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NWSL Power Rankings: Alex Morgan drives expansion side San Diego Wave to top spot

Written by on May 17, 2022

See how teams fair after week three action

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The National Women’s Soccer League rolls on after Week 3 action concluded on Sunday. San Diego Wave FC won their third consecutive game. leaving them as the only team to remain undefeated after three matches this season. 

NJ/NY Gotham FC and North Carolina Courage had their game postponed due to several players on both teams getting ruled out by COVID-19 protocols. The league recently implemented a new Covid Replacement Player policy, which allows teams to sign players on an emergency basis, in light of the current situation. The policy will in place for the next 60 days and will be re-evaluated by the league and NWSL Players Association at that point.

There is midweek action starting Wednesday, so before the teams get back on the field, lets take a look at where they landed on the power rankings after Week 3. 

NWSL regular season power rankings

Rank

Team

Change

Analysis

1.

San Diego Wave FC

+3

The Wave are the only team to kick off the season with three consecutive wins, mostly thanks to what seems to be a promising attack. They lead all teams in chances created with 34. Alex Morgan is off to a scorching start and scored her fifth goal of the season in week three, and she’s now scored five of her team’s seven goals, three of which have been converted penalties.

2.

Portland Thorns FC

+1

New head coach Rihan Wilkinson is instituting a back three and developing a balanced attack with three goals scored over two matches by three different goal scorers in Sophia Smith, Christine Sinclair, and Morgan Weaver. The team leads the league in shots on goal with 19, and Meghan Klingenberg and Weaver are team leaders in chances created with six.

3.

North Carolina Courage

-2

They’ve still only played one match thanks to a combo of winning the Challenge Cup and COVID-19 protocols. That comes with a silver lining though as Kerolin’s injury, sustained in the final, turned out to be a manageable ankle sprain and the Brazilian international will be out a few weeks but now miss fewer games.

4.

Washington Spirit 

+2

Heavy legs led to a narrow 1-0 loss against Angel City during a loaded stretch of the schedule that won’t get any easier this week as they have a quick turnaround Wednesday on the road against Portland. The team misses Andi Sullivan’s presence in the midfield and if Ashley Sanchez is only available for a half like she was against Angel City it could mean trouble for the Spirit.

5.

OL Reign

+1

The Reign are still on the hunt for their first regular season win but a pair of draws has the team trending in the right direction. The club’s efforts to build through fullback Sofia Huerta led to a career high 132 touches against Portland, and their expected goal total of 4.86 is second highest in the league.

6.

Angel City FC

+1

This Los Angeles side is finding a lot of success despite producing relatively little. Their xG per game is 0.9 and ranks 11th out of 12 clubs, and they currently rank 10th in total possession averaging 45 percent to start the season. The club’s recent adjustment with Tyler Lussi at fullback could mean more attacking players on the pitch moving forward though.

7.

Racing Louisville FC

Louisville was able to manage a come from behind equalizer to level things against the Houston Dash and steal a point at home thanks to forward Jessica McDonald – she leads the team with two goals this season. Racing will need to figure out how to turn their time on the ball into goals, they rank second in the league in total possession averaging 55 percent, they just need to do more with it.

8.

Chicago Red Stars

-3

Mallory Pugh still out with a concussion, and without her Chicago just doesn’t have enough attack. They need options at the forward position as they currently rank 10th in the league in total shots with 16, and 11th overall in shots on target with six.  

9.

Orlando Pride

+1

Orlando is now undefeated in their last two games as the team welcomed the return of Sydney Leroux and Erin McLeod. Leroux is second on the team in chances created with 4, while McLeod has recorded a clean sheet while facing 46 crosses over three games.

10.

Houston Dash

+1

They’re slowly climbing the power rankings after picking up another result in week three. The team struggled to hold a late lead against Louisville, as they have trouble retaining the ball. Houston ranks last in the league in average possession with 43 percent.

11.

Kansas City Current

+1

After a surprising Challenge Cup semifinal run, they’re struggling. K.C. earned their first point of the season against Orlando, but were unable to close out the game with a 2-1 lead in stoppage time. Hopefully rookie Elyse Bennett is back on the mend, she scored a goal and recorded an assist after subbing into the game.

12.

NJ/NY Gotham FC

-3

After getting blown out 4-0 last week in San Diego, their game against North Carolina was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. Not great timing for a team desperate to turn things around.

The post NWSL Power Rankings: Alex Morgan drives expansion side San Diego Wave to top spot first appeared on CBS Sports.


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