10. Kansas City — 

Kansas City now has two wins under their belt and are as close as they’ve ever been to escaping the bottom of the table. Kristen Hamilton has been a fantastic addition and has completely energized this team.

9. Racing Louisville — 

Every week it feels like there’s a new NWSL controversy and this week, Louisville is providing the drama. Christy Holly is out as coach, and the momentum the team had after winning the Women’s Cup feels all but gone. How they will respond is anyone’s guess.

8. Gotham FC (-4)

Four losses and a tie in their last five matches. Add that to the premature departure of head coach Freya Coombe, and this team will have to hope a new staff and fresh energy will reignite a squad that for a while looked like a playoff lock. 

7. Houston Dash (+1)

The Dash look great one game and then falter the next. Their inconsistency is keeping them just outside the playoff picture, but with a few tweaks, and they’ll be back in the conversation. Kristie Mewis, Rachel Daly and Shea Groom are still looking for that steady spark they had in last year’s Challenge Cup.

6. Chicago Red Stars — 

The Red Stars are settling in to a comfortable role in the middle of the table. They aren’t the best team in the league, but they also aren’t the worst. “Own Goal” hasn’t gotten on the scoresheet in a few games, so the team will hope that Kealia Watt and Mallory Pugh can continue to find the back of the net. 

5. Washington Spirit — 

The Spirit have two tough games coming up against OL Reign and the Thorns. If they can get results in either of those, they’ll move up this list. The defense and goalkeeping has been fairly sound, and Ashley Sanchez has had an impressive run. She still needs some production help up top, however.

4. Orlando Pride (-1)

The Pride seem to be back on the up under Becky Burleigh. They’re finding goals from lots of different players and the Jodie Taylor signing has paid off quickly. Ashlyn Harris also broke the NWSL save record on a 3-point preserving block on Carli Lloyd, continuing her fantastic form on the season. 

3. NC Courage (-1)

A-ROD seems to have finally settled in, and the defense has cleaned up its act. They’ll no doubt miss Sam Mewis as she recovers from surgery, especially as the midfield still feels a bit shaky, but the team is in good form heading into their game against KC WoSo.

2. Portland Thorns (-1)

A bit harsh to drop the Thorns down a notch considering they still top the table and have only lost one match in their last five. And they won the ICC Cup. But they’ve now lost twice to OL Reign this season. And they can’t afford to let their latest stepback derail them. 

1. OL Reign (+6)

These are power rankings for a reason, and no team is hotter right now than OL Reign. They set the NWSL attendance record all while beating their rivals at home. Then they went on the road three days later and beat the Dash. Could all that star power finally be clicking? And more importantly, can it last? 

The Olympics have ended, and national team players are starting to trickle back to their NWSL squads. With two and half months left in the regular season, the playoff race is heating up, and a certain team in the Pacific Northwest is tightening its hold on the top spot.

Here’s how I see the NWSL table today:

10. Kansas City (–)

They got their first win! And traded for a USWNT goalkeeper, so things are looking up. Another win or two, and they might just dig themselves out of the bottom of the table.

9. Racing Louisville (-1)

Louisville keeps managing to come away with some respectable wins and ties, but it’s not yet enough to put them into the playoff chatter. The duo of Ebony Salmon and Nadia Nadim are still a big reason to tune in each week, however.

8. Houston Dash (-3)

That 5-1 loss to the Reign was hard to watch. This group needs Jane Campbell in goal to steady the backline. I still expect the Dash to rebound, and while their ICC loss to Portland in penalties ICC hurt, the Dash were right there with the best team in the league.. 

7. OL Reign (+2)

The Reign seemed like they were on the up until they went on the road and suffered a loss to previously winless Kansas City. What this team under Laura Harvey will look like remains to be seen, and the injury to a red-hot Le Sommer should have fans hoping she comes back quickly.

6. Chicago Red Stars (-2)

Chicago might be the most confusing team in the league right now. They looked better (?) while the Olympians were away, but it’s hard to know how things will look and who will play as they re-incorporate their national team players. This team desperately needs an identity (beyond the elusive Own Goal).

5. Washington Spirit (-2)

A rough few weeks for the Spirit… which goes without saying. Despite the off-field turmoil, players are showing up, putting their heads down and performing well enough. Once the dust settles, they’ll need to find ways to reignite Ashley Sanchez and Trinity Rodman.

4. Gotham FC (-2)

Gotham isn’t winning a ton of games, but they also aren’t losing a ton of games. In fact, they’re tying a bunch of games. It’s keeping them afloat after a strong start to the year, but they’ll need to find some points in a difficult string of upcoming matches.

3. Orlando Pride (+3)

Becky Burleigh seems to have this crew back on a run and Jodie Taylor has partnered with Sydney Leroux nicely, which makes the Alex Morgan injury less of a blow. Orlando looks like a playoff team.

2. NC Courage (+5)

The Courage capped a rough period with a blockbuster trade that brought Amy Rodriguez into the fold. The move has slowly paid off, with the team winning their last two games, largely thanks to their defense. The midfield errors should go away with Olympians returning.

1. Portland Thorns (–)

They have the most points, the best goal differential, and a 15-year-old who can score off free kicks. The Thorns are truly the best team in the league. They were consistent during the Olympic break, and should only get better when their USWNT players return. 

We got our first glimpse at NWSL games sans Olympic athletes this week and we learned… a lot.

I overestimated North Carolina without their Olympians. I underestimated Gotham FC. And most notably, I severely underestimated what an unreal season “Own Goal” is having. MVP candidate, and maybe even the favorite.

10. Kansas City —

Kansas City will hope a week off will be the reset their players needed to find themselves in the NWSL win column. They next play a North Carolina side who has struggled to win without it’s international stars. Could this be their chance?

9. OL Reign —

OL Reign didn’t make headlines for their play in last weekend’s 3-1 loss to Chicago. They did, however, give fans something to look forward to with the announcement that the club’s first head coach, Laura Harvey, would return after the Olympics. Until then, the Reign will try to find a win with a talented roster that lacks cohesion and consistency.

8. Racing Louisville —

Louisville was the other team without a game last weekend. They’re positioned to do well in this stretch, losing no international players (unless you count Christen Press and Tobin Heath, but it’s hard to say Louisville ever had them to begin with). The Olympic break was perhaps less welcome for them than for Kansas City. They face the Spirit this weekend, who they beat 2-0 earlier this year.

7. North Carolina Courage (-3)

The Courage without Abby Erceg and their midfield stars are a bit like a broken record. I feel like I keep seeing: A center back plays the ball into the midfield. The midfield turns it over 30 yards from goal. Counter attack. Goal. I know the Courage have a distinct style of play, but they don’t have the personnel to do so at the moment. I expect (or at least hope) to see some changes in style or lineup.

6. Orlando Pride (-4)

The Pride are another team that simply aren’t the unit they were when the stars are away. The Thorns deserved to win and dominated them last weekend. The Pride’s late, dramatic ties have put bandaids on some recent performances that haven’t been as good as their early season form, but there were no heroics in Portland. They face a struggling OL Reign this weekend as they look to get back on track.

5. Houston Dash (+2)

Two weeks ago, the Dash were victims to a breakout performance by aforementioned star “Own Goal.” This week, they made sure to not let it happen again. They tightened up their back line, capitalized on Courage errors and got the W. They host the Thorns on Saturday for a chance at a statement win.

4. Chicago Red Stars (+2)

All jokes about “Own Goal” aside, the Red Stars are a dangerous team. There’s a reason teams are scoring against themselves and it’s because the likes of Mallory Pugh and company are looking ridiculously dangerous around the goal and whipping balls in. I also like the looks of this non-Olympian Red Stars side.

3. Washington Spirit (-2)

I said the Spirit needed a win to keep the top spot. They were victim to a soft (and later rescinded) red card early in the game and still put up a hell of a fight before falling 3-2 to Gotham FC. If they could have sorted their set piece marking they likely would have won, even down a player.

2. Gotham FC (+3)

Gotham got the win last weekend and have to feel confident heading into their game against Chicago on Sunday. Imani Dorsey played a fantastic game and set up Midge Purce for a beautiful goal that was ultimately the winner. When those two link up, Gotham is hard to beat.

1. Portland Thorns (+2)

Another week. Another new No. 1. This league is chaotic, but as of late, the Thorns have been steady. Bella Bixby has come back from injury stronger than ever. The forward crew is finishing more of their chances. One lingering question? Who to put on PKs while Christine Sinclair is away.

Three points (!!!) is that all separates teams 1-7 in the NWSL table. That’s insane. We are a third of the way through the season, and nine teams are still in the playoff picture. 

Every point matters, and every game is up for grabs. Given the table hasn’t sorted itself out yet, odds are it won’t during the Olympics break, as clubs will be without their star international players

At this point in the season, I’m mostly just happy I haven’t been betting on games. Because I would have lost all of my money by now. 

But that doesn’t mean I still can’t rank ‘em. And as Tokyo nears, here’s how I see the NWSL table today. 

10. Kansas City —

KC headed to a struggling OL Reign looking for their first win and immediately gifted Bethany Balcer a goal in the first two minutes. It was pretty much over from there, and while I’m holding out hope for KC, they don’t seem to be making moves on or off the pitch. 

9. OL Reign —

The Reign finally got back in the win column after taking down the league’s worst side in Kansas City, even as they lost starting GK Sarah Bouhaddi to a since-rescinded red card. They play the Red Stars this weekend, which should prove a formidable task.

8. Racing Louisville (-1)

Louisville was sooooo close to shedding their youth/new team stigma, as they led Orlando in stoppage time. Then Sydney Leroux happened.

That goal will certainly go down in NWSL lore, but Louisville has to be fuming to have so many players get that moment wrong. 

7. Houston Dash (-3)

To be honest, it’s a bit unlucky to lose a game on two own goals, but that’s the way it went for Houston on Sunday. It’s definitely harsh to drop them three spots on the Power Rankings for that, but these NWSL rankings are just that tight.

6. Chicago Red Stars (+2)

One of the more bizarre stat lines I’ve seen in an NWSL is winning 2-1 and registering no actual shots on net. The game wasn’t pretty to watch, but the Red Stars put the ball into dangerous areas, crashed the net, and saw a few bounces go their way in their second straight win.

5. Gotham FC —

Gotham probably didn’t deserve to win in Portland, but thanks to the heroics of DiDi Haracic and Estelle Johnson, they managed a 0-0 draw. If DiDi doesn’t end up as a No. 1 keeper next season (with two expansion sides in the fold), I will personally pitch a fit.

4. North Carolina Courage (-3)

I thought the Courage looked prime to hold it down in the Olympics window. I’m now unconvinced. The midfield just can’t seem to get it done without Debinha or Sam Mewis. They play the Dash on Saturday and will quickly want to move on from that loss to the Spirit.

3. Portland Thorns — 

They dominated the game in front of a full capacity crowd but only came away with a draw, which, per social media, isn’t leaving a good taste in players’ mouths. They have a chance to make amends when they host Orlando on Sunday, who they lost to earlier this season.

2. Orlando Pride —

They played their worst game of the season… and still managed the miraculous with a Sydney Leroux stoppage-time winner (off an Ashlyn Harris Hail Mary). Amy Turner may prove to be their biggest signing of the season, because when she entered at half, the game changed completely. 

1. Washington Spirit (+5)

This is certainly not a convincing No. 1 ranking, but I’m giving it to them. They looked like the best team this weekend and fully rebounded from their loss to Chicago with a convincing 2-0 win over North Carolina. They have a chance to prove me right by beating Gotham this Sunday. In a season as chaotic as this one, I’m going with the eye test. And last weekend, my eyes told me the Spirit are the best team in the NWSL right now.

There’s a new No. 1 NWSL team in town.

The North Carolina Courage have won four straight and don’t look to be slowing down. Olympic-bound athletes will be gone by next weekend, testing teams’ depth at a crucial point in the season. Any NWSL team can win on any given weekend, and never is that more true than during an Olympics break. Expect some players to step up while other teams take a step back. 

Heading into the most chaotic part of the season, here’s how I see the NWSL today.

10. Kansas City (–)

A Mariana Larroqutte GOLAZO saw KC Woso pull off a late draw with Gotham FC. Even though they’re the bottom of the table and the JWS Power Rankings, that first win is starting to feel imminent.

9. OL Reign (-1)

The Reign aren’t in a good place. Head coach Farid Benstiti stepped down, and the team then promptly lost to the Houston Dash. Hopefully a fresh face at the top will reignite that spark on what is still a wildly-talented roster.

8. Chicago Red Stars (+1)

The Red Stars got their biggest win of the season Friday, beating the Washington Spirit 1-0. This feels like the moment that gets them back on track. I’m also impressed with goalkeeper Cassie Miller — definitely one to keep an eye on.

7. Racing Louisville (–)

Louisville lost to the Thorns, but the team looks positioned to continue their impressive start during the Olympic window. They won’t lose any players and have been effective and strategic in adding pieces like Ebony Salmon.

6. Washington Spirit (-3)

The Spirit deservedly lost to Chicago and their lives don’t get any easier as they take on North Carolina next. Kelley O’Hara’s presence and tenacity was certainly missed as the Spirit struggled to really find meaningful chances.

5. Gotham FC (–)

Gotham will be frustrated to give up the late draw to KC. It’s a tie that feels like a loss as they struggled to put the game away. They play the Thorns this weekend, who have had their number all season.

4. Houston Dash (+2)

The Dash are on a roll! They’ve now won two straight and face the Red Stars this weekend. Jasmyne Spencer got the ultimate redemption with a goal against her former team just weeks after being traded. Also can we talk about that ball from Shea Groom? Fire.

3. Portland Thorns (+1)

The Thorns are the ultimate roller coaster team this regular season. This week, they were solid. Next week? Who knows. One takeaway: We’re seeing more and more that if Simone Charley is on, they win.

2. Orlando Pride (-1)

On the heels of their second straight loss, the Pride have fallen out of the top spot. The Courage would have buried them even more than the 2-0 scoreline suggests if not for a spectacular game from Ashlyn Harris. They have to hope Ali Kreiger’s injury isn’t serious as this weekend’s game against Louisville feels like a “must win” for the Pride to get back on track.

1. NC Courage (+1)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the Courage are once again the best team in the league. 

Even as players started to depart for the Olympics, North Carolina looked calm, collected and dominant as they went into Orlando and made it look like their home field. Havana Solaun played a really nice game in their win over the Pride in the midfield, and she looks poised to run the show without Mewis and Debhina for a couple weeks.

We closed out last week with what felt like some season-defining wins and losses in the NWSL. Houston took down the league leaders, while Gotham got a statement 3-0 win on the road in Tacoma. Upstart Louisville, meanwhile, got their own 3-0 win and dominated a struggling Chicago side. 

Now comes the tough part. With the Olympics around the corner and the NWSL not taking a break, many of the league’s top teams will have to find a way to survive without their best players

Heading into what could be the most chaotic part of the season, here’s how I see the league today:

10. Kansas City — 

It looked like KC was about to get their first win of the season against the Spirit. It didn’t happen. Ashley Sanchez tied the game in the 72’, and then Trinity Rodman delivered the stoppage-time clincher. This Kansas City team is in a bad place, but I think their first win is coming sooner than later.

9. Chicago Red Stars — 

Needless to say, a 3-0 loss to Louisville FC is not how Chicago wanted to end their week. For a team stacked with USWNT talent, especially at the back, these results are reason enough to sound the alarm in Chicago. I’m interested to see how this team fares without their stars come the Olympics. It may be a much-needed reset for the group.

8. OL Reign (-2)

Oof. That 3-0 loss to Gotham WAS NOT IT. I want to give the Reign the benefit of the doubt and say that their new signings need some time to acclimate, but they’re going to want to accelerate that timeline. Yes it’s early, but the gap between the top group and the bottom is slowly starting to widen.

7. Racing Louisville — 

It’s hard not to root for this team! Ebony Salmon is the real deal, and her style of play fits perfectly with this league. The way she teams up with Yuki and Savannah McCaskill… *chef’s kiss.*

6. Houston Dash (+2)

A 2-1 win over the league leaders was exactly what the Dash needed to right the ship on what has been a rocky start to the year. I think we can all agree that the Maria Sanchez loan was far too short, but nonetheless, it paid off and give Houston the edge in the #SpaceRace.

5. Gotham FC — 

The top 5 of this list are near impossible to rank, and it was made that much harder after Gotham stormed into Tacoma and executed counter attacks that will give the Reign backline nightmares. I know I have them listed as fifth currently, but I’m calling it now: Gotham FC will make the playoffs this season.

4. Portland Thorns (-2)

After their loss to the Courage, the Thorns now have 3 losses in 7 games. They look dominant in their wins but haven’t been able to find any kind of momentum in their three losses. At their best, they’re unstoppable. But that “best” isn’t quite consistent enough yet, especially on the road.

3. Washington Spirit — 

The Spirit keep grinding out late wins and draws. A Trinity Rodman stoppage time masterpiece keeps them near the top of the table. You simply can’t doubt a team that finds ways to win, even when the games on the whole aren’t the prettiest.

2. NC Courage (+2)

The Courage continue to climb behind a three-win week that saw Lynn Williams go on an absolute tear, scoring four goals in the latter two games. Since her reunion with Sam Mewis, the Courage have once again looked like championship contenders if not the favorites. 

1. Orlando Pride — 

The Pride keep the top spot despite closing out a three-game week with a loss. They went on the road to Houston (who hadn’t played a midweek game) and still made it close. There was some general sloppiness on the goals conceded, but we will give the Pride a pass with the week they had. All eyes will be on their Sunday matchup with the NC Courage to see how they rebound.

There wasn’t a ton of movement in the Power Rankings this week. The poles stayed the same and a few teams shifted between them, with the Courage winning twice this week, Racing Louisville nabbing their second win of the season, and OL Reign (after a rocky start) getting a decisive win over Chicago.

Get the popcorn ready for Saturday, because we’re wrapping up the week with all 10 of the league’s teams in action.

10. Kansas City (–)

Things aren’t getting any better for Kansas and they still don’t have a win. They’ll continue to be the underdogs in every game they play, and they’ll probably need a few signings to get things on track.

9. Chicago Red Stars (-1) 

Chicago conceded in the first minute to OL Reign on Tuesday, and the game was pretty much over after that. Something culturally seems to be off in Chicago because the individual talent is certainly there.

8. Houston Dash (-1)

The Dash have not started the season the way they wanted to (or the way anyone expected them to). They have a prime opportunity against the Orlando Pride this weekend to try and right the ship and prove they’re still contenders. 

7. Racing Louisville (+2)

Racing Louisville are by no means the best team in the league, but they come out every week and compete. They can also feel optimistic that they’re making good signings as Ebony Salmon made her NWSL debut and scored (in the same minute) in their 1-0 win over the Dash last weekend.

6. OL Reign (–)

The Reign came out to prove all the doubters wrong on Tuesday with a dominant performance in their win over Chicago. I’m not sure that warrants us forgetting their early season woes yet, but they do have a favorable stretch of games coming up

5. Gotham FC (-1)

Caprice Dydasco got the first goal of her NWSL career and Gotham tied league-leading Orlando last weekend. While they had the better of the possession, it didn’t amount to many chances, and the Orlando press got them into some dicey moments early on.

4. North Carolina Courage (+1)

With two straight wins this week, the Courage finally found a small bit of consistency to complement the firepower we all know is there. Lynn Williams scored two and assisted another in that stretch. If they can beat the Thorns this weekend, the Courage are no doubt a top-two team.

3. Washington Spirit (–)

A 93’ penalty doomed the Spirit from joining the Pride at the top of the points table last weekend. They still have plenty of reasons to be happy however, and Trinity Rodman’s upside and star power are two of them.

2. Portland Thorns (–)

Portland did not have a midweek game, but they did take down a struggling Kansas City side last weekend. While the scoreline was only 1-0, it would have been much worse if not for some worldly saves from Abby Smith.

1. Orlando Pride (–)

Sydney Leroux is playing some of the best soccer of her career. A draw and a win keeps Orlando at the top of the power rankings and top of the table as the only unbeaten team in the league. 

This young NWSL season has been wild.

It really feels like on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. It also feels like any team at their best can beat anyone 5-0. What that says about teams’ internal consistency is probably not great, but it is certainly making life fun for the fans. 

Now with the year’s first international break upon us, it only felt right to look back at the most surprising results so far, knowing we’re probably in for a few more shockers before season’s end. 

4. KC ties Houston 2-2 (May 23)

So it’s not an upset exactly since it ended in a draw, but this most certainly felt like a surprise win for Kansas City. 

With the score 2-1 in favor of the Dash, Elizabeth Ball received her second yellow in the 69’, leaving KC with ten players for the remainder of the match. They certainly didn’t dominate, but they did enough to keep the Dash from padding their lead, and in the 92’, Kansas City floated a ball into the box that found the head of a soaring Taylor Leach.

Goal, final whistle, celebration.

3. Chicago beats North Carolina 1-0 (June 5)

Chicago opened the season with a brutal 5-0 loss to Portland. They continued to struggle to find the back of the next through their next couple performances, and things only got worse when Julie Ertz went down with an injury. 

North Carolina had a slow start themselves, but were fresh off a 5-0 win over Louisville when they traveled to the Windy City. With Sam Mewis back, Lynn Williams healthy, and the Courage line up looking more like the one which won back-to-back NWSL Champions, few would have expected a struggling Chicago side to pull off a win. But Rachel Hill got her head on a 29’ corner kick and Alyssa Neaher handled the rest as the Red Stars pulled off the upset.

2. Louisville beats the Spirit 2-0 (May 21)

How could you not love this story? The Spirit dominated most of the match but were unable to find the back of the net. Then the hometown kid, Emina Ekic, subbed on late and scored the game winner in front of the Louisville fan section, leading her side to their first-ever win in club history.

CeCe Kizer sealed the deal moments later. 

This upset has aged well for Louisville, given that the Spirit currently sit second in the NWSL table — their only loss being to the upstart Kentucky club.

1. OL Reign goes in to Portland and wins 2-1 (May 23)

Portland was fresh off a Challenge Cup victory AND a 5-0 (5-0!) win over the Chicago Red Stars. Even though the Reign drew North Carolina the game before, few expected them to storm into Oregon and win in front of the Thorns’ home crowd. They did just that, with all three goals of the game happening in the first 15 minutes. 

The Thorns opened the game early with a Christine Sinclair stunner only to be matched by a Megan Rapinoe free kick and subsequent celebration in front of the Portland fans.

Shirley Cruz scored the winner moments later and the Reign held on. 

The icing on top of the cake? Rapinoe taunting Portland fans after the fact for loving her too much. 

Rivalry = officially renewed.

The first international window of the NWSL season is here, allowing us all to take a giant deep breath and enjoy some USWNT friendlies.

Each NWSL team has 4-5 games under their belt, and it feels like this break is coming at a good time for most. The Pride at the top of the table will hope the two weeks allows Sydney Leroux time to get healthy, while Kansas City at the bottom will take the much needed time to continue to develop players as the team searches for their first win.

Here’s how I see the league today:

10. Kansas City (–)

With a loss to Houston, Kansas City stays in last place in the Power Rankings and the actual table. They’ll want to take these few weeks to go back to the drawing board as they continue to search for their first win of the season. 

9. Racing Louisville (-1)

Michelle Betos stood on her head and Louisville still lost 3-0 to Portland. Being a “young team” is one thing — conceding eight goals in their last two matches is another. 

8. Chicago Red Stars (+1)

They’ve been terribly inconsistent BUT the Red Stars just got their biggest win of the season, in their best performance of the season, with a 1-0 upset over the North Carolina Courage. THIS is the Red Stars team that needs to show up for them to get back into the playoff conversation.

7. Houston Dash (–)

The Dash had to beat last-place Kansas City and they did just that. A small step forward, but they’re trending in the right direction. 

6. OL Reign (–)

They might have deserved more out of their loss to Gotham FC, but they now have lost two straight games on a set piece goal. Will the French connection (and return of Alana Cook) be the difference maker when we return?

5. North Carolina Courage (-3)

That Louisville thrashing is starting to look more like an outlier as the Courage were shut out again, even with the likes of Lynn Williams, Jess McDonald, Sam Mewis and Debinha in the starting XI. If you take out that 5-0 win over Louisville, the Courage only have one goal in their other three games. Ouch. 

4. Gotham FC (+1)

How spoiled are Gotham FC to have two goalkeepers who simply know how to win? It’s hard not to root for this team.

3. Washington Spirit (+1)

The Spirit are good. They dominated Orlando, and had it not been for Ashlyn Harris and the crossbar, likely would have walked away with 3 points. They’ll be disappointed to have just about gifted Orlando the tying goal, but they can still go into the break with their heads held high.

2. Portland Thorns (+1)

With their second straight win (and clean sheet), the Thorns appear to have found their footing again. Louisville never threatened and the defense is looking less leaky than it did in their two straight losses. 

1. Orlando Pride (–)

The draw against Washington wasn’t their prettiest or most dominant game of the season, but they still came away with a point. We also learned just how much Sydney Leroux matters to the Pride keeping the ball out of their own end. This is what elite teams do: they learn how to win ugly and without all their players. 

The Orlando Pride are for real. I’m tempted to slot them at No. 2 just because they seem to thrive in that underdog position. However, at this moment, they simply are the team to beat. 

After the Pride, the No. 2-through-6 zone is straight chaos. It feels like on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. The differences between the sides are minuscule and they’ve all seemingly beaten each other already. But that’s what makes the NWSL great. 

Without further ado: 

10. Kansas City (-1)

Even though that probably wasn’t a goal, Orlando was still the better team and deserved to win that game. Kansas City is now the only team in the league still searching for a win.

9. Chicago Red Stars (+1)

They may have beaten Kansas City, but I’m still not convinced this group is cohesive enough to consistently win games. The talent is there, but it’s just not consistent.

8. Racing Louisville (-1)

A young Louisville side got slapped down to earth in their game against North Carolina, who absolutely destroyed them in every facet of the game. Things don’t get any easier with Portland this weekend.

7. Houston Dash (-1)

The Dash beat Chicago but not before losing to a 10-player Washington Spirit side. There’s glimpses of good, but they’re conceding too many goals.

6. OL Reign (-4)

I was riding high on the Reign after their Portland road win, but to follow that up with a loss at home to the Spirit, with Rose Lavelle in the starting line up, hurts. When they’re at their best, they’re one of the best, but It’s hard to know which Reign team is going to show up on a given day.

5. Gotham FC (-2)

I know. Dropping Gotham FC this far after a single loss is harsh. But the middle of the pack is just chaos at the moment. Losing to a struggling Thorns side at home makes this weekend’s game against the Reign crucial for recovering their early season momentum.

4. Washington Spirit (+4)

The Spirit plays the Pride this weekend, and I’ve got the game circled on my calendar. They’re currently 1-2 on the points table and it’s a quick rematch from an early season draw.

3. Portland Thorns (-2)

The back to back losses to the Reign (at home) and Pride weren’t pretty. But the Thorns rebounded with a win over Gotham FC on the road. These next couple weeks will really show if the side peaked in the preseason.

2. North Carolina Courage (+3)

Sam Mewis is back, just in time for the Courage to absolutely throttle a Louisville FC team riding high from their first win. I think they’ve turned the corner after their mediocre (by their standards) start to the season. 

1. Orlando Pride (+4)

Three games in a week, three wins. Orlando rightfully deserves the crown this week, and if they play the way they have been, they should keep the top spot moving forward.