NWSL: Chicago Red Stars move into first place

Chicago Red Stars move into first place. The National Women’s Soccer League has a new league leader. After seven matchdays, the NWSL is taking shape with a fifth of the season now gone.

Chicago moved into first place in the NWSL with a 1-1 draw against Sky Blue FC at Toyota Park. The Red Stars are now unbeaten in their last six games.

The Red Stars took a first half lead as Sofia Huerta scored her first goal of the season in the 34th minute. Midfielder Danielle Colaprico played Huerta through with a pinpoint pass.  Huerta then rounded Sky Blue’s goalkeeper Caroline Stanley, and shot from a tight angle to put the Red Stars ahead 1-0.

Huerta had the chance to add to the lead minutes later, however, Stanley was up to the challenge this time, tipping Huerta’s shot over the crossbar. Thanks to Stanley’s quick reactions, Sky Blue found themselves only down a goal after the break.

In the second period Huerta again wasted an opportunity in the second half as she blazed a shot past the post. That wasted opportunity allowed Sky Blue to draw level.

Sky Blue’s midfielder Taylor Lytle’s cross found striker Leah Galton unmarked at the far post. Galton settled the cross and shot past Chicago goalkeeper Michele Dalton. Lytle’s goal gave Sky Blue’s a share of the spoils. Despite moving into first place with 14 points, Chicago missed an opportunity to increase their lead in the NWSL.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Sky Blue FC

Chicago Red Stars vs. Sky Blue FC Toyota Park – Bridgeview, Ill. 7:00 p.m. ET

Portland Thorns remain unbeaten in the NWSL after a nil-nil draw with Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Reign. It was the Thorns’ third clean sheet of the season as the club move ahead of Washington Spirit into second place.

Seattle were limited to only four shots on goal in the match as Thorns’ goalkeeper Michelle Betos kept the Reign out of goal. The Thorns’ attack was limited to even fewer shots to the Reign, however. Portland only recorded two shots on goal as the cagey affair went to a draw. Seattle sit in seventh place after the draw.

Portland Thorns FC vs. Seattle Reign FC: Highlights – May 29, 2016

Uploaded by NWSLsoccer on 2016-05-30.

Western New York Flash have now recorded back-to-back wins after a 4-0 win over the hapless Boston Breakers. Western New York have scored nine goals in their last two fixtures and are the NWSL’s highest scoring team this season.

Taylor Smith got Western New York off the mark in the 15th minute shooting through a host of Boston defenders and past Breakers’ goalkeeper Jami Kranich.

Flash striker Lynn Williams added to the team’s lead with two goals in the space of one minute. Williams’ second showed the forward’s excellent control after she took down Meredith Speck’s pass and shot past Kranich to make it 3-0.

Abby Dahlkemper rounded out the scoring for Western New York with a 78th minute penalty. Boston Breakers remain in last place on three points after scoring only one goal this season, while Western New York sit in fifth place on 12 points.

Western New York Flash vs. Boston Breakers

Western New York Flash vs. Boston Breakers Rhinos Stadium – Rochester, N.Y. 7:00 p.m. ET

FC Kansas City moved off the foot of the NWSL table after gaining their first win of the 2016 season against Orlando Pride. Kansas City’s Yael Averbuch opened the scoring just before the hour mark and Erika Tymrak doubled the team’s lead in 77th minute to seal the club’s first three points of the NWSL season.

A win would have moved Orlando Pride into first place. However, the Floridians remain in fourth after their third loss of the season.

FC Kansas City vs. Orlando Pride: Highlights – May 28, 2016

FC Kansas City vs Orlando Pride Swope Soccer Village Kansas City, MO

Former NWSL leaders Washington Spirit had traveled to Houston to play the Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium. However, the match was postponed due to inclement weather. No date has been given to replay the fixture at this time.

Follow Drew Farmer on Twitter @DrewMFarmer. Check out his latest book, Soccer Travels, in paperback and on Kindle at Amazon.com.


Drew Farmer
I am a freelance journalist and author currently living in Manchester, England. Originally from the USA, I have written about sports and travel for years.I have written for Hopeless Football Romantic magazine, The Football Pink magazine, World Soccer Talk, Sports Collectors Daily, Forza Italian Football and many more. My debut book Soccer Travels was released in spring 2016, and details travelling to soccer matches around the globe. It can be purchased on Amazon in paperback and Kindle.