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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Week 8 Power Rankings: Courage, Reign hold on to top spots; Thorns rise to No. 3
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
The Courage, Reign and Thorns sit at the top of the power rankings. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)
The Courage, Reign and Thorns sit at the top of the power rankings. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

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

 

1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
7-0-2, 23 pts
Change:
Last week: 1

The North Carolina Courage are now unbeaten in nine games straight and improve to 7-0-2 after defeating Sky Blue FC 2-1 in Week 8 play. The victory meant tying the 2014 Seattle Reign FC for the best nine-game start to a season.  Crystal Dunn scored her fourth goal of the season in the win, while midfielder Sam Mewis also scored on the night. The Courage will continue their road trip when they visit Orlando City Stadium to face the Orlando Pride for a midweek match-up. The Pride stripped the Courage’s unbeaten streak at the start of 2017, so the Courage will look to improve to ten games straight.


2
SEATTLE REIGN FC
4-1-2, 14 pts
Change:
Last week: 2

The Reign earned one point in Week 8 after playing the Red Stars to a 0-0 draw. The Reign sit in second place in the league standings with a 4-1-2 record (14 points). Chicago kept the Reign’s most dangerous scorer, forward Megan Rapinoe, off the scoreboard on the night. Rapinoe has four goals and one assist on the year. The Reign will look to get closer to catching the Courage in the standings when they travel to BBVA Compass Stadium to face the Houston Dash on Wednesday, May 23.


3
PORTLAND THORNS FC
3-3-3, 12 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 4

The Thorns snapped their five-game winless streak on Saturday night when they topped the Spirit 1-0 on the road. Ellie Carpenter scored the first goal of her NWSL career for the Thorns and became the youngest player to score a goal in NWSL history, at 18 years and 22 days. The Thorns will next play on Friday, May 25, vs. Utah Royals FC and will look to build on their 3-3-3 (12 points) record when they return home to Providence Park.


4
ORLANDO PRIDE
3-2-3, 12 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 3

The Pride had a bye in Week 8, however they still hold on to third-place in the standings with a 3-2-3 (12 points) record. The Pride will be well rested to host the top-ranked North Carolina Courage for a midweek meeting on Wednesday, May 23.


5
UTAH ROYALS FC
2-1-5, 11 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 6

Utah Royals FC earned their second win of the year when they defeated the Houston Dash 1-0 in Week 8 play. Erika Tymrak scored her first goal of the season in the win and improved Utah to 2-1-5 (11 points) overall. Utah Royals FC are unbeaten in their last five games and will return to action on Friday when they pay a visit to Providence Park to play Portland Thorns FC.


6
CHICAGO RED STARS
2-2-6, 12 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 5

The Red Stars picked up one point in Week 8 after playing Seattle Reign FC to a scoreless draw on the road. The Red Stars are in fifth place in the league standings at 2-2-6 (12 points) however have been winless in six games straight. The Red Stars last win came on April 18 against the Houston Dash where they scored three goals for the three points. The Red Stars will have a breather before they play the Orlando Pride on Saturday, May 26.


7
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
1-5-2, 5 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 8

The Spirit have dropped their last three games, which included falling to the Thorns 1-0 on Saturday night in Week 8 play. The Spirit are in eighth place in the league standings with a 1-5-2 (5 points) record. Washington will look for their second win of the year when they host a winless Sky Blue FC team on Wednesday night.


8
HOUSTON DASH
1-4-4, 7 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 7

The Dash dropped three points in Week 8 after falling to Utah Royals FC 1-0. With the loss, the Dash had their three-game unbeaten streak snapped. The Dash sit at 1-4-4 (7 points) in league play and will look to bounce back when they host the league’s No. 2-ranked Seattle Reign FC to BBVA Compass Stadium in a midweek match-up.


9
SKY BLUE FC
0-5-1, 1 pt
Change:
Last week: 9

Despite stoppage time free kick goal from Sky Blue FC midfielder Carli Lloyd, the New Jersey side dropped three-points in Week 8 after falling to the North Carolina Courage 2-1 at Yurcak Field. Sky Blue is winless this season at 0-5-1 (1 point) and will take on Week 9 action in search of their first win of the year when they travel to the Spirit on Wednesday.


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