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NWSL Round-up: Thorns beat the Courage in Cary

NWSL Round-up: Thorns beat the Courage in Cary for the first time, OL Reign receive three points

September 15, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
The Portland Thorns took down the NC Courage to remain at the top of the NWSL table going into the international break. However, the Thorns are not happy about the NWSL giving three points to their rivals OL Reign.

Last week’s NWSL games kicked off Friday with a mid-table clash between the Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars.

The replay of the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup Final ended in a one-all draw. Houston’s Rachel Daly scored for the Dash early in the game. The English forward has scored the Dash’s last three goals in four matches. However, Daly’s hard work went to waste when Chicago’s Casey Krueger equalized in the 77th minute. 

On Saturday, Orlando Pride attackers Alex Morgan, Marta and Sydney Leroux stole the show in front of home fans at Exploria Stadium. The three forwards found the back of the net, and most notably, Leroux bagged her eighth goal of the season to go even with OL Reign’s Bethany Balcer at the top of the goalscoring charts. 

Controversy found its way into the NWSL Sunday after the Portland Thorns took down cross-country rivals North Carolina. The Thorns 1-0 win marked the first time the team defeats the Courage in Cary, NC. Nonetheless, Portland players, coaches and fans were displeased with the league’s decision to award three points to OL Reign for the cancellation of their game against the Washington Spirit, who breached the league’s medical protocols.

A similar occurrence involving Portland and Washington happened the week before, but the league decided to postpone the game instead of giving the three points to Portland. All in all, the Washinton Spirit is the first-ever NWSL team to forfeit a game.

The three points allowed the Reign to overtake the North Carolina Courage and edge closer to the Portland Thorns, who are now just three points away. However, North Carolina has one game in hand, and Portland has two games in hand. 

Who are the top five NWSL teams as of Tuesday, Sept. 17

 
 
 
 
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NWSL top three goalscorers

 
 
 
 
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NWSL – Headlines

NJ/NY Gotham FC announced that their game against the Washington Spirit scheduled to be played on Wednesday, Oct. 6, at 7 p.m. ET, will be played at Subaru Park in Philadelphia, Pa. The reason for the change is Carli Lloyd’s hometown farewell match.

Midfielder Angela Salem reached 10,000 NWSL career minutes played, becoming the 25th player in league history to surpass the 10k regular-season minutes played mark. The 33-year-old played the entirety of Portland Thorns’ 1-0 win against the NC Courage.

Center-back Katie Naughton celebrated her 100th NWSL appearance in the Dash’s one-all draw against the Chicago Red Stars on Friday. 

Top matches to watch in NWSL: Sept. 25-26 


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