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NWSL Power Rankings: Week 12
Another chaotic week of matches bring us a new #1 team in the weekly NWSL power rankings.
Washington Spirit (+4) - The current head of the table are the Washington Spirit. Their miraculous late comeback from two goals down is a credit to their determination, but also highlights Kansas City’s season-long defensive issues. The Spirit have a chance to make the biggest statement in the league with a result in Portland. Can their head coach return to his former and get it done?
Portland Thorns (+1) - Facing a Chicago Red Stars side that has allowed 31 goals on the season and lost by 4 & 5 goals their past two games respectively, Portland barely managed to hold on for the win. Road games in the NWSL are extremely difficult, no matter what. They’ll return home to face first place Washington Spirit in a game that will see former head coach Mark Parsons return to Providence Park.
OL Reign (+1) - The conditions in Houston were atrocious. This game should have been moved to the later evening. Even with a player advantage, they looked like they had the disadvantage. Their form away from Lumen Field has not been there consistently.
San Diego Wave (-4) - Rivalries are the best games in the NWSL and it’s not close. San Diego and Angel City put on an absolute show. The Wave looked to be in control for majority of the game, until ACFC turned on the switch. Not winning at home is becoming more of a habit and not a fluke.
NJ/NY Gotham FC (-2) - They’re winless in their last 4 games and have only scored 2 times in that span. Someone outside of Lynn Williams has to step up.
North Carolina Courage (+1) - Yes, they are tied for 3rd in the NWSL Table. However, their last 3 wins are against Kansas City, Chicago, and Orlando. Will they be able to sustain that play against the better teams?
Houston Dash (-1) - They were the better side at home against OL Reign. Shell Energy Stadium is going to be an incredible advantage all summer for the Dash.
Racing Louisville - Massive statement win over Gotham FC at home. They’re now only 3 points away from the 6th playoff spot.
Angel City FC (+2) - What a comeback win! This was one of the biggest upsets in the NWSL this season. Facing a huge home crowd for San Diego Wave, they came back from a goal deficit late in the game to win. Shoutout to defenders Paige Nielsen and M.A. Vignola who both scored to help lift ACFC to their first win in 6 games. Credit to interim head coach Becki Tweed who has kept this team together after the departure of Freya Coombe.
Orlando Pride (-1) - This team is young and inconsistent. After the win against the Portland Thorns, they got blown out against the North Carolina Courage.
Chicago Red Stars - Even with the amount of injuries, they nearly got a result against Portland. After the WWC players go to Australia and New Zealand, it could get rough.
Kansas City Current (-2) - They were up 2-0 and allowed the Washington Spirit to come back and win 3-2. For a team that is trying to string together results, this was unacceptable. The early-season media favorites seem to be more in line for a top 2024 NWSL Draft pick than the 2023 NWSL Championship trophy.
*Key: Teams with (+ or -) moved up or down from last week’s rankings
Tier 1 - The Favorites: Washington, Portland
Tier 2 - Contenders: OL Reign, San Diego
Tier 3 - Playoff Chase: Gotham, North Carolina, Houston, Louisville, Angel City
Tier 4 - Nope: Orlando, Chicago Red Stars, Kansas City