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Week 5 Power Rankings: Courage remain on top for fourth week straight
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
Courage forward Kristen Hamilton scored her first goal of the season on Saturday vs. the Houston Dash. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)
Courage forward Kristen Hamilton scored her first goal of the season on Saturday vs. the Houston Dash. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)

See where each team falls in the fifth edition of the power rankings.

 

1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
5-0-1, 16 pts
Change:
Last week: 1

The Courage roll through another week unbeaten after defeating the Houston Dash 2-0 in Week 5 play. Goalkeeper Sabrina D’Angelo made three saves to earn her fourth shutout of the season. The Courage improve to 5-0-1 and sit in first place in the league standings with 16 points. On Saturday, Crystal Dunn scored her third goal of the season and Kristen Hamilton also scored, her first tally of the year. The Courage will have a good week to prepare for Week 6 action when they host the Chicago Red Stars on Sunday, May 6.


2
CHICAGO RED STARS
2-1-3, 9 pts
Change:
Last week: 2

The Red Stars are unbeaten in their last four games and earned one point in Week 5 after a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit. Alyssa Mautz stepped up for her team, earning her third goal of the season. The Red Stars also welcomed 2017 NWSL MVP Sam Kerr  to the pitch for the first time this season. With the addition of Kerr, plus midfielder Julie Ertz now healthy, the Red Stars are in good shape for a quick turnaround into Week 6 play. The Red Stars will host the Orlando Pride for a midweek match on Wednesday, May 2.


3
PORTLAND THORNS FC
2-1-2, 8 pts
Change:
Last week: 3

Hello, Tobin Heath. The Thorns secured a point on the road in Week 5 with a 1-1 draw against Utah Royals FC. Heath subbed into the match in the 57th minute for her second appearance of the year and scored just ten minutes later when forward Christine Sinclair saw Heath open at the top of the penalty area. Even with the absence of goalkeeper Adrianna Franch due to injury (right meniscus tear), the Thorns were solid in the back with Britt Eckerstrom, in net for her second-straight game. The Thorns will be back in action on Saturday for the Game of the Week on Lifetime against Seattle Reign FC.


4
SEATTLE REIGN FC
2-1-1, 7 pts
Change:
Last week: 4

Seattle Reign midfielder Allie Long came up big for her team in Week 5, scoring in the 33rd minute off of a free kick opportunity. On the other end of the field Michelle Betos was key in net, making a stellar pair of back-to-back saves to keep the fully stacked Orlando Pride offense to just one goal. The Reign and Pride drew 1-1 on Saturday, and the Reign welcomed back Nahomi KawasumiRumi Utsugi and  Steph Catley to the field on the evening. The Reign will travel to Providence Park for Week 6 on Saturday, May 5.


5
ORLANDO PRIDE
1-2-2, 5 pts
Change: ▲ 2
Last week: 7

Welcome back, Marta. The Orlando Pride got a handful of players back and on the pitch in Saturday night’s draw against the Reign. The Pride saw after Marta, MonicaAlanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond all return to the field and Marta, in her first game back since Week 1, put her team on the board in the second half. Marta gave the Pride the equalizer off of a free kick from 25 yards out. The Pride enter Week 6 in full force when they travel to Toyota Park on Wednesday to face the Chicago Red Stars.


6
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
1-2-2, 5 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 5

The Washington Spirit earned a point at home against the Red Stars thanks to Francisca Ordega stepping up once again for her team. Ordega earned her third goal in as many games on Saturday night. Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe kept the Red Stars to just one goal on the night, coming up big against a handful of Chicago shots. The Spirit will travel to Rio Tinto for the first time on Saturday and will look for their second win of the year.


7
UTAH ROYALS FC
0-1-4, 4 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 6

Utah Royals FC made headway in Week 4 when they scored two goals against the league-leading Courage, and Week 5 saw similar growth. Utah Royals FC earned a point at home against the Thorns thanks to the 1-v-1 work and finesse from forward Amy Rodriguez. Utah Royals FC are still in search of their first franchise win and will get to play at home again this week when they welcome the Spirit to Rio Tinto.


8
SKY BLUE FC
0-2-1, 1 pt
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 9

Sky Blue FC had a bye in Week 5 and will look for their first win of the year when they welcome the Houston Dash to Yurcak Field on Saturday, May 5. In Sky Blue’s last match they split points with the Chicago Red Stars in a 1-1 result.


9
HOUSTON DASH
0-3-2, 2 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 8

The Dash drop down to last place after falling to the Courage 2-0 on Saturday. The Dash are still in search of their first win of the year and have only scored one goal, rookie forward Kimberly Keever’s in Week 1. The Dash will travel to New Jersey for Week 6, a match that will put two of the league’s winless teams head-to-head. Forward Kealia Ohai earned her first start of the year over the weekend and will likely be the offensive point person to get the Dash’s attack going.

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