soccer

5 under-the-radar NWSL players you HAVE to watch


Published: 05/05/22
5 under-the-radar NWSL players you HAVE to watch

Love, respect, thoughts and prayers to defenders, but the NWSL is loaded with outrageous and extremely disrespectful attacking talents. Here are some you might not know you need to watch yet:

1. Maria Sánchez, forward/winger, Houston Dash

If you, like me, enjoy attacking players with a dash of evil in their hearts, you’ve come to the right place. Sánchez is a masterful dribbler capable of turning defenders into marionettes before nutmegging them en route to dropping a dime.

2. Jun Endo, forward/winger, Angel City

After a star performance in Angel City’s inaugural home opener in which she was responsible for both of Angel City’s goals (1 goal1 assist), the secret may already be out on Endo. The Japanese international is a nonstop terror whose perpetually high-revving engine allows her to exist as both an effective presser and dangerous forward – making her a threat no matter which half of the pitch she’s in.

3. Kerolin, forward, North Carolina Courage

Remember that thing I said earlier about attackers with evil in them? Add Kerolin to that list. The Brazilian forward is in a perfect system to take advantage of her dribbling prowess and one-touch passing movements with fellow Brazil star Debinha. Any defender finding themself isolated with Kerolin isn’t merely likely to lose the matchup, but chances are she’ll also walk away with a chunk of their pride in her pocket.

4. Ally Watt, forward/winger, OL Reign

You want to root for Ally Watt. The former Texas A&M star made her NWSL debut in the 2020 Challenge Cup (the tournament that replaced the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic), but it lasted just 13 minutes before she went down with a torn ACL. She had a year and a half recovery process but is back on the pitch and looking every bit as dangerous as she did before. Watt is (remarkably, still) outrageously quick and more than ready to make up for lost time.

5. Darian Jenkins, forward, Orlando Pride

Darian Jenkins is a uniquely talented forward who provides a lot of versatility along the forward line. Jenkins is smooth on the ball and possesses a powerful shot, but is also sneakily 5’10, giving her the ability to also play as a target forward. Jenkins is best when drifting in and out of these roles to keep defenses unbalanced minute-to-minute. If you see a long range bomb curling into the net for an Orlando Pride goal, chances are it came from Jenkins’ boot.


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