Seattle Reign FC is proving to be the big team on the NWSL campus, holding a comfortable 21-point lead at the top of the table. Former Arsenal midfielder, Kim Little leads the NWSL with 6 goals (tied with FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez). Reign goalkeeper, Hope Solo leads the NWSL in clean sheets and remarkably, has only allowed 4 goals on the season.
At the other end of the NWSL spectrum are the Boston Breakers with a dismal record of 1-5-0 with 3 points. The Breakers are currently missing star striker Lisa De Vanna, who is representing Australia in the AFC Asian Cup in Vietnam. The tournament wraps up on May 25.
On a lesser note, three total Red Cards have been shown this season: Lisa De Vanna (BOS), Angela Salem (WNY), and Osinachi Ohale (HOU).
Here’s how NWSL week 6 stacked up:
Seattle Reign FC 3, FC Kansas City 2 (May 14, 2014)
Seattle grabbed a 2-1 lead at halftime with early goals from defender Kendall Fletcher (16’) and who else – Kim Little (20’). Much to the delight of the nearly 3,000 fans at Memorial Stadium in Seattle, Fletcher celebrated with her now signature back-flip.
FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez drew a penalty near the end of the first half to which forward Lauren Holiday (44’) converted to put Kansas City on the board. KC midfielder Erika Tymrak (61’) tallied the equalizing goal from outside the box.
Reign FC responded by upping their attack and in the 76th minute defender Kiersten Dallstream’s cross found its way to midfielder Keelin Winters (76’), who headed the game winner just past diving goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart.
Portland Thorns FC 1, Houston Dash 0 (May 14, 2014)
The Dash controlled much of the play on their home field in the first half and created scoring chances right until the final whistle, but still couldn't find the back of the net.
The lone goal of the match came when Portland midfielder, Angie Kerr collected a failed Dash clearance inside the box and found forward Jess McDonald (57’) unmarked in front of the goal for a simple tap-in past Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod. McDonald has four goals on the season so far and is the Thorns’ leading goal scorer and third in goal scoring in the NWSL
Thorns FC goalkeeper and reigning FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year, Nadine Angerer came up big in the 47th minute, saving a Kaylyn Kyle PK attempt.
Chicago Red Stars 3, Boston Breakers 1 (May 15, 2014)
Courtney Jones (19’) opened the scoring for Boston at Harvard Stadium, converting her first goal of the season. Boston’s Heather O'Reilly unleashed a shot on goal in which Chicago keeper Karina LeBlanc couldn't get a handle on and Jones pounced on the rebound for the 1-0 early lead.
Boston held the lead until the 44th minute when Chicago captain Lori Chalupny knocked in a ball headed to her by Adriana Leon. The Red Stars then took the lead on a Michelle Wenino goal. Jen Hoy (67’) added to the visitor’s score with a shot over the head of Boston keeper, Alyssa Naeher.
"It's difficult to figure out exactly what happens between training and (games)," said Breakers Head Coach Tom Durkin trying to explain his team's lack of wins. "We probably had our best week of training. My confidence was really high coming into this game. I don't know what it is about league matches, but we cave. To me, that's a winnable game for us."
Washington Spirit 3, Western New York Flash 2 (May 17, 2014)
Spirit forward Jodie Taylor (11’, 78’) celebrated her birthday by delivering a near hat trick and the winning goal for the Spirit.
Wambach did what she does best when she headed a Vicky Losada cross into the net. In her first game back from suspension, Lloyd dribbled through traffic, avoiding two tackles and three defenders to score her third goal of the season.
In an odd play but advantageous for the Spirit, Yael Averbuch took a shot on goal that deflected off a Flash player into the path of Taylor whose shot hit the cross bar and ricocheted off the back of Kat Williamson and into the goal, thus being counted as an own goal.
Taylor had to settle for the brace as her second goal came off the head of Averbuch, putting the Spirit up 3-2.
FC Kansas City 2, Houston Dash 2 (May 18, 2014)
Houston Dash came from behind twice Sunday evening on the road against FC Kansas City, ending a four-game losing streak.
FC Kansas City put a goal on the board two minutes into the game when 2013 NWSL MVP Lauren Holiday found the back of the net off an Erika Tymrak cross.
Houston came back as Nina Burger ran down a ball at the end line and cut a pass back to an unmarked Jordan Jackson (20’) in the center of the penalty box. The Overland Park, Kansas, native clipped a shot past the goalkeeper with her first touch for her first professional goal.
Erika Tymrak scored the second FCKC goal in the 36th minute but not before nutmegging Dash defender, Osinachi Ohale and finishing with a hard shot to the far post from a tight angle to beat goalkeeper Erin McLeod.
Dash head coach Randy Waldrum showed off his coaching prowess with strategic substitutions late in the match. Tiffany McCarty (78’), subbed for Jackson, received a touch pass from another sub Ella Masar at the top of the box and dribbled around a couple Blues defenders before placing a low shot just inside the near post to come up with the tying goal.
Chicago Red Stars 4, Boston Breakers 1 (May18, 2014)
The Red Stars took an early lead when Michelle Wenino (23’) found the back of the net after a front-of-goal scramble that saw the ball ping pong off seven players in the box before landing at Wenino's feet.
After Chicago was whistled for a hand ball in the box, Heather O'Reilly (35’) cooly beat Chicago keeper Karina LeBlanc, sending the Canadian keeper in the opposite direction. It was O'Reilly's second goal of the season, tying her with English National Lianne Sanderson for the team lead.
The Red Stars went ahead for good in the 50th minute on a goal by Jen Hoy. Chicago captain Lori Chalupny (57’) and Zakiya Bywaters (85’) added to the Breakers’ woes with second-half scores.
"The girls are tired of losing. I'm tired of losing," said Boston head coach Tom Durkin. "I have to find a plan that gives us a better chance to execute on both sides of the ball."
NWSL Player of the Week: Jodie Taylor
The Birkenhead, England native scored two goals in the Washington Spirit's 3-2 home victory over the WNY Flash.
Upcoming Matches (all times are ET):
Wednesday, May 21
Washington Spirit vs Sky Blue FC, Maryland SoccerPlex at 7pm
FC Kansas City vs. Seattle Reign FC, Durwood Stadium at 8pm
Portland Thorns FC vs. WNY Flash, Providence Park at 10pm
Friday, May 23
Houston Dash vs. Chicago Red Stars, BBVA Compass Stadium, 8pm
Saturday, May 24
Portland Thorns FC vs. Sky Blue FC, Providence Park, 10pm
Sunday, May 25
Boston Breakers vs. FC Kansas City, Harvard Stadium, 7pm
Seattle Reign FC vs. WNY Flash, Memorial Stadium, 7pm
All NWSL matches are available live and in high definition on YouTube.
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