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Three Things We Learned From Fawsl’s Women’s Football Weekend

Naomi Baker - Getty - Alex Morgan

As the FA Women’s Super League wrapped up a busy weekend full of action, we witnessed Chelsea battle into the top three in WSL standings in the highly-anticipated London derby, Tobin Heath give yet another taste of what she brings to the table for Manchester United, Alex Morgan make her starting debut for Tottenham — the list goes on.

So what did we learn from this latest Women’s Football Weekend, and what does it mean for the rest of the 2020/2021 season?

1) Tobin Heath is positioning herself for instant stardom in Manchester.

Heath joined U.S. women’s national teammate Christen Press in a move to the United Kingdom, signing with Manchester United in September. A sensational offensive player, Heath has recorded 33 goals and 40 assists in 168 appearances for the United States, winning two World Cups and two Olympic goal medals with the team. Just as impressive are her stats with the Portland Thorns, with whom she played six seasons — in 70 appearances with the Thorns, Heath logged 13 goals and 21 assists, with 10 of those assists taking place in a single season.

It is obvious that Heath is not only excellent at scoring goals but at creating offense, a skill she has certainly carried over to Manchester United. On everyone’s radar following the weekend was Heath’s laser of a goal to put United on the board during the Manchester derby. A defensive error by Lucy Bronze was quickly intercepted by Heath, who bent a shot over the hands of City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck.

Twitter reacted accordingly:

Heath’s presence up top has certainly been felt within the Women’s Super League, with the American already contributing two goals and an assist in United’s seven matches played. It seems that leaving an early impression was Heath’s goal upon her entrance to the league, as she disclosed in an introductory interview with Mark Froggatt:

“I know it is an ambition for this club to compete against the teams that have historically been around for longer and have a stronger history in the WSL. Coming in as a younger team and wanting to make my mark immediately in this league is important, and to build the team in the best way, and to be committed to the players, and the organization, is critical.”

Should Heath continue the trajectory she is on, it is safe to say that she is propelling herself to instant stardom for Manchester United. The rest of the WSL should be on alert.

2) Given time, Alex Morgan can become Tottenham’s saving grace.

Also making headlines this weekend was Alex Morgan, who made her starting debut with Tottenham in Saturday’s match against Bristol City, playing for 45 minutes. Earlier in the season, Morgan came off the bench to make her first appearance for her new club, playing 21 minutes against Reading FC and helping to snap Tottenham’s four-game losing streak with a much-needed draw.

Though Morgan has had to ease into her return to soccer following the birth of her daughter, Charlie, only six months ago, the addition of the striker to the Spurs’ starting lineup is promising — and given time, Morgan can become a sure-fire difference maker for the squad.

One brief look at Morgan’s career can tell you everything you need to know. She is a monster on offense — in 169 appearances with the United States, Morgan has netted 107 goals and assisted another 43, picking up two World Cup wins and an Olympic gold medal along the way. During her tenure in the National Women’s Soccer League, Morgan spent time with the Western New York Flash, the Portland Thorns, and the Orlando Pride, for which she scored a combined 37 goals in 102 games with the three clubs. Undoubtedly, Morgan fills a major void for Tottenham simply given her ability to create offense and capitalize on scoring opportunities.

In seven matches played, the Spurs have only scored six goals and have yet to win a single game during the 2020/2021 season, currently holding a 0-3-4 record. For lack of a better word, Tottenham’s start to the season has been an atrocity, landing them one spot above the relegation zone, superior only to Bristol City, whom the Spurs tied this weekend. [Editor’s note: Tottenham fired their co-head coaches Karen Hills and Juan Amoros Thursday morning. They shortly after named Rehanne Skinner to the position.]

If Morgan is utilized correctly, she can be the remedy that Tottenham needs to meet their full potential. Though she has yet to make an impact, it’s only a matter of time before she will erupt. As the USWNT star is gradually allotted more playing time, there’s no doubt she will find her groove — and open her scoring account along the way. As far as the Spurs are concerned, the sooner Morgan becomes a permanent member of the starting lineup, the better.

3) Put some respect on Chelsea’s name they’ve earned it

Finally, Chelsea and Arsenal faced off in the much-anticipated London derby — and for Chelsea, a break into the top three was well within their grasp with a win or a draw during the match. Though Arsenal drew first blood when Beth Mead scored what seemed to be a late game-winner, Chelsea fought back to equalize as Pernille Harder played in a cross that resulted in an own goal.

With the result, Chelsea remains undefeated, drawing two and winning four of their six contests this season. In fact, only one other undefeated team remains: Manchester United.

Chelsea is considered a “Big Three” in the league and has had no problem handling fellow “Big Three” talents Arsenal and Manchester City, having yet to lose to either opponent this year. Earlier this season, Chelsea swiftly handed Manchester City a 3-1 loss. More recently, the squad held Arsenal to one goal in the aforementioned London derby. This is no small feat, as Arsenal’s roster holds three of the league’s top scorers in Caitlin Foord, Vivianne Miedema, and Jill Roord.

After this weekend’s performance, it is no question that Chelsea is a talented squad and could very well finish in first place in the WSL standings this season, but they have not received nearly the amount of credit that they deserve. From their goalkeeping to their midfielder core to their strikers, there is no weak link — a facet that is very difficult to come by in the fight for talent among Women’s Super League teams. Chelsea currently sits at third place in the table, though only two points separate them from the first place slot.

Stay tuned as Chelsea looks to continue their undefeated streak in a match against West Ham United on December 6th.

Up next in the Women’s Super League: 
December 5th 

Aston Villa vs. Manchester United @ 7:30 a.m. EST

December 6th

Everton vs. Manchester City @ 8:00 a.m. EST

Arsenal vs. Birmingham City @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Chelsea vs. West Ham @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Tottenham vs. Brighton & Hove Albion @ 9:00 a.m. EST

Reading FC vs. Bristol City @ 9:00 a.m. EST