FanPost

Getting you up to date with some NWSL Power Rankings

Records are listed W-L-D

1. Portland Thorns 3-0-1

Portland has been considered league favorites since allocation day when they were given Alex Morgan, Christine Sinclair, Tobin Heath, Rachael Beuhler, & Karina LeBlanc. Four of the five are currently with Portland, with Heath scheduled to shore up the midfield after her season in Paris ends in early June. With Sinclair and Morgan, Portland has an attack with two of the four finalists for the Ballon d'Or which went to Abby Wambach this past Winter.

Sinclair has been playing out of position, having dropped back from her familiar striker role to the creative midfield slot since late in the first game. Her incredible skills have translated well, and the switch strengthened Portland's attack which has at times had trouble getting the ball forward.

Portland has an institutional advantage over the rest of the league by being the only team associated with an MLS club and by playing in a stadium which is significantly larger than everyone else's, which the Thorns then fill with loud, passionate, organized Portlanders.

The Thorns schedule has been mostly forgiving as well. They have played Seattle, Washington & Chicago, which are at the bottom of the table, allowing the Thorns to post convincing wins even though they are still not fully ripe. Even with four of the first five games away from their intimidating home field, The Thorns schedule has been fairly easy. The Thorns have a chance to get much better with the addition of Tobin Heath to the midfield before they face their most challenging months.

2. FC Kansas City 2-0-1

FCKC have kept their focus on the Pacific Northwest with a home-opening draw against the Thorns followed by two clean sheet victories over Seattle. Three of their four goals have been scored by Renae Cuellar, their young Mexican International & University of Oklahoma Forward. FCKC also boast Lauren Cheney, Casey Loyd, Kristie Mewis, & Becky Sauerbrunn on a talent-packed roster.

Kansas City is going to win a ton of games and should compete with Portland and Boston for the top of the table all Summer long. They are one team that could actually absorb injuries and keep on going strong due to their unusual depth. They can out-talent most opponents all over the pitch, and if they develop great team chemistry, they could turn into a beautiful team to watch.

3. Boston Breakers 2-0-1

Boston followed their disappointing home draw with the Spirit with two convincing wins: a 2-1 victory at WNY behind a Heather O'Reilly brace and then a 4-1 thrashing of Chicago with a hat trick from Sydney Leroux. Leroux leads the league in scoring with 4G-1A through three games, and Boston leads the league with 2.33 goals per game.

All three of Portland's games against Boston come in the latter half of the season, with Boston visiting Jeld-Wen July 6th before the Thorns visit the Breakers twice late. Those should be huge matches down the stretch for regular season supremacy.

4. Sky Blue FC 2-1-0

Piscataway, New Jersey is the home of the University of Rutgers and Yurcak Field where Sky Blue FC make their home. They play on a soccer/lacrosse, natural grass field with a 5k seat capacity. (Those were your first questions, right?)

SBFC have earned a home and home split with their rivals the Flash bookending a win at Washington. They have two very winnable games at home against Seattle & Chicago before coming to Portland for the Thorns next home tilt on May 16. Should Sky Blue enter that game 4-1, it will be a big one at Jeld-Wen.

Christie Rampone anchors their backline with Kelley O'Hara playing Forward and MF Sophie Schmidt leading them in scoring through their first three.

5. Western New York Flash 1-2-1

The Flash dropped their home game against Boston while Abby Wambach was out with a concussion, but Wambach played last week against SBFC and scored the winner, earning the Flash a split so far against their Jersey rivals. The Flash look to secure some points in their next two games at home before setting off on a four-games-in-fifteen-days road trip in June.

6. Washington Spirit 0-2-2

Washington scored an impressive opening weekend draw at league power Boston and followed that up with a draw at home to the Flash. Since then, Washington suffered back to back home defeats, including a loss to the Thorns which wasn't as close as the 2-1 margin appears.

The Spirit are at a crossroads and need to establish whether they are the formidable side they seemed to be early, or if they are indeed exposed and reeling. All is not yet lost. However, they are going to need some results soon, and it won't be easy with a home game pending against the potent Breakers followed by a difficult three game road trip (Seattle, Portland, & Boston).

7. Seattle Reign 0-3-1

Seattle has played three of their first four on the road and three of their first four against either Portland or Kansas City. That's a tall order. They have also been without Amy Rodriguez who is out on maternity leave, Hope Solo who is out with an injury, and Megan Rapinoe who is playing for French side Olympique Lyonnais.

When the Reign get Rapinoe to pair with fellow shock-blonde, midfield speedster Jessica Fishlock, their attack could be frightening. Seattle is on the road this weekend in Jersey before returning home for a four game home stand, where they hope to earn enough points to stay afloat while they await their outstanding reinforcements.

8. Chicago Red Stars 0-2-1

Poor Chicago. After opening the season by only securing one point against fellow table bottom-dweller Seattle, the Red Stars were convincingly shut out at home by Portland and then went on the road to Boston, where the Breakers laid the hammer down 4-1. Looking ahead, it won't be until their 11th game on June 19th that the Red Stars have a home game against a team not in the Boston-Portland-KC group. That's half way through the season. They've also temporarily lost Shannon Boxx who had her knee scoped last week.

Additionally, Chicago's suffering from playing on one of the worst-looking pitches in the league and has had notable trouble just getting their games streaming competently. On the plus side, with everyone wearing Nike stock kits, Chicago's got the best of the bunch, with their uni's looking very much like the Illinois State flag & featuring the red stars from which they get their name. So there's that.

Alright guys, I don't believe I have to say this but, just in case, please do not submit anything racist, homophobic, sexist or otherwise not appropriate for even the younger Timbers fans.

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