Weekend NWSL matches marked by notable milestones for Sinclair, Williams

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, April 24, 2023

Christine Sinclair and Lynn William joined a rather exclusive club this weekend when they each scored their 60th career NWSL regular-season goal.

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Sinclair scored hers just two minutes into the Portland Thorns’ 2-0 victory over Racing Louisville this weekend.

Williams got her 60th in Gotham’s 1-0 win over the Courage, a match that was delayed mid-game by some two hours because of lightning.

That puts both of them a bit closer to Sam Kerr, who holds the NWSL scoring record with 77 goals.

Just so you know, next up is Jessica McDonald with 54 goals and Alex Morgan is sitting at 53.

One more note about Lynn Williams: She’s got four goals in 5 appearances with Gotham (all competitions. That’s more goals than any Gotham player had last season.

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There were other milestones reached this weekend, too.

Jess Fishlock has scored 41 goals for the Reign, becoming the fourth NWSL player to reach 40 that with the same club.

The Spirit’s Sam Staab started in her 72nd consecutive regular season match, tying the league record set by teammate Amber Brooks, who played 72 straight while she was with the Houston Dash.

Overall, a quick look at the standings reveals that the Thorns are still on top with three wins and a draw after four games. The Reign has three wins and a loss, as does the Wave and Gotham. The Spirit and the Dash are undefeated, but still trail the top four.

One final word this Monday morning: Following the announcement last week that the United States and Mexico would bid for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, FIFA announced all the bids for the event, called “expressions of interest” on Monday. Joining the U.S. and Mexico are Brazil, South Africa and a joint bid from Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

The interested parties must now sign a bidding agreement and return it to FIFA on May 19 to confirm their interest.

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The reasoning behind Potter’s firing.

Amy Rodriguez is the Royals’ new head coach.

Claire Watkins for Just Women’s Sports makes the case for Cat Macario to come over to the NWSL.

Nice story from Jeff Kassouf of The Equalizer on the different paths Angel City and the Wave took to the NWSL.

Forbes takes a look at the Wave.

Meredith Cash from The Insider profiles Olivia Moultrie.

Kevin Baxter of the LA Times wrote a nice profile of Alyssa Thompson.

All For XI’s Jenna Tonelli with a good story on Denise O’Sullivan.

Adweek writes about Julie Haddon’s work as CMO for the league.

Will the US win the Women’s World Cup bid in 2027.

Good story from The AP on a Ukrainian women’s soccer team.

Sad report on Canada Soccer taking punitive steps against women who called out abuse.

CNN story on how the popularity of women’s soccer is not extending to the front office.


Here are Casey Stoney’s postgame comments:

Stoney: First half we controlled it with the ball without really threatening them. Second half, it was very much defending crosses for 45 minutes but even then I have to massively give my team credit the way they defended the box tonight and the blocks that they put in, and the passion they had to keep a clean sheet and they put their bodies on the line, was incredible. Sometimes you can go into a game not play well and don’t deserve to win and you can come out with a result. Sometimes you can go into a game play really well and not come out with a result. Obviously I’d love for us to play well and win but the three points is massive for us in terms of momentum. So yeah, really pleased with that.

Question: Both of the goal scorers came off the bench can you talk about your substitutes?

Stoney: we always talk about how important our game changes are. I could see that Amirah was struggling in the first half before she got fatigued quite quickly and hence why she was making tackles late and couldn’t risk leaving her out there on a yellow card. And I thought Sofia could come on and bring us a little bit of energy and ability to run up players and get the ball and get us up the pitch. And Makenzy, I felt that in that moment, there were pockets either side of their midfieldthat she could utilize and get in spaces. I needed us to keep the ball better. We did not keep the ball well. And Makenzy keeps the ball really, really well for us and I thought she enabled us to get up the pitch. Obviously she got a goal. She’s a fantastic player for us.

Question: What was it like beating Angel City for the first time in LA?

Stoney: Nice. Very nice.

Question: Why did you sit on the cooler?

Stoney: It was a very purposeful driven decision by me to sit on that cooler and I’ll tell you why. I’ll give you my reasons: I like to be close to the fields so I can give instructions. Some benches are so far away. And I also don’t want to be stood for 90 minutes, because I played for a long time and my back is sore and I still want an element of calmness on the sideline, sometimes I can get a bit irate if the officials aren’t great, but I’m working on that. So it’s a conscious decision to sit down but also still be close to the field and that was the best way to do it.

Question: Angel City is very talented, how did you prepare for them, and Alyssa Thompson?

Stoney: Well listen I thought Angel City were very unlucky tonight. They’re an exceptional side. They work very hard. They create chances. We actually had Alyssa a training in our environment last year. So I’ve seen our close hand and she’s a very, very talented youngster, you know, the ability to carry the ball at pace the way she does, she’s got a very bright future. And we’ve got one of the one of the brightest in ours with Jaedyn as well. So the future of American soccer — we’ve got Mel in our squad who’s 15 — I think the future of American soccer is very, very bright because there’s so many really, really bright, intelligent soccer players coming through the youth ranks.

Question: What did you learn from Alyssa?

Stoney: I think it helps we’ve got Naomi Grima. I think she’s one of our best center backs in the world. And I think you Kaleigh did exceptionally well against her tonight and when she counted Kristen Westfall matched and slowed her down. So I think what we knew is she’s going to carry the ball we’re gonna always have enough security underneath her so that she’s never left one-v-one. That’s the worst thing you could ever do. And she still causes problems.

Question: On Danielle Colaprico

Stoney: Danny’s brilliant. I think we can play through her a lot more. We can get her on the ball. That’s something I’m working with her on. How can she get out of pressing lines to make the game and then dictate the game? But there was a block in the second half that just epitomizes Danny. Unbelievable. She started cramping, so I had to take her off. But the way she links, anticipates, plays like there was a very, very strategic reason why we went after her. And she’s, she’s a special player. I think, unless you know the game really well, you probably don’t pick up on everything she does. So she’s a great addition to our squad.

Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
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Written by Annie Peterson