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  • Sophie Lodes

NWSL Week 15 Recap

There's been no shortage of women's soccer headlines recently, as the NWSL spent the weekend sending off their Olympians. From a historic first river goal for Temwa Chawinga and the KC Current to Alex Morgan's continued scoring woes, along with a continued coaching carousel, the NWSL had a busy week of action. Read below for a recap!

Coaching Updates

Just a week after the San Diego Wave released head coach Casey Stoney, expansion side Utah Royals released head coach Amy Rodriguez after the team's 0-0 draw to the Portland Thorns. A week after losing 6-0 to the Orlando Pride, a 0-0 draw with Portland, currently fifth in the standings, seemed to indicate that Rodriguez still had immense buy-in from the locker room and was capable of finding solutions to the Royals' woes. Instead, after only half a season at the helm, the Royals have parted ways with Rodriguez in an attempt to climb out of the last-place spot in the standings.

It is worth noting that the Wave lost 3-0 to the Chicago Red Stars, one of their worst losses in the first match without Stoney at the helm. If leadership was hoping for a new coach bump to produce results, they'll have to wait at least another week to see those materialize. The Wave has struggled this season, and the 3-0 loss gave some clues as to why, with Alex Morgan missing a penalty to remain goalless on the year. However, at the end of week 15, the Wave are just three points out of a playoff spot, making what appears to be a solely Jill Ellis decision in firing Stoney a little baffling.

On the opposite side of surprise firings, Washington Spirit's interim head coach Adrián González will remain the acting head coach until the July break, when head coach Jonatan Giráldez will take over. González has coached the Spirit into third place, with 31 points, which is one more point than the team achieved throughout the entire last season. With Giráldez a consensus excellent hire, it's important to highlight just how much the Spirit got the interim promotion right as well.

The surprise firings and interim success stories are a good reminder that just about everything in the NWSL is chaotic, not just the weekly results on the field.

Bangers by Temwa Chawinga, Ashley Sanchez, and Reign

The obvious banger here is the river goal scored by Chawinga in the 26th minute. But all jokes aside, the Current forward is currently tied for first place in the Golden Boot race with 11 goals after scoring a brace against the Houston Dash. Her breakaway in the 80th minute saw her split two Houston defenders, sprint halfway down the field, and then dribble around Jane Campbell to calmly tuck the ball away.

While scoring goals and being tied for first in the Golden Boot race means a lot, post-game Chawinga took the time to praise her teammates. The forward noted, "It means a lot to me that maybe I'm making a name, but I'm not making the name by myself, it's my teammates who help me make my name."

Ashley Sanchez scored a revenge goal against the Washington Spirit to end the Spirit's six-game undefeated stretch. The goal helped propel the North Carolina Courage to their first road win of the 2024 season. It was the first time the two teams have played each other since Sanchez's surprise trade to Carolina on draft night. Safe to say, Sanchez came ready for a little revenge.

And it wouldn't really be the NWSL if there wasn't a late, game-tying goal. Seattle Reign's 98th-minute set piece created enough chaos that the ball found itself in the back of the net to tie the game in the waning moments of stoppage time. The point from the tie against no.4 Gotham FC will help give the 13th-place Reign some momentum heading into the final weekend of NWSL action before the break.

The July 5 weekend action is the last NWSL action until August 23, so be sure to tune in. The weekend slate features a top of the table clash between the KC Current and Orlando Pride on July 6 at 7:30 EST on ion. With the top two offenses going at it, one thing there's sure to be is goals!


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