Orlando crushes Chicago, 5-2; Sky Blue still winless

Written by Staff Writer

SANTA MONICA – It was a crazy weekend in the NWSL. Orlando dominated Chicago, making Alyssa Naeher look like a rookie again and Sky Blue took its fifth straight loss. Meanwhile, Portland gave Utah its second loss of the season while the pack leaders – The Courage – enjoyed a buy over the weekend.

#Beast mode.

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Whatever Chicago was doing on Saturday afternoon, it wasn’t defending. The Orlando Pride crushed the Red Stars in a 5-2 victory at Toyota Park.

It took Orlando a total of two minutes to get ahead Saturday afternoon. A misplayed cross from Orlando dropped the ball at the right foot of The Pride’s Rachel Hill who slid it past Naeher for the 1-0 lead. However, it wasn’t enough to put Chicago out of the game who managed to stay right behind the pride going into half time. A big defensive collapse after coming out of the locker rooms would change that tune.

The Red Stars gave up two goals in two minutes to Sydney Leroux, who claimed back-to-back goals in the 61st and 63rd minute. A perfect cross into the box from Ally Krieger set Leroux up for a diving header for the first goal. Minutes later, Leroux turned and picked up Alex Morgan’s deflected shot, to find the back of the net.

Chicago falls to 2-6-3 on the season while Orlando improves to 4-3-3 and into third in the standing. Chicago returns Saturday to face the Washington Spirit at 3:30 ET while the Pride returns Sunday against Seattle at 9 p.m. ET.

No. 6 on the season for No. 12. #BAONPDX #PORvUTA #NWSL @c_sinc12

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At Portland

Experience jumped the Thorns to an early lead that would carry them through the game. Portland shut out the Utah Royals 2-0 Friday night at Providence Park.

Utah tried as it might to get back in the game Friday night, but Portland held strong to its early lead. The away team gave a valiant effort against the soccer powerhouse, matching Portland shot for shot to get eight shots off. However, it only managed to put three of its eight attempts on frame while the Thorns went 5 for 8.

By the 18th minute, Portland  found its first goal as Tobin Heath led teammate Christine Sinclair into a small space between defenders. A good first touch setup Sinclair for a chip shot into the goal, drawing the first blood of the match. Portland managed to put in a second goal before half as Megan Klingenberg bends a cross into Lindsey Horan who knees in the goal.

Portland improves to 4-3-3 and returns home Wednesday to face the NCC while Utah falls to 2-5-2 and Saturday to face the winless Sky Blue.


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At New Jersey

Sky Blue continues to struggle in the league. Looking for their first win of the season, Sky Blue held its own against Seattle. However, it wasn’t enough as Seattle claimed a 1-0 victory over the New Jersey team.

Sky Blue managed to quiet the second place team for nearly 70 minutes of play. However, it is hard to keep Seattle’s Megan Rapinoe quelled for long. Sitting undefended in the middle of the box, Rapinoe received the pass from Christen Westphal and slid it past Sky Blue keeper.

Sky Blue put four of its 10 shots on goal while Seattle went 6 for 9. Sky Blue falls to 0-1-7 and face Utah Saturday while Seattle improves to 5-2-2 and play Orlando on Sunday.

Houston also claimed a 3-2 victory over the Washington spirit. Houston will play Orlando on Sunday while the Spirit will face off with Chicago on Saturday.

Feature photo courtesy of ISI photos. In-post photos and videos courtesy of Sky Blue, Portland Thorn and Orlando Pride’s Instagrams.

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