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NWSL Power Rankings: North Carolina Courage ranks #1 after Challenge Cup crown; San Diego Wave creeps up

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The regular season resumes in the National Women’s Soccer League after the Week 2 action concluded on Sunday. The Courage of North Carolina were crowned the winners of the 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup after defeating the Washington Spirit. Due to scheduling conflicts, the Chicago Red Stars and Portland Thorns’ Week 2 games were rescheduled to a later date, leaving just eight clubs playing in the regular season.

Let’s take a look at where the teams are in the power rankings as we head into week three.

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NWSL Power Rankings

1.

Courage from North Carolina

+7

The Challenge Cup champions top our list after a stellar performance from Brazil international Kerolin. The Challenge Cup Finals MVP scored the opening goal and led the team in passing completion (93.3%).

2.

Washington spirit

-1

The Challenge Cup finalists have nothing to be ashamed of as the Week 3 attack still looks deadly. Trinity Rodman recorded an assist, three shots and created two chances in the final.

3.

Portland Thorns FC

-1

Their Week 2 game was rescheduled after some overlap in the Challenge Cup. The time off could come in their favor after welcoming back Sophia Smith. Smith’s second-half serve in the first set was instant as she scored just six minutes after her post-half substitution.

4.

San Diego Wave FC

+2

The only team with back-to-back wins to start the season. Alex Morgan made history after becoming the third player to score four goals in a game. Two wins against struggling teams is a good test for a growing club.

5.

Chicago Red Stars

Another club on a Week 2 break due to Challenge Cup clashes. They’re getting results without two of their key players in Mal Pugh and Morgan Gautrat. The extra free time could benefit them in week 3.

6.

OL reign

+1

Three games in eight days, including a Challenge Cup semi-final elimination and an opening day loss, is brutal. Despite the heavy pressure of the game, Reign bounced back and scored thanks to a brace from Tziarra King against Louisville.

7.

Racing Louisville F.C

+2

They tried better to put pressure on OL Reign in Week 2, trying to play higher at times, resulting in a first goal. They also forced an own goal in the second half that was created by set-piece service from Savannah DeMelo.

8th.

Angel City FC

-5

After a historic franchise win over North Carolina on opening night, ACFC lost a narrow result to an Orlando side in the midst of rebuilding. A strong second half just wasn’t enough to get the job done.

9.

NJ/NY Gotham FC

-5

The team looked lost during a one-sided 4-0 loss to San Diego, with no replies in the middle third as the team recorded eight shots on San Diego’s 31.

10

Orlando Pride

+1

Orlando earned their first win in 12 games dating back to September 2021 after a narrow 1-0 win over expansion club Angel City. The club welcomed the return of Sydney Leroux – who scored the winner – after a brief injury spell

11.

Houston Dash

+1

They got an extra mental boost after beating Kansas City 2-0 this week. Club captain Rachel Daly converted a penalty and recorded an assist as the Dash continued their season with interim head coach Sarah Lowdon.

12.

Kansas City

-2

After being eliminated in the Challenge Cup semifinals and losing two regular-season games, they find themselves in a three-game worse league and need to regroup after failing to convert in the final third in the last two regular-season games .

https://www.cbssports.com/nwsl/news/nwsl-power-rankings-north-carolina-courage-take-no-1-after-challenge-cup-crown-san-diego-wave-creeping-up/ NWSL Power Rankings: North Carolina Courage ranks #1 after Challenge Cup crown; San Diego Wave creeps up

Justin Scacco

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