Is parity happening to the NWSL? Recent results have us eyeing the underdogs

The IX: Soccer Monday with Annie M. Peterson, May 22, 2023

As of Sunday, it’s 60 days until the Women’s World Cup! Exciting!

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I’m not ready, of course, because I never am. But it should be a great ride, and I’m looking forward to it.

That said, I thought I’d ask a question of our IX readers: What would you like to see from my posts on the tournament, and from the tournament? Anything you are curious about when it comes to going to these big events as a reporter? Packing strategies for six weeks? How it’s always hard to FaceTime my cat MoMo?

In other words: What would YOU like to know? Let me know! I’m on Twitter once every three days, give or take, and my DMs are open. Or you can email me at I’ll address some of your ideas in future posts!

In the meantime, let’s look at the NWSL. As we wrap up Week 8, Gotham is on top of the NWSL standings. Let that sink in for a second. Gotham, the same team that lost a stunning 17 games last season and finished dead last in the league.

Gotham had arguably a statement win on Sunday against the Reign, at Lumen for goshsakes.

Our friend Keeper Notes has the stats, of course:

Here’s another good turnaround story: Racing Louisville has now won three straight (across all competitions).

And then there’s the Pride, who are undefeated in four straight, after losing Debinha and a few other key players in the offseason.

Oh, and the Pride just handed the Washington Spirit its first loss of the season. We talked last week about the Spirit and their resurgence under Mark Parsons.

Orlando lost four games to start this season after finishing 10th in the league last season

“We knew that early on in the season, that wasn’t a reflection of who we are, and this was always going to take time and now you’re starting to see what we are capable of doing. Beating the [team at the] top of the table just shows that the players can go away full of confidence knowing that they can beat anyone in the league now. Again, it’s taking time. When it’s hard, they put absolutely everything into it. There wasn’t a blade of grass that we didn’t cover today, and it was a great effort from everyone, and it probably is a statement to the league that we are here to win and here to stay and to perform.”  — Orlando Pride coach Seb Hines.

The predictably steady teams, the Portland Thorns, the Reign and even the Wave are still in good shape, standings-wise. But these developments eight games into the season are a sign of growing parity in the NWSL. And that’s a good thing.

On to the LINKS!

On thing, I know The Athletic is subscription-based, as are many of the other sites/stories that I always list here. I include them so y’all can decide whether a subscription is worth it. I know times are tough for many of you, but subscription revenue literally pays the price for good reporting — and also shows the powers-that-be that there’s a market for women’s sports. Also, lots of places have free trials. Anyway, I just wanted to include my reasoning.

(Editor’s note: Speaking of places we think it’s worth it …)

The IX and The Equalizer are teaming up

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My story on the Women’s Super League, which will compete with the NWSL at the top tier of women’s professional soccer in the United States.

My colleague Greg Beacham in Los Angeles writes that FIFA President Gianni Infantino believes the Europopean TV contracts will get done.

Nice story from The Athletic’s Steph Yang on Katie Johnson.

The Equalizer’s Jeff Kassouf looks at the new USL Women’s Super League.

Angel City’s Julie Urhman fined for approaching officials.

Ashlyn Harris rates the 2023 NWSL kits, from Just Women’s Sports. Cute idea for a story.

Story (paywalled) by the San Diego Union Tribune on the Wave.

Kim McCauley for ESPN with a well-done story on Julie Ertz.

The Equalizer’s Dan Lauletta with a story about Sam Staab.

Racing Louisville has a three-game winning streak for the first time!

FIFA’s Fatma Samoura pushes European broadcasters to avoid World Cup blackout.

You gotta listen to this podcast with Crystal Dunn. Excellent.

Outsports says it looks like rainbow armbands will be allowed.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino visited the UCLA women’s team.

One non-soccer post. Please ready this from The Athletic. Fantastic idea, brilliant execution.

This happened, too. Continued Lyon dominance.

Five at The IX: Meghan Klingenberg


I mean, you gotta watch.

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Mondays: Soccer
By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
By: Howard Megdal, @HowardMegdal, The Next
Thursdays: Golf
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Fridays: Hockey
By: @TheIceGarden, The Ice Garden
Saturdays: Gymnastics
By: Lela Moore, @runlelarun, Freelance Writer

Written by Annie Peterson