NWSL Power Rankings: Courage extend win streak to four, Houston continue to climb the rankings


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The 2021 National women’s Soccer League regular season continues on as teams begin to navigate the Olympic portion of the league schedule. The 24 game regular season heads into week seven as clubs are forced to manage without international players off to Tokyo. With no break in the league for the summer games in Tokyo, several squads will have the opportunity to show off their depth, and maybe shake up the standings over the next few weeks.

Let’s take a look at where some teams have landed in power rankings after week seven action, before NWSL continues this weekend on July 9. 

Rank

Team

Change

Analysis

1.

North Carolina Courage

After a slow start to their season, the Courage are back on top of the standings as well as this week’s power rankings after delivering Orlando their second consecutive loss. The team was without USWNT star Sam Mewis, but midfielder Havana Solaun had a strong game, helping dictate tempo in the midfield and scoring a goal in the 66th minute. The team will rely on her presence alongside Denise O’Sullivan during the Olympic stretch of the schedule.

2.

Portland Thorns FC

+4

After a loss against North Carolina, Portland bounced on the road against Racing Louisville FC and showed why their team could be the deepest in the league during this early phase of the Olympic stretch. Veteran leadership and a young attacking core made the difference as long time Thorns defender Emily Menges picked up her first assist on a goal by third year forward Simone Charley.

3.

Houston Dash

+2

The team is currently on a two game win streak after picking up another win against OL Reign thanks to a big performance in the midfield from Shea Groom who recorded an assist on Jasmyne Spencer’s goal. The team is without several key players during the Olympics, but if Groom can step up during the next few weeks like she did against the Reign they might be able to manage those absences.

4.

Orlando Pride

-2

The team is on a two game skid after recording a franchise best seven game undefeated streak to start the season. They’ve been bitten hard by the injury bug with Taylor Kornieck (left knee) and Phoebe McClernon (right foot) carrying knocks at the absolute worst time during stretch that will include the team absence of superstars Alex Morgan and Marta.

5.

Washington Spirit

-2

The team takes a drop in the power rankings after dropping points in a narrow 1-0 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, snapping a five game undefeated streak for the Spirit. The team is also fighting off injuries as forwards Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman have picked up knocks in recent games. That puts even more pressure on Ashley Sanchez continuing her development in the final third.

6.

NJ/NY Gotham FC

-2

Gotham FC takes a dip in the power rankings after dropping a late game lead to last place Kansas City NWSL. The club leads the league in fewest goals allowed, but conceded in the 83rd minute to settle for a draw. This side could make a run against Portland for deepest team in the league during this Olympic stretch, but will need to close out games against bottom table teams.

7.

Chicago Red Stars

+2

Chicago picked up a much needed win on the road against the Washington Spirit after going winless in their last three matches. It was a scrappy, organized, defensive performance, which was enough to carry the day but they’ll need a more cohesive showing against Houston this week to jump higher in the rankings.

8.

Racing Louisville FC

-1

Unable to build off their win against Chicago, Louisville lost 2-0 to a Portland Thorns side missing several key starters. The team is a bit hot and cold week to week, though outside back Emily Fox has been a bright spot for a backline that has conceded 12 goals in 8 games this season.

9.

OL Reign

-1

The team is undoubtedly struggling to get their season going this year after picking up their fifth loss in eight games against Houston. The Reign recently suddenly parted ways with head coach Farid Benstiti, after failing to secure wins with big names in the lineup.

10.

Kansas City NWSL

They’re still the only club without a win in 2021, but have slowly started to generate some excitement in the final third. The franchise’s offseason pick up of Mariana Larroquette is paying off, the Argentinian international has been on the scoresheet in two of the teams last three matches.





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