big task at hand next when they face the North Carolina Courage on the road on Saturday for the Lifetime Game of the Week.
0-0-2, 2 pts
The Houston Dash had a bye in Week 3 action and will look for their first win of the 2018 season when they travel to Toyota Park to face the Red Stars on Wednesday. The Dash are 0-2-2 and looked organized defensively through goalkeeper Jane Campbell, who earned her first shutout this season against the Utah Royals FC in Week 2.
0-2-1, 1 pt
The Orlando Pride sit at 0-2-1 after falling to the Thorns 2-1 on Saturday. Goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris came up big for the Pride earning six saves on the day against a pressing Portland side. The Pride’s only goal on Sunday came from Chioma Ubogagu. The Pride struggled to break through in the final third, even with the return of Alex Morgan to the pitch — Morgan missed Week 2 after suffering a concussion in the Pride’s opening match against Utah Royals FC. The Pride will have to go another week without their key piece on offense — Marta, who is on international duty for Brazil.
0-2-0, 0 pts
Sky Blue FC dropped their second match of the year on Sunday, falling to Seattle Reign FC. Sky Blue has faced the the league’s top two teams in their first two games and will have to buckle up again for a tough road test against the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday.