One (1) single weekend of NWSL games has entered the books and you know what that means: it’s time for TAKES! It’s not uncommon for NWSL teams to have wildly different seasons from year to year.
While some results from the weekend may have seemed familiar, we’re going to tell you why you should avoid diving into the hot take time machine:
While the Thorns lifting multiple trophies this season won’t surprise anyone, they beat up on a young Orlando Pride team in the beginning stages of their rebuild. Also, they were at home in Providence Park while Orlando had to make one of the longest trips in the league (+3,000mi). Still, the Thorns looked like their familiar organized, smothering and dominant selves, but every other game on their schedule will be tougher than this one.
Orlando struggled to cope with Portland, but also themselves. Two of Portland’s four goals came from goalkeeper Anna Moorhouse pushing shots into the path of a Thorns attacker for an easy open net finish, while another came from a ricocheted clearance that sent Christine Sinclair clear behind Orlando’s line. Portland were by far the better team, but unless Orlando makes calamity a habit, better days are ahead.
My sweet, summer child. They were without all of their major signings (Debinha, Morgan Gautrat, Vanessa DiBernardo, Hanna Glas), started three rookies and played in an unfamiliar formation with unfamiliar personnel. If those players miss every game, the Current have a problem. They likely won’t, which means the rest of the league will have a problem. Take this delayed juggernauting as a gift and enjoy it while you can.
Ok, this one might actually be true. Last year their kick-ball-in-netability failed them at crucial times, with the last ending their season in a 2-0 loss to Kansas City. They posted the third highest expected goals (xG) total of the weekend, 2.01, but failed to convert a single chance. Of the top three, Portland’s 3.72 netted them four goals, Chicago’s 2.08 led to two and San Diego put three on the board from 2.02.
In the middle of the game, Williams was seen holding her right arm awkwardly at a 90 degree angle, and trainers rushed out to check on her. They brought a soft splint-like piece of fabric with them, placed it around the back of her arm, wrapped it tight from shoulder to elbow, AND THEN LYNN JUST KEPT ON PLAYING. Not only did she play, she scored the winning goal and said postgame “...it’s an arm. I need my legs to play soccer.” I’m rusty on my 1980s scary robot future movies, but I’m pretty sure I never saw a Terminator score a goal. Hypothesis denied. Whatever Lynn Williams is, is even scarier. [note: don’t try this at home, or anywhere ever really]