City Watch: W-League stars begin NWSL Season

Catley Orlando
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Our Championship winning W-League stars returned to action as the US National Women’s Soccer League commenced over the weekend. See our how players fared in their opening matches.

Goalkeeper Lydia Williams carried her stellar form into the NWSL season opener, keeping a clean sheet for Houston Dash in their 2-0 home win over Chicago Red Stars on the opening day of the season.

The Matildas stopper made a crucial save to deny Chicago a ticket back into the contest, smothering a shot from Sofia Huerta – who plies her trade with Adelaide United in the W-League – to help the Dash register its third consecutive opening day win.

City captain Steph Catley played a full 90 minutes but couldn’t prevent Orlando Pride from falling to a 2-0 defeat in their season opener away to former club Portland Thorns.

The Pride, starting only its second ever NWSL campaign after entering the competition last season, troubled Portland throughout and were unfortunate not to have capitalised on the scoreboard, with Catley posing a constant threat down the left side.

Laura Alleway was an unused substitute for Orlando, who will look to register their first win of the season at home against Washington Spirit next Saturday.

Erika Tymrak had to settle for a place on the bench as FC Kansas City overcame Boston Breakers 2-0 in their home opener on Sunday evening.

Tymrak was an unused substitute at the Swope Soccer Village, as goals to Sydney Leroux and Amy Rodriguez sealed a comfortable opening day win.

Jess Fishlock, Lauren Barnes and Beverly Yanez all played a full game as Seattle Reign opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Sky Blue FC.

A pair of penalties saw both sides share the spoils, with Seattle forward Megan Rapinoe and Sky Blue FC’s Sarah Killon both converting from the spot for their respective sides. 

Fishlock - who recently became the first Welsh footballer to reach 100 international caps - came close to opening the scoring for the Reign in the fifth minute with a header that just sailed over the bar. 

New Zealand defender Rebekah Stott made her NWSL debut for Seattle after joining the club in pre-season, replacing goalscorer Rapinoe in the 86th minute. Larissa Crummer was not in the Reign match day squad as she continues her recovery from injury.

Click here to view all the highlights and reaction of the National Women’s Soccer League opening round.

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