In this fifth week of National Women’s Football League (NWSL) play, most teams found themselves shorthanded. Missing several players due to National Team duty, injuries or suspension, NWSL teams depended on creative formations and player call-ups to make up for the absentee athletes.
The NWSL made way for Women’s World Cup 2015 international qualifiers and tournaments. The Asian Cup takes place May 14-25, 2014, leaving many NWSL teams without their Japanese and Australian footballers. The UEFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers took many European athletes away from their teams midweek, as did an international friendly between the USA and Canada.
Still there was plenty of exciting action during the week and as expected, a shake-up in the NWSL standings.
Here’s how the teams fared during week 5 of the NWSL season:
Sky Blue FC 1, Chicago Red Stars 1 (May 7, 2014)
Sky Blue FC welcomed the Chicago Red Stars into Yurcak Field last Wednesday night, with the result ending in a draw.
The first goal came when Sky Blue FC captain, Katy Freels hit a 27th minute penalty kick conversion. Red Stars evened the score off the foot of striker Hayley Brock in the 58th minute.
"I think it was a bit of a disappointing result because you always want to get three points at home," Freels said after the match. "We really wanted to get the result here tonight, but credit Chicago for fighting all the way to the end. We just have to capitalize more on our chances and continue to develop as a team. As that happens, we will be in pretty good shape."
Western New York Flash 2, FC Kansas City 1 (May 7, 2014)
FC Kansas City traveled to Rochester, NY for a midweek matchup against the Western New York Flash. Missing a large chunk of players due to injury or U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) duties, both teams battled hard for ninety minutes.
Samantha Kerr (38’) and Jasmyne Spencer (49+) scored their first goals of the 2014 NWSL season, with Spencer’s being the first of her professional career. Kerr recorded the assist on Spencer’s goal.
Kansas City’s Frances Silva sent a free kick into the Flash penalty box where Morgan Marlborough (57’) jumped on a loose ball and scored her first professional goal.
Seattle Reign FC 1, Portland Thorns FC 0 (May 10, 2014)
Seattle Reign FC (6-0-0, 18 pts) remain unbeaten following their victory over their Northwest rivals, Portland Thorns FC (2-1-2, 8 pts) at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Scottish international Kim Little continued on her dominating ways by scoring the winning goal in the 89th minute of the highly anticipated match. The fiery Scot’s fifth goal on the season came on a breakaway leading in to a neat dribble around Thorns FC keeper Nadine Angerer with a rousing shot to the near post.
Reign FC midfielder Elli Reed stopped Portland’s best scoring chance of the afternoon, clearing an on-target header from Christine Sinclair off the goal line in the 48th minute.
Western New York Flash 2, Sky Blue FC 0 (May 11, 2014)
Flash striker Abby Wambach (49’, 93+’) scored both goals helping her club move into second place in the NWSL standings.
Both teams were without key starters for the matchup. For Sky Blue FC, Australian defender Caitlin Foord and Japanese midfielder Nanase Kiryu were absent due to national team commitments for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup in Vietnam.
Western NY midfielder Samantha Kerr and goalkeeper Lydia Williams were both called into camp for the Australian Women's National Team. Flash midfielder Carli Lloyd sat out as she served the second game of her two-game suspension for an incident involving Vanessa DiBernardo during the April 19 match against the Chicago Red Stars.
FC Kansas City 2, Washington 1 (May 11, 2014)
FC Kansas City returned home from a two-game road trip to claim a victory. FCKC forward Amy Rodriguez (36’, 64’) , who missed last Wednesday’s game while away with the USWNT, scored two goals in the win, making her the NWSL goal-scoring leader with 6 goals on the season.
Washington’s Danesha Adams (63’) scored on an assist from Diana Matheson to help the Spirit even the score, but a minute later, Rodriguez took a receiving pass from Lauren Holiday and one-touched a shot into the near post, regaining the lead for The Blues.
Due to some lingering injuries, FC Kansas City coach started his fourth different lineup in as many games.
Chicago 1, Houston 0 (May 11, 2014)
After a three-hour severe weather delay, the Houston Dash were handed their fourth defeat of the season against the Chicago Red Stars at the Village of Lisle-Benedictine University Sports Complex in Houston.
The Chicago Red Stars recorded their second win of the season with the help of an unassisted chip-shot from Jenner Hoy (33’) over Dash goalkeeper, Bianca Henninger. It was the first goal of the year for Hoy.
Henninger started in goal in place of the injured Erin McLeod, and held down the Houston defense with several diving saves and brazen plays. At one point the U.S. National Team U23 keeper, came out almost 35 yards to stop a Chicago counter attack after the Dash defense was split. Henninger kept the Dash in the match with several one-on-one stops throughout the match, making six saves on the night. She also received a yellow card for smack-talking the referee.
NWSL Player of the Month:
FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez was voted the NWSL Player of the Week by the media for Week 5 of the 2014 NWSL season.
Rodriguez, 27, scored two goals in a 2-1 home victory over the Washington Spirit on Sunday evening at Verizon Wireless Field in Kansas City, Mo.
The U.S. Women’s National Team member, who missed Kansas City’s midweek game due to national team duty, now leads the league in goals with six and has the Blues tied for second place in the league with a 3-3-1 record and 10 points.
Upcoming Matches (all times are EST):
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns FC at BBVA Stadium, 8pm
Seattle Reign vs. FC Kansas City at Memorial Stadium, 10pm
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Boston Breakers vs. Chicago Red Stars at Harvard Stadium, 7pm
Saturday, May 17, 2014
Washington Spirit vs. Western New York Flash at Maryland SoccerPlex, 6:30pm
Sunday, May 18, 2014
FC Kansas City vs. Houston Dash at Durwood Stadium, 6pm
Boston Breakers vs. Chicago Red Stars at Harvard Stadium, 6:30pm
All NWSL matches this season are available live and in high definition on YouTube.
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