Welcome back to the first edition of the NWSL Power Rankings. I am not sure at present if there will be enough sites participating to allow the Averages I do for MLS, but in any case I shall break down my take on the league.
I do rankings for both NWSL and MLS a little differently; typically in soccer leagues within the USA, the home team wins more than 50% of the time. Thus I rank any team deviates from the ‘normal’ higher - basically an away team winning will move higher than a home team winning. The same applies for ties - a home team drawing will likely cause them to drop because it’s not what was expected of them.
So with that in mind, here’s the power rankings for week 1.
- Portland Thorns - Beating Orlando on the road 2-0 is a sure way to top the table.
- Washington Spirit - Got the job done at home. It was against the worst team in the league for last year, so the result may be taken with a grain of salt until we know if Sky Blue has improved.
- Seattle Reign - Got a point in Houston, and would have been three if a last minute PK hadn’t been blocked.
- Chicago Red Stars - They were out-shot by last year’s champions, but held on to the 1-1 draw through great defensive efforts.
- Utah Royals - Bye week so they take the middle ground.
- North Carolina Courage - Did their best to overwhelm the Red Stars at home, but could only breach their defense once.
- Houston Dash - A 1-1 tie at home vs the Reign that almost turned into a loss by giving up a PK in stoppage time. Fortunately Jane Campbell saved the day from being a total loss.
- Sky Blue FC - Losing on the road is expected, hopefully you can score or at least keep it to 1 goal though.
- Orlando Pride - Got sucker-punched by the Thorns at home. Not a good start to the season.