The Australians are making their presence known as the NWSL wraps up its seventh week while the Aussies in Europe and back in Australia enjoyed their matches as well.
There were plenty of Aussies on the pitch at Providence Park, as Orlando Pride upset Portland Thorns 2-1. Defender Ellie Carpenter made her first start of the season.
Unfazed by the 17,155 fans in attendance, Carpenter looked right at home, flying down the flank and getting involved in almost every offensive play. The young Aussie is already creating chemistry with Portland attackers Lindsay Horan, Christine Sinclair and especially with rookie Midge Purce.
The Portland fans were also treated to a few of Carpenter’s exceptionally long throw-ins.
Still on the injury list for Portland: Caitlin Foord who is recovering from foot surgery and Hayley Raso with a strained left knee.
Appreciation post for the fans today! Even though we didn't get the result we wanted the Portland fans are something else!❤️@PDXRivetersSG— Ellie Carpenter (@CarpenterEllie) May 13, 2018
Alanna Kennedy continues to run the Pride midfield, helping the team get their first ever win against Thorns. Kennedy helped jump start the scoring when she sent a well-placed ball to Kristen Edmonds on the run, resulting in an Alex Morgan goal.
In a physical match riddled by warnings and yellow cards, Kennedy stayed cool amongst the chaos, rallying her team to keep their heads in the game.
Having played three matches in eight days, Pride coach Tom Sermanni changed his lineup to rest players, which is probably why Emily van Egmond started on the bench. Subbing in for a defensive player in the 64th minute, van Egmond quickly moved up to her higher position into the midfield, next to Kennedy.
Playing in the six spot, van Egmond took charge on the left side, pushing the attack from the back and helping to keep Portland off the scoreboard in the second half.
In frigid Chicago conditions, Kyah Simon and the Houston Dash drew 2-2 with Sam Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars on Saturday night.
Simon assisted on both Dash goals, the first when she found Rachel Daly in open space. Simon is finding great chemistry with both Daly and midfielder Kristie Mewis, reading her teammates’ moves to perfection.
After halftime, Simon flicked the ball through to Mewis at the edge of the box, resulting in the Dash’s second goal.
On the Chicago side, Kerr netted her second goal after a pass from the Dash goalkeeper saw Arin Gilliland steal the ball inside the box and make a short pass to an unmarked Kerr.
un·sel·fish— Chicago Red Stars (@chiredstarsPR) May 13, 2018
willing to put the needs or wishes of others before one's own pic.twitter.com/b2QFTvLx3S
In Seattle, Steph Catley is making a name for herself as the consummate playmaker. Early in Seattle Reign 4-1 win over Sky Blue FC, a wide-open Catley blazed down the left sideline with the ball at her feet and delivered a perfect service into the box, where Jodie Taylor rose up and headed in the goal.
Catley served the ball into the box all night, continually placing the ball perfectly at the feet of Megan Rapinoe. On one such play, Catley’s service was deflected to Rapinoe’s right foot, resulting in Seattle’s second goal of the match.
This match also featured the debut of Lydia Williams and while unchallenged for most of the match, Williams did survive a Carli Lloyd free kick from 25 out.
Sky Blue lone goal came by way of a Savannah McCaskill lofty kick over Williams’ head. In the end, Williams made four saves and ended her debut with a beautifully athletic save in the 88th minute to hold Sky Blue FC to just one goal.
Savannah McCaskill Scores Great Goal for Sky Blue against Seattle Reign, Video courtesy of: NWSLsoccer, National Women's Soccer League #NWSL #womensfootball #soccer #football #WSUlive @smccaskill_21 pic.twitter.com/CeyRaDJjU6— WomensSoccerUnited (@WSUasa) May 13, 2018
Utah Royals FC had a bye on the weekend.