After an international break for the NWSL, it is back for another round as the European and Aussie Matildas join the wrap from the last fortnight.
How big are the Aussies in the NWSL? Big enough for the Chicago Red Stars to host “Australian Night” when they faced Portland Thorns.
The one-two punch of Sam Kerr and Japan’s Yuki Nagasato continues in Chicago as the team picked up a point in the 1-1 draw.
It was “The Wonder from Down Under” (as Kerr is being dubbed) whose aggressive run at full speed into the box resulted in a foul. Stepping up to the line for the penalty kick was Nagasato. The initial PK was saved, but the Japanese forward cleaned up the rebound for the goal.
Portland Head Coach Mark Parsons continues his experiment of starting defender Ellie Carpenter up front on the right side of Christine Sinclair and it seems to be working as the young Aussie improves every week, playing the full 90 minutes.
It wouldn’t be Australian Night without Hayley Raso.
The long-awaited return of the Portland favorite came in the 76th minute. Raso, who has been out with a strained left knee, earned her first minutes of the 2018 season.
Utah Royals spoiled the North Carolina Courage's undefeated season with a 94th-minute goal. Midfielder Katrina Gorry applied constant attacking pressure, finishing the game with three shots on goal.
In the 57th minute, Gorry fired a low shot from the top of the eighteen, but NC’s goalkeeper collapsed on the ball to deny the Aussie.
Seattle Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams and defender Steph Catley featured prominently in a scoreless draw vs. Washington Spirit.
For Williams, this was her fourth-straight shutout, finishing the match with two brilliant saves.
One of the Reign’s best scoring chances came in the 86th minute when Catley played a nervy long service into the box. Megan Rapinoe got her head on it, but Spirit goalkeeper made a diving save to keep the game scoreless.
Despite Orlando Pride’s 3-2 win over Sky Blue FC, Pride midfielder Alanna Kennedy was unhappy with her performance. Head Coach Tom Sermanni echoed Kennedy’s sentiments after the game.
Kennedy along with Emily van Egmond were called out by the coach for giving away the ball at crucial times, including one giveaway that resulted in a Sky Blue goal.
“She said, ‘I’m really sorry, but I was terrible in that first half. I hate to disappoint you and the team.’ They’re aware. They understand the game. They know how to play the game. It’s not an exact science. Sometimes players have bad days. In the first half of the game, things just didn’t go right for us. She rectified that in the second half," said Sermanni.
Watch highlights of Orlando Pride vs Sky Blue FC:
Three goals for the good. Late drama. Three points. These highlights are 👌 pic.twitter.com/k0qBVixKln— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) June 17, 2018