Records are W-L-D
1. Portland Thorns 4-0-1 previously 1
The Thorns again went on the road and were the far superior side, defeating Chicago 2-0. It is time to recognize the fine coaching from Cindy Parlow-Cone as every player seems to know their role and everyone looks to exploit the areas on the pitch where Portland has advantages. Rachel Buehler & Kat Williamson are proving to be a stout Center Back pairing, with the Thorns leading the league with just 3 goals conceded through five games. While the Thorns have been dubbed “the Death Star,” if their defense has a design flaw akin to the thermal exhaust vent issues, the Rebellion has yet to exploit it.
The downside for the Thorns is that their four wins have come against the three teams at the bottom of the table who, in addition to going 0-4 against Portland, can't beat anyone else, either. Portland will also suffer more than most teams when international call-ups coincide with league tilts. Tougher times are ahead. Thankfully, the Thorns still await the addition of midfielder Tobin Heath.
2. Western New York Flash 2-2-1 previously 5
The top five teams in the standings have only four combined losses, and all four of those games have involved the Flash. Although they have suffered two of those four losses, they've also inflicted two of them, including the most impressive win in the league thus far, the Flash's 2-1 win over FC Kansas City Saturday.
The Flash showed how well they can play in their first game with both Abby Wambach and Carli Lloyd (Lloyd playing limited minutes), handing KC their first loss. It was no fluke. WNY spent the majority of the game on the front foot, threatening the Kansas City defense repeatedly. Wambach scored a brace with two opportunities at the top-center of the area.
The Flash close out their four game homestand Friday against Chicago before hitting the road for four straight.
3. FC Kansas City 2-1-1 previously 2
Kansas City finally showed a weakness in their fourth league game by getting outplayed in Rochester and making the types of mistakes that lead directly to goals. The assumption is that FCKC's deep roster would contend for the league may indeed play out, but to date, Kansas City only has wins in a home and home with lowly Seattle.
They have a real opportunity to assert themselves as a contender in their next three games as they host Boston and Sky Blue before hitting the road against Portland in a June 6 game that should see both sides decimated by call-ups.
4. Sky Blue FC 3-1-1 previously 4
Sky Blue (aka “New Jersey” thank you Shannon Boxx) had a mixed week. Facing two home games against teams at the bottom of the table, they had a disappointing draw against the Red Stars and a convincing win over Seattle. They now stare down a three-games-in-nine-days road trip including Thursday's tilt at league leader Portland and next weekend's game at FC Kansas City. SBFC is only three points behind the Thorns in the standings and have an opportunity to make a major leap in the standings with their two games in the Pacific Northwest this week.
5. Boston Breakers 2-0-2 previously 3
The Breakers lead the league in scoring with 8 goals through 4 games. Heather O'Reilly and Sydney Leroux form an extraordinarily fierce attacking threat for Boston. There is some bewilderment, therefore, that Boston has dropped points in both of their games against the Washington Spirit. Boston has been impressive in both their wins – a 2-1 win at WNY (who were without Abby Wambach & Carli Lloyd) and a 4-1 thrashing of Chicago. Interestingly, the Breakers have conceded exactly one goal in each of their four games. This Saturday, they face one of the league's most difficult tasks, a trip at FC Kansas City, where we could learn if Boston is indeed one of the top teams.
6. Washington Spirit 0-2-3 previously 6
Washington earned a draw with potent Boston for the second time this season, going toe to toe with the Breakers in their 1-1 tie Saturday. The Spirit now go on the road for five of their next six in a stretch of games that could leave them out of playoff contention if they don't start asserting themselves. (Top four make the playoffs.)
7. Chicago Red Stars 0-2-2 previously 8
Chicago was outclassed pretty thoroughly Sunday against Portland in their 2-0 loss, but they do benefit from their midweek tilt at Sky Blue, where Chicago showed some life by drawing 1-1 in a game they probably deserved to win. Rutgers is not an easy place to play, yet the plucky underdogs made a solid showing.
The Red Stars go on the road for their next two games at the two teams at the top of these ratings. It won't be until July 20 that Chicago has a home game against one of the two teams with whom they share the winless distinction.
8. Seattle Reign 0-4-1 previously 7
Seattle got thrashed on the road again this weekend, this time 2-0 at the hands of New Jersey (thanks again, Shannon Boxx.) They have now gone three straight games without finding the net. With much relief, they now stay at home for four games, starting Thursday when they host Washington. Seattle needs a win in that one, as their homestand gets tougher thereafter as Sky Blue, Portland, & Kansas City visit. The Reign are still hoping to tread water before they receive reinforcements from their two international stars Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe. The Reign may be finished by the time those two arrive.
- With 19 of the 88 league games in the books, 21.6% of the season has been played. The quarter-season mark will be hit Saturday.
- It appears that either neighboring cubicles at US Soccer don't communicate well, or that they created the league but didn't expect anyone to care about it. Here's the Thorns, Canada WNT & USWNT schedules for the first few weeks of June:
- June 1 Thorns host Chicago
- June 2 Canada vs. USA (Toronto)
- June 6 Thorns host Kansas City
- June 15 USA vs. South Korea (Boston)
- June 16 Thorns host Seattle
- June 19 Germany vs. Canada (Germany)
- June 20 USA vs. South Korea (New York)
- June 22 Thorns visit Sky Blue