Christen Press believes that the NWSL is one of the most entertaining leagues in the world.
On the latest episode of The RE-CAP Show, Press discusses the action in the NWSL Championship with co-host Tobin Heath. Gotham FC held off OL Reign 2-1 on Nov. 11 to win their first championship and send Ali Krieger off into retirement on a high note.
“I asked for this match to showcase the NWSL at its best,” said Press, a two-time World Cup champion with the U.S. women’s national team. “And say what you will about the NWSL, the style of play, transition, yada yada — I think it’s the most entertaining league in the world.
“It’s open, it’s energetic, and there’s tons of goals, and I think we got the NWSL at its best during this final match.”
This comes as debate has gone on about which is better: European leagues or the NWSL. Gotham FC forward and World Cup champion Esther González of Spain praised the NWSL for its level of play.
“One of the biggest differences with the Spanish League, which is a great league, is that here all the games, absolutely all of them, are like a Champions League game, at the highest level,” she said after the championship game. “In Spain, there are some games that you can win four or five to zero, that your physical wear and tear is normal, that you have everything under control.
“Here, every game is like playing against Barça, which is the best team in the Spanish League: Your level has to be the maximum, your physical demand is the maximum, and that happens weekend after weekend.”
But others, like USWNT star Lindsey Horan, have opted for Europe and the Champions League. USWNT teammates Mia Fishel and Catarina Macario are also overseas, playing for Chelsea, whose coach Emma Hayes was just announced as the next manager of the USWNT.
And Horan would like to see more USWNT players head overseas to get acquainted with different styles of play.
“I’ve heard of [American] players wanting to [move to Europe],” Horan told Pro Soccer Wire. “Obviously, it’s comfortable in the NWSL and I won’t take anything away from the league, but for me, [playing abroad] has always been a growing point in my career. When I went to PSG, it was massive for me and then coming back to Lyon was even a bigger jump. I get to play with some of the best international players in the world.”
“It’s not a knock on the NWSL, but you’re just not going and playing in the Champions League,” she continued. “That’s something that I missed out on when I was at Portland because it’s just insane.”