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5 must-watch NWSL players with internationals away

The league is about to look a lot different.

By André Carlisle – @not_carlisle

5 must-watch NWSL players with internationals away

Savannah Demelo, midfielder, Racing Louisville

Demelo is going to be in contention for Rookie of the Year. The former USC product has been the best part of a midfield that includes former No. 1 overall pick Jaelin Howell. That’s no slight to Howell, that’s just how good Demelo has been.

She’s constantly moving to create problems in the defense, and is a slick dribbler and crafty passer. Oh, and if you foul any Racing Louisville player within five yards of the penalty box there’s a good chance she’s going to rocket a free kick directly into the net.

 

Tara McKeown, forward, Washington Spirit

The Spirit are missing Andi Sullivan, Ashley Sanchez and Trinity Rodman as they compete in Mexico with the USWNT. That leaves space for 2021 draftee McKeown.

McKeown is a shifty player with keen vision around the box. Though she’d been out since injuring her foot in Washington’s second Challenge Cup match in late March, she made her return versus San Diego Wave. All she did was constantly twist defenders inside out and eventually make them pay with a dime assist from outside the box to the forehead of Jordan Baggett.

 

Yazmeen Ryan, midfielder, Portland Thorns

Portland sees to it that they always have a glut of talent, making it difficult for non-starters to find a run of games despite being capable of starting on most other teams. That’s Yazmeen Ryan.

The 23-year-old is only in her second NWSL season, but is rapidly growing in confidence and effect. So far, Ryan only has three starts in seven total appearances this season, but has notched one assist and three goals. Expect those numbers to grow throughout this month.

 

Kim Little, midfielder, OL Reign

She’s here for a good time, not a long time. Little’s loan to OL Reign is a short one, basically for this month, but she’s a former NWSL MVP and still a brilliant footballer. If you missed out on the chance to watch Little in the NWSL, here’s your chance.

 

Ebony Salmon, forward, Houston Dash

If not for God Mode A.D Franch, Salmon would have scored her first goal of the season, and first for Houston, on her debut with her new club. Still, with just one training session under her belt, she stepped onto the pitch against Kansas City Current, played all 90 minutes, and looked to be a woman on a mission.

Salmon, under normal circumstances, is an incredible young goalscoring talent. A pissed off Salmon with a point to prove might be even better, and judging from her performance versus the Current, that is exactly what NWSL defenses have to look forward to. Thankfully for her (and, selfishly, us), there’s only one A.D Franch.

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