All Scores

NWSL Golden Boot race: Where it stands after the World Cup

Sophia Smith returns from the World Cup in the NWSL Golden Boot race lead. (Craig Mitchelldyer/USA TODAY Sports)

As the NWSL regular season gets back underway this weekend, Just Women’s Sports is taking a look at where the Golden Boot race stands and who could end up being the league’s top scorer.

Alex Morgan won last year’s Golden Boot award with 15 goals, and she currently has five goals for the San Diego Wave this season. Reigning league MVP and Portland Thorns forward Sophia Smith was close behind Morgan in 2022 and now holds the top spot in the league, while 2021 winner and Washington Spirit forward Ashley Hatch is tied for second.

Sophia Smith, Portland Thorns
10 goals

Smith entered the international break on a high, scoring a hat trick in her final game with Portland before leaving to represent the U.S. women’s national team at the World Cup. In addition to her 10 goals this season, she has five assists, which ranks second in the league behind teammate Sam Coffey.

Of Smith’s goals, four have come off her left foot and six off her right. Her goals from inside and outside of the box are split evenly.

Ashley Hatch, Washington Spirit
8 goals

The former Golden Boot winner is in the hunt again this season with eight goals. After being left off the USWNT’s World Cup roster, Hatch scored two goals during the Challenge Cup while the regular season was paused. Now, she re-enters the regular season with momentum after others in the race were out with their international squads.

Kerolin, North Carolina Courage
8 goals

Brazilian star Kerolin had eight goals before leaving for the World Cup, seven of which came inside the box. She also scored all of them with her right foot. Kerolin held the Golden Boot lead before Smith’s pre-World Cup hat trick, and could jump back to the front if she picks up where she left off before the international break.

Lynn Williams, Gotham FC
7 goals

Williams was in the midst of a breakout season with her new club following a return from injury. She’s been the centerpiece of Gotham’s offense this season, scoring seven goals — which is more than Gotham scored as the team all of last year. Six of her goals have come inside the box, and she’s had 30 shots on target out of 48 total shots.

Other top scorers

6 goals

Debinha, Kansas City Current

5 goals

Bethany Balcer, OL Reign
Savannah DeMelo, Racing Louisville
Crystal Dunn, Portland Thorns
Alex Morgan, San Diego Wave

4 goals

Messiah Bright, Orlando Pride
Jordyn Huitema, OL Reign
Cece Kizer, Kansas City Current
Veronica Latsko, OL Reign
Tyler Lussi, North Carolina Courage
Trinity Rodman, Washington Spirit
Ashley Sanchez, Washington Spirit
Jaedyn Shaw, San Diego Wave
Ella Stevens, Chicago Red Stars
Morgan Weaver, Portland Thorns

WNBA All-Star Voting Stars on June 13th

Phoenix Mercury mascot Scorch waving a 2024 WNBA All-Star flag at a 2023 home game.
Phoenix Mercury will host the 20th-annual All-Star Game on July 20th, 2024. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Voting for the 2024 AT&T WNBA All-Star Game opened at 2 PM ET today and runs through June 29th.

All active WNBA players are eligible to make the All-Star Game, set for July 20th in Phoenix. Unlike previous formats that featured two voted-in All-Star squads, this year’s contest pits a single All-Star team against the already-decided Olympic-bound USA Women’s National Team.

Fans can submit a daily ballot nominating up to 10 athletes via WNBA.com or the WNBA App.

Fan-submitted ballots account for 50% of vote, with the other 50% split equally between current WNBA players and members of the media. The top 10 athletes will automatically make the All-Star Game, with league coaches then voting from a pool of the next 36 to complete Team WNBA’s 12-player roster. The final lineup will be announced on July 2nd.

This year's All-Star Game format presents an opportunity for fans to vote for players they might consider Olympic snubs. Indiana rookie Caitlin Clark and Dallas’s Arike Ogunbawole seem like shoo-ins given the discussion surrounding their Olympic omissions, while Connecticut stars Brionna Jones and DeWanna Bonner are also expected to snag All-Star nods.

And after a career-high 20-point, 10-rebound double-double in last night’s 83-75 loss to the Sun, Chicago rookie Angel Reese could also secure a spot.

Regardless, it won't necessarily be smooth sailing for Team USA, as history has tended to favor the underdog. 

The first USA vs. All-Stars matchup took place in 2021, with the league’s squad humbling the Tokyo Olympians 93-85. With 26 points, Ogunbawole was named All-Star Game MVP after barely missing the Olympic cut. Could she and Clark turn the tables on Team USA this year?

Watch more: "Were Caitlin Clark and Arike Ogunbowale snubbed?" by Expert Adjacent

San Diego Wave Hires Ex-KC Current GM Camille Ashton

San Diego Wave FC new General Manager Camille Levin Ashton visits the training grounds and front office during her introductory tour on Tuesday, June 11, 2024 in Del Mar, California.
New Wave GM Camille Ashton toured San Diego's training grounds on Tuesday. (San Diego Wave)

The San Diego Wave introduced Camille Ashton as their new general manager and sporting director yesterday, three weeks after Ashton resigned from her position as GM of the Kansas City Current.

The 34-year-old former NWSL pro will manage San Diego’s coaching staff and on-field budget, as well as lead player scouting and acquisitions. Ashton joins Wave FC president Jill Ellis and head coach Casey Stoney in an effort to lead the team back to their 2023 NWSL Shield-winning success.

"I’ve known Cami from back in her playing days, and her impressive track record and deep understanding as both a General Manager and former player, combined with her passion and energy make her an exceptional fit with this club," Ellis said in a team statement.

Ashton left a Kansas City team that remains undefeated this season — a significant leap from last year’s 11th-place finish. While at the Current, Ashton inked top offseason free agent Debinha followed by international forwards Temwa Chawinga (Malawi) and Bia Zaneratto (Brazil).

However, not all of Ashton’s roster moves were as well received. High-profile players like Lynn WilliamsCece Kizer, and Alex Loera posted about the mishandling of their abrupt trades, while the parent of a waived 2023 NWSL draftee claimed her daughter was mistreated by Ashton and the club (a subsequent investigation did not result in any public consequences).

When asked about the criticism surrounding the trades, Ashton commented, "There could be a lot of debate… but at the end of the day, that’s the mechanism that we work with right now in the league." 

A Southern California native, Ashton will make the transition to the Wave in the coming weeks.

Riot Fest Forces Red Stars to Move Scheduled NWSL Game

Apr 27, 2024; Bridgeview, Illinois, USA; at SeatGeek Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Red Stars are scrambling to find a solution for a September 21st home game after it was revealed that a music festival would be taking over the team's usual stadium. 

Riot Fest announced on Wednesday that SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois will host the three-day concert event from September 20th through the 22nd. The Red Stars — who were scheduled to play the San Diego Wave on September 21st — have played at SeatGeek since 2016, and recently set an all-time NWSL attendance record during a one-off game at Wrigley Field

As for solutions, those hoping for a return to Wrigley could be out of luck: The Chicago Cubs are set to play the Washington Nationals at home on September 21st.

"It is unfair and unfortunate to have our club put in this situation, shining a light on the vast discrepancies in the treatment of women's professional sports versus men's sports," Red Stars president Karen Leetzow said in tweeted response to the double-booking.

"We are committed to ensuring our players and fans have a first-rate experience on and off pitch, and we are working diligently to find a solution that will ensure our September 21st game is a success."

Since purchasing the Red Stars last year, majority owner Laura Ricketts — a co-owner of the Cubs — has been vocal about finding a more appropriate long-term home for the team. 

"We knew right from the beginning — like, rewind back almost a year and a half ago when we started considering acquiring the Red Stars — we knew that the current [stadium] situation was not the ultimate long-term solution," Ricketts told ESPN in February. "And really, the key to unlocking the door for this organization would be to solve that."

More broadly, Ricketts has been pushing for increased public funding for sports stadiums around Chicago, with both the NFL’s Bears and MLB’s White Sox looking to build new facilities. 

The situation in Bridgeview is the most recent scheduling mishap for the NWSL. Angel City had to reschedule their 2024 season opener weeks before it was to be played due to an "unforeseen scheduling conflict." Additionally, San Diego's new MLS team will reportedly have priority over NWSL side San Diego Wave FC when it comes to scheduling home games at the shared Snapdragon Stadium. 

"It frustrates me again that we’re the established team in the market and a men’s team comes in and gets first picks on the schedule," Wave coach Casey Stoney said last October. "Shame that it continues to happen."

Watch more: "Chicago Forced to Move Match Due to Music Festival" on TikTok

Sam Kerr Announces New Chelsea Contract in Prank Videos

Sam Kerr celebrates a Chelsea win with a backflip
Sam Kerr first signed with Chelsea in 2019. (Eddie Keogh/The FA via Getty Images)

Sam Kerr has signed a new two-year contract with Chelsea. 

The Australian forward teased fans in the announcement, after speculation regarding her future with the club had been swirling for months — particularly with the departure of head coach Emma Hayes. 

In a video posted Thursday morning, Kerr thanked fans for the memories before saying she will "always be Chelsea" in a tone that suggested she was leaving the London club. But 20 minutes later, the team took to social media to announce the striker had actually signed a new two-year deal. 

"Did you guys really think I was gonna end on 99 goals?" asked Kerr in a followup video.

BBC Sport reported that the contract extension fake-out was Kerr’s idea.

"It’s really exciting and a very proud moment for me," Kerr said in a statement. "Having the opportunity to stay at a club like Chelsea means a lot to me. I’m really excited to continue to push and to try to win trophies."

The 30-year-old is currently recovering from an ACL tear sustained in January. The injury will keep her out of the Paris Olympics

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