NWSL Power Rankings: San Diego Wave keep top spot, but Racing Louisville are not far behind

CBS Sports/Getty Images

The National Women’s Soccer League’s newest expansion sides are off to hot starts this season as San Diego Wave FC are the first team to win four games and Angel City FC, just three points behind them, secured another win. North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, and Kansas City Current are still searching for their first wins, but that doesn’t mean they’re in last place of our rankings. 

Let’s take a look at where teams landed on the list after Week 4 as the regular season continues with mid-week games:

NWSL Power Rankings


San Diego Wave FC

How did they respond to their three-game win streak being snapped by Louisville? By beating up North Carolina away from home to stay atop the table. Alex Morgan may be stealing the headlines with a team-high six goals and 24 shots, but don’t sleep on Taylor Kornieck, who is a rising talent in the midfield. She’s second behind Morgan in total shots (15) and expected goals (1.80)


Racing Louisville FC


Louisville is undefeated in its past four games, which includes a draw at OL Reign and a win that snapped San Diego’s streak. They demonstrated stretches of high pressure in an effort to win the ball during those games and sit second in the league in possession averaging 54.1 percent


Portland Thorns FC


The club had two matches over the week with a draw against the Spirit and a loss against Houston. They are second in the league in chances created with 49, but have failed to score more than one goal in a game since the season opener. 


Angel City FC


They have somehow turned less time on the ball into results as they have gotten the best out opponents on the end of tough schedules. They rank 10th in the league in average possession (47.6%) and expected goals (3.48) after three wins in four games.


Chicago Red Stars


Mallory Pugh marked her return in a big way as she bagged a second-half brace and an assist to Bianca St-Georges in their recent win at Orlando. Of 200 minutes played, the Canadian international leads the team in expected goals (1.03) and is among top five players on the team in goals scored (2) and recoveries (18). 


Houston Dash 


Houston is undefeated in its past three games thanks to the help of the Maria Sanchez, Rachel Daly and Nichelle Prince front line. They have been combining in the attack and looking dangerous. The trio have been involved in four of Houston’s five goals this month.


Washington Spirit 


The team has struggled to generate wins in a hectic fixture list that saw them play three games in seven days (2D, 1L). Their attack has cooled off a bit as Ashley Hatch, Ashley Sanchez and Trinity Rodman have combined for three goals in the last four matches.


OL Reign


Despite being third in the league in expected goals (xG 6.11) and total shots (65), they can’t seem to be able to finish in the final third in the early portion of the season. They need answers in front of goal sooner rather than later if they want to be considered title contenders.


North Carolina Courage


They hit a rough patch to start the season – including a postponed match due to several players out under COVID protocol – and have been unable to translate their Challenge Cup success in the regular season. They lead the league in total possession, averaging 57 percent, but have come away winless this month.


Orlando Pride


The effects of three games in eight days saw Orlando on the losing side of a wild 4-2 match against Chicago. The team is third in goals scored (7) and forward Leah Pruitt finally got on the score sheet after leading the team in chances created (7) and could be an asset to the team moving forward. 


Kansas City Current

They are still in search of their first regular season win. Kansas City was short-handed this week with players out with either injuries or placed under COVID protocol. 


NJ/NY Gotham FC

The club tried to bounce back after several players were out under COVID protocol and their game against North Carolina was postponed. Gotham FC tied a record in their loss to Louisville for shots off the post with five. Unlucky.

Source link