Williams Records Ninth Clean Sheet; Foord Debuts for Portland.
After a second-place finish at 2018 Tournament of Nations, many of the Matildas were back with their NWSL teams for Week 19. Here’s how they did.
The North Carolina Courage won their second consecutive NWSL Shield with a 2-1 win over the Portland Thorns. Hayley Raso started up top for Portland, while defender Ellie Carpenter did not suit up for the match.
The big story for Portland however, was the debut of Caitlin Foord, who has missed the entire season due to foot surgery. Foord checked into the game in the 58th minute and saw immediate action. While she was active on the attack, Foord couldn’t break through NC’s formidable backline.
Highlights: North Carolina Courage vs. Portland Thorns.
Lydia Williams made two critical saves as the Seattle Reign notched a 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit. The first save came in the 48th minute, when Washington tried to sneak a shot over Williams’ head, but the Aussie keeper calmly lifted the shot up and over the crossbar. This is Williams’ ninth clean sheet of the year.
Seattle defender Steph Catley is not with team at this time for personal reasons
Highlights: Seattle Reign vs. Washington Spirit.
Orlando Pride rallied from a goal down to draw 2-2 with Sky Blue. Both Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond started the game and played the full 90. Kennedy, who has been playing attacking midfield all season for Orlando, was dropped into the center back position.
After the match, Head Coach Tom Sermanni commented about Kennedy’s change of position – “Alanna's comfortable playing in that position, she can dominate in the air, she's good on the ground, she's an organizer and she's comfortable there, so I'm pretty happy with her playing back there."
Highlights: Orlando Pride vs. Sky Blue FC.
The Utah Royals came from behind, scoring twice in the final fifteen minutes to squeak out a 2-1 win over the Houston Dash. Utah defender Katrina Gorry won two free kicks and had two attempted assists.
Houston defender Clare Polkinghorne was busy on the backline for the full 90, finishing the game with five tackles, eight clearances, two interceptions, and one block.
Houston forward Kyah Simon subbed into the match at the 48th minute. In the 66th minute, Simon took a left-footed shot from outside of the box, but sailed high and wide to the left of goal.
Highlights: Houston Dash vs. Utah Royals.
Sam Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars enjoyed a bye week.
Tameka Butt's Klepp were 1-0 winners over Røa. However, the Aussie didn't play. She sustained an injury which kept her out of the Japan game at the Tournament of Nations.
Meanwhile, Mackenzie Arnold was back into the starting XI for Arna-Bjørnar. The team were 6-1 winners over Trondheims-Ørn.
Elise Kellond-Knight played 64 minutes in Hammarby's 2-0 win over Aivi Luik's former side Kalmar. It was announced in July that Luik would join Levante UD in Spain's La Liga Iberdrola. The season starts in September.