Week 4 Power Rankings: Courage remain undefeated and on top after Week 4
NWSL Power Rankings presented by Cutter
Crystal Dunn and Merritt Mathias of the North Carolina Courage celebrate Mathias' goal in Week 4. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)
Crystal Dunn and Merritt Mathias of the North Carolina Courage celebrate Mathias' goal in Week 4. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

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

4-0-1, 13 pts
Last week: 1

The Courage earned four points in Week 4 after picking up three in their 1-0 win over Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday, April 18 and earning one point after a 2-2 draw against Utah Royals FC on Saturday, April 21. The Courage remain undefeated in league play and lead the NWSL in goals (9.) After missing the first three games of the season, midfielder Sam Mewis is back in action recording her first minutes for the Courage against the Reign. With Mewis back on the pitch plus the addition of Brazilian international Debinha into the equation for Week 5, the reigning NWSL Shield winners are really only getting started.

2-1-2, 8 pts
Change: ▲ 2
Last week: 4

The Red Stars picked up four points in Week 4 with a 3-0 win over the Houston Dash on Wednesday, April 18 and a 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC on Saturday, April 21. Sofia Huerta led the way for her team, earning a goal in both games. Her finish on Saturday came before the first minute of play and showed just how dangerous this Red Stars team can be off of transition. Week 5 can really only get better for the Red Stars with the addition of Sam Kerr into the attacking line. Kerr has returned from international duty with Australia and is expected to make her 2018 NWSL debut this upcoming weekend.

2-1-1, 7 pts
Last week: 3

Portland holds onto the third spot in the power rankings this week after earning one point in a 1-1 draw against the Washington Spirit on Friday, April 20. Portland were without goalkeeper Adrianna Franch in Week 4, after she was added to the injury report with right knee pain that Friday morning. Britt Eckerstrom started in her place and earned four saves on the night. Forward Christine Sinclair scored her fourth goal of the year and her 35th career goal at the end of the first half on a penalty kick. The Thorns will head to Rio Tinto to face Utah Royals FC in Week 5 action and will welcome back a trio of internationals back from World Cup qualifying in Hayley Raso and Ellie Carpenter for Australia and Andressinha for Brazil. Tobin Heath also made her 2018 NWSL debut on Friday and will likely be a key addition to depth in the Thorns midfield.

2-1-0, 6 pts
Change: ▼ 2
Last week: 2

The Reign dropped two spots this week after falling on the road to the Courage in a midweek meeting. The Reign were without Megan Rapinoe, who suffered a left hamstring injury in Week 3. The Reign will travel to Orlando City Stadium for Week 5 and will turn to goalkeeper Michelle Betos to continue to step up in net against a Pride team that will welcome back Marta, who scored 13 goals for the Pride last year, to the front line who scored 13 goals for the Pride last year. Betos has been a key piece to the Reign all year, only allowing two goals against and earning a league-second best 13 saves. Seattle will also have Steph Catley, Lydia Williams, Rumi Utsugi and Nahomi Kawasumi all back from international duties.

1-2-1, 4 pts
Last week: 5

The Spirit return to the fifth spot in the power rankings after earning a point against the Thorns on Friday, April 20. The Spirit took early control over the game against Portland thanks to a Francisca Ordega finish in the 37th minute of play. Ordega has two goals on the year for the Spirit. The Spirit will have a tough match-up on Saturday when they host the Red Stars. Aubrey Bledsoe leads the league in saves with 26 and will likely have her hands full through the Red Stars attacking lineup of Kerr, Huerta (2 goals, 2 assists) and Danielle Calaprico (1 goal, 2 assists.)

0-1-3, 3 pts
Last week: 6

Utah Royals FC made headway in Week 4 scoring two goals against the No. 1 North Carolina Courage. While Utah Royals FC are still in search of their first franchise win, they get to return home to Rio Tinto on Saturday where they are determined to win three points after falling in their inaugural home opener in Week 3. Amy Rodriguez is continuing to build up her fitness to be good for 90 minutes, and in due time the forward will be a consistent asset to their attack.

1-2-1, 4 pts
Change: ▲ 1
Last week: 8

The Pride earned their first win of the year against the Houston Dash on Sunday, April 22. The Pride will welcome back Marta into Orlando’s front line, which will be a key addition in helping Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux find the back of the net. The Pride will likely welcome back five players next week when they face Seattle Reign FC as Marta, MonicaPolianaAlanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond all return from international duty.

0-2-2, 2 pts
Change: ▼ 1
Last week: 7

The Dash had a tough Week 4, dropping their first match against the Red Stars and then falling to the Pride on Sunday. The Dash will have an even more difficult test in Week 5 when they face the Courage for the Game of the Week on Lifetime on Saturday, April 28. The Dash welcomed back forward Kealia Ohai on Sunday, a player that earned two goals and two assists in 2017 for the Dash before suffering an ACL injury, which has kept her out of the game for the past year. The Dash are still looking for their first win this season.

0-2-1, 1 pt
Last week: 9

Sky Blue are still in search of their first win of 2018. Sky Blue FC lost their first two games of the season by the score of 1-0, and looked headed to a third straight loss by the same scoreline until late in the second half when rookie midfielder  Savannah McCaskill stepped up big for her squad to level the game in Houston. Sky Blue will get some time to build with a bye in Week 5 and will be back in action on Saturday, May 5, when they welcome the Dash to Yurcak Field.

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