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.
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.
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after taking down the league’s worst side in Kansas City, even as they lost starting GK Sarah Bouhaddi to a since-rescinded red card.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.
Louisville was sooooo close to shedding their youth/new team stigma, as they led Orlando in stoppage time. Then Sydney Leroux happened.
OH MY WORD 😱😱😱#ORLvLOU | https://t.co/iecT7II54a | #NWSL21 pic.twitter.com/k3kmURO3dP— National Women’s Soccer League (@NWSL) July 10, 2021
OH MY WORD 😱😱😱#ORLvLOU | https://t.co/iecT7II54a | #NWSL21 pic.twitter.com/k3kmURO3dP
That goal will certainly go down in NWSL lore, but Louisville has to be fuming to have so many players get that moment wrong.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.