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OCT 27
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
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Week 9 Power Rankings: Courage, Thorns hold top spots
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
The Courage and Thorns will meet on Wednesday night. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)
The Courage and Thorns will meet on Wednesday night. (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

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

 

1
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE
8-0-2, 26 pts
Change:
Last week: 1

The North Carolina Courage remain on top after defeating the Orlando Pride 4-3 in Week 9 action. The Courage improved to 8-0-2 with the result and forward Jess McDonald was the difference maker, scoring a brace in the win. The Courage had a break over the weekend and will next face Portland Thorns FC for a Wednesday night meeting. The Courage last faced the Thorns in their first match of 2018 and earned a 1-0 win over the reigning NWSL champions.


2
PORTLAND THORNS FC
4-3-3, 15 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 3

The Thorns improved to 4-3-3 in league play after earning a 2-0 result over Utah Royals FC in Week 9. Christine Sinclair scored her sixth goal of the season in the win and midfielder Lindsey Horan also scored. The Thorns are in fourth place in the league standings with 15 points and with a win on Wednesday night over the Courage it could push them as high as second place (Seattle Reign FC currently sit in second place with 17 points).


3
ORLANDO PRIDE
4-3-3, 15 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 4

The Pride had a busy Week 9, with two games in four days. The Pride dropped their Wednesday night match against the Courage, falling 4-3 at home, but were able to bounce back on Saturday, beating the Chicago Red Stars 5-2. The Pride are in third place in the league standings at 4-3-3 (15 points). The Pride scored eight goals this past week and in the Saturday night win over the Red Stars forward Sydney Leroux scored two goals in the span of two minutes. If the Pride continue with this scoring streak, they will be in good shape against the Seattle Reign on Sunday, June 3.


4
SEATTLE REIGN FC
5-2-2, 17 pts
Change: ▼ 2
Last week: 2

The Reign dropped down two spots this week in the power rankings after falling to the Houston Dash 2-1 on Wednesday and then picking up a 1-0 result over Sky Blue FC on Saturday. The Reign still hold on to second place in the league standings with a 5-2-2 record (17 points), however they have a tough match-up in Week 10 when the Orlando Pride visit UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium on Sunday. Forward Megan Rapinoe continues to be the difference maker for her team. She scored her fifth goal of the year to lift her team over Sky Blue on Saturday.


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

Utah Royals FC fell to the Thorns 2-0 in Week 9 and dropped to 2-5-5 (11 points) in league play. Utah sits in seventh place and suffered their first road loss. While Utah fell in a tough one at Providence Park, forward Amy Rodriguez played all 90 minutes for the first time all season. With Rodriguez looking like she’s back at 100%, Utah Royals FC will look to bounce back when they visit Sky Blue FC on Saturday, June 2.


6
HOUSTON DASH
3-4-4, 13 pts
Change: ▲ 2
Last week: 8

The Dash moved up two spots in the power rankings this week after earning six points in Week 9. The Dash first defeated Seattle Reign FC 2-1 on Wednesday and then beat the Spirit 3-2 on Sunday. Forward Rachel Daly scored a brace against the Spirit and now leads her team in goals (4). Dash midfielder Kristie Mewis suffered a knee sprain against the Spirit and will miss the remainder of the season. The Dash will have to make do without Mewis, who has scored two goals this season, including the game-tying goal on Wednesday night. The Dash will next host the North Carolina Courage on Sunday.


7
CHICAGO RED STARS
2-3-6, 12 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 6

The Red Stars dropped three points at home in Week 9 falling to the Orlando Pride 5-2. Red Stars forward Sam Kerr scored a brace in the loss and now has four goals this season. Saturday’s loss makes the Red Stars now winless in their last seven games (0-2-5 over that span.) The last time the Red Stars won was on April 18, where they beat the Houston Dash 3-0. The Red Stars hit the road in Week 10 to take on the Washington Spirit on Saturday.


8
WASHINGTON SPIRIT
2-6-2, 8 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 7

The Spirit earned three points in Week 9 after defeating Sky Blue FC on Wednesday 1-0, and then falling to the Dash 3-2 on Sunday. The Spirit sit in eighth place in the league standings at 2-6-2 (8 points). The Spirit are winless on the road, but will get to return home on Saturday to host the Chicago Red Stars for the Game of the Week on Lifetime. Forward Ashley Hatch scored in both games for the Spirit and will likely be the offensive threat the team will turn to to get back to winning ways.


9
SKY BLUE FC
0-7-1, 1 pt
Change:
Last week: 9

Sky Blue FC dropped both of their games this week falling to the Spirit 1-0 on Wednesday and then to Seattle Reign FC 1-0 on Saturday. Sky Blue are still looking for their first win of the season and are in last place at 0-7-1 (1 point). The New Jersey team will next host Utah Royals FC on Saturday.

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