NWSL Power Rankings Week 13
Portland Thorns First place, 26 points. The Thorns lost their first game of 2016 but it’s no time to panic. Portland played without 6 of their top players thanks to an ill-timed USWNT camp that highlights one of the issues the NWSL must overcome in order to grow. The league cannot be at the mercy of US Soccer and ever hope to have the respect of MLS. Portland is still the most talented team by far and has a very favorable schedule moving forward.
Washington Spirit Third Place, 23 points. Without Crystal Dunn and Ali Krieger the Spirit shut out Chicago for an impressive 2-0 win. Washington seems like the best bet to challenge Portland for a title this season, despite going winless against them so far.
Western New York Flash 2nd place, 24 points. The debacle of a home game against Seattle not only highlights, yet another, concern about the NWSL’s long term viability, it also overshadows an impressive win by an up and coming team. The Flash are scoring in droves and have one of the league’s most balanced attacks. At some point the more talented teams should pull away from them but so far that hasn’t happened and Paul Riley is making a case to be the coach of the year.
Chicago Red Stars Fourth place, 18 points. Like Portland the Red Stars are simply a much different team without their national team players. They should outpace Orlando and Seattle for 4th place, at worst, this season and have the talent to beat anybody in one match. They are just barely holding on at this point, however.
Orlando Pride Sixth place, 18 points. A competitive Orlando team in it’s inaugural season is good for the league. No one expected the home crowds or results that the Pride have produced so far. As of now, Orlando is the biggest plus for the struggling league in 2016.
Sky Blue FC Seventh Place, 16 points. Sky Blue is a scrappy team that wins the games they are supposed to win, and some of the games they aren’t. They are still probably a year away from playoff contention but they are playing with better form than they have ever played with and learning how to win close games.
Seattle Reign Fifth Place 16 points. We’ll see what happens with Megan Rapinoe back on the pitch, but so far Seattle has looked average on their best days. Despite being last seasons best team the playoffs seem like a dream at this point in the season. But they are only two points out of 4th place and ….Rapinoe.
FC Kansas City Eighth place, 13 points. FC Kansas City deserves credit for being the only team to beat Portland this year (they are 1-0-1 on the season against the Thorns.) This season is a write off in terms of defending their title but they have a chance to develop some younger players and will likely have a very good draft position next year.
Houston Dash Ninth place, 7 points. Houston has talent, although Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian have missed too many games for the team to remain competitive over time.
Boston Breakers Last place, 4 points. God bless the Breakers fans.