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NWSL Matchday 2 roundup

NWSL Matchday 2 roundup: Louisville’s Emina Ekic shines, OL Reign defeats the Thorns, pair of Dash players break records

May 25, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
Emina Ekic, Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe and Taylor Leach were heroes for their respective NWSL clubs in Matchday 2. Find out why and everything you need to know about what went down in week two of NWSL.

NWSL Matchday 2 breakdown

Louisville native Emina Ekic became a ‘Hometown Hero’ on Friday night after scoring a game-winning goal – her first career NWSL goal – and assisting teammate Cece Kizer in a 2-0 win against the Washington Spirit. The 21-year-old Louisville graduate was subbed on in the 61st minute and was directly involved in Racing’s two late goals. The expansion club sits first in the table in a four-way tie with the Orlando Pride, OL Reign and Gotham FC. 

The Orlando Pride extended its undefeated streak to four in a row after taking down the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park. Forward Sydney Leroux opened the scoring late in the second half, and striker Alex Morgan scored the game-winner just before the 80th minute – North Carolina’s Jessica McDonald scored a consolation goal. Morgan’s Ted Lasso-inspired goal celebration caught attention from the man himself, who even offered his choreography services for more celebrations like it in the Olympics.

The Chicago Red Stars redeemed themselves defensively after a 5-1 loss on opening weekend against the Thorns, with a clean sheet in a draw against an in-form Gotham FC side. At the same time, Gotham goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan earned her second shutout of the season.

OL Reign came out on top in the Cascadia rivalry game against the Thorns on Sunday at Providence Park in Portland. Both teams took early jabs at one another, but the Seattle-based club came out with fewer scraps at the end of the fight, scoring two goals to the Thorns’ single goal. Forward Megan Rapinoe scored her first regular-season goal in 1,047 goals with a trademark freekick to level the scoring in the 10th minute. Rapinoe's freekick canceled Canada’s Christine Sinclair’s 4th-minute goal. Costa Rican veteran Shirley Cruz scored the game-winner in the 15th minute to give OL the three points in enemy territory. 

Kansas City’s Taylor Leach denied Houston Dash a comeback win with an added time equalizer. The center back charged up to the box in desperation in the dying minutes and doubled captain Amy Rodriguez’s first-half goal. The result meant that both the Dash and Kansas City are tied in points for first place. 

Top 5 teams in the NWSL after Matchday 2

  1. Racing Louisville - 4 pts.
  2. Orlando Pride - 4 pts.
  3. OL Reign - 4 pts.
  4. Gotham FC - 4 pts.
  5. Portland Thorns - 3 pts. 

Who are the 3 top scorers in the NWSL?

 
 
 
 
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NWSL Matchday 2 top headlines

  • Portland Thorns head coach Mark Parsons will leave the club at the end of the season to join the Dutch national team.
  • Eniola Aluko joined Angel City FC as the club’s sporting director.
  • The Washington Spirit’s game against the Houston Dash on Wednesday, May 26, will now be played at BBVA Stadium. 
  • Rachel Daly becomes Houston Dash’s all-time goalscorer in all competitions. She scored her 29th goal for the club in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Kansas City. 
  • Houston’s Megan Oyster made her 100th NWSL regular appearance against Kansas City on Sunday. The 28-year-old has started every game she has played in the league.
  • Crystal Dunn joined NWSL sponsor Mastercard as a Globa Brand Ambassador.
  • Racing Louisville signed defender Sinclaire Miramontez – the 27th pick of the 2020 NWSL Draft – after a successful trial. 
  • The Houston Dash signed forward Makamae Gomera-Stevens to a two-year contract through the 2022 season. Gomera-Stevens was drafted 27th overall in the 2021 NWSL Draft.
  • Parkside Collectibles is now selling 2021 NWSL Premier Series collectible trading cards. Each pack – worth $10 – brings 25 randomly assorted cards.

Must-watch NWSL games from May 26-30


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