NWSL Power Rankings Week 12
Portland Thorns First place, 26 points. The Thorns remain the only unbeaten team in the NWSL. More impressively they are a combined 3-0-2 against the next three best teams. It's no secret that Portland is stacked with talent from the USWNT but they also boast the deepest international pool of talent with Christine Sinclair, Nadia Nadim, and Dagny Brynjarsdottir. They also have a very favorable late season home schedule. Its tough to see them not finishing at the top of the standings.
Washington Spirit Third Place, 20 points, The Spirit are currently a point behind Western New York despite beating them on the road, 3-0. Crystal Dunn remains one of the league’s best players and Diana Matheson and Joanna Lohman are both having great years.
Western New York Flash 2nd place, 21 points. The Flash are winning with offense - they have 6 players with at least 2 goals, including league leaders Lynn Williams and Jessica McDonald. The biggest indictment against the Flash is that they are just 1-3 against Portland, Chicago and Washington, and those games haven’t been particularly competitive. Still, the Flash are beating teams that they should be beating, usually handily.
Chicago Red Stars Fourth place, 18 points. Christen Press is again one of the league’s most explosive players and Julie Johnson is becoming a leader of a very strong defense, but something is still missing in Chicago. Their goal differential of +1 is concerning considering their slim lead over a Seattle team that has yet to peak.
Seattle Reign Fifth Place 16 points. Seattle is remaining competitive despite not having Megan Rapinoe for most of the season. Rapinoe should be back for the rest of the season though, and that should help Seattle play better. The Reign have a real shot at the 4th spot in the playoffs, and they are very familiar with Portland should that happen.
Sky Blue FC Seventh Place, 13 points. Before this weekends loss to Portland Sky Blue hadn’t lost since May 21st. Few people expected Sky Blue to be better this year after losing Katy Freels and Nadia Nadim, but the team seems to be playing better football. A playoff spot is a stretch if only because of the difficult schedule remaining.
Orlando Pride Sixth place, 15 points. Orlando has been more successful than people thought both in terms of results and attendance. Currently only Portland draws more fans so the Pride appear poised to become one of the higher profile teams in the league. It is still impressive that they are a competitive team in their first year though.
FC Kansas City Eighth place, 10 points. Pregnancies and retirements really hurt the 2 time NWSL champions. An infusion of new talent next season, along with Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux’s impending returns, should help the team return to form at, or near, the top of the league.
Houston Dash Ninth place, 7 points. Houston is a better team than their record indicates. Unfortunately injuries to Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd and the offseason loss of Meghan Klingenberg have really hurt this team. Houston will be fine when Lloyd and Brian return and could finish the season on a hot streak.
Boston Breakers Last place, 4 points. Boston has the first pick, and three second round picks, in next year’s draft to look forward to. The Breakers are still not a very good team and unless they can add a couple of dynamic players next year it's difficult to see them competing until 2018 at the earliest.