NWSL Power Ranking: OL Reigns at Midway Mark in 2022 Challenge Cup

The 2022 NWSL Challenge Cup has reached its half mark over the weekend and will now take a break for the international break. The top three regional teams in the competition still have three weeks to go, but the Chicago Red Stars, the North Carolina Courage and the OL Rain are currently leading their respective groups. Fans will be able to watch all the Challenge Cup matches live and on demand with Paramount +.

Chicago Red Stars forward Mal Pug leads the competition with four goals, while spirit forward Ashley Hatch and Trinity Rodman have five.

Let’s take a look at where things stand in the power rankings after 3 weeks:

NWSL Challenge Cup Power Ranking

1.

OL Kingdom

+1

Kingdom goes up to No.1. Head coach Laura Harvey made some player rotations and they sealed a narrow win against Thorns on Saturday with some key tackles with defender Jimena Lopez. 2021 MVP Jess Fislock’s line-breaking ability has been a game-winner from Rose Lavelle.

2.

Washington Spirit

+5

After a slow start in the Challenge Cup, the team is finally getting a goal. Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez and Ashley Hatch have scored five of six goals in the last two games.

3.

North Carolina courage

-2

Brave slip in the rankings failed to win after failing in two strong games. The team is connecting to the goal, but could not secure the victory after going ahead in the first half. Caroline’s debut in the Brazilian international after the international break could be a bright spot for the team.

4.

Chicago Red Stars

+2

The Red Stars are back in the top four for another strong play by striker Mal Pug. Pug recorded a brace against Houston for three important points in the Central Region, while rookie defender Amanda Kowalski slotted unhindered in the backline after a season-end ACL injury to Tierna Davidson.

5.

Kansas City is current

-2

Kansas City has slipped to the current rankings after losing to Racing Louisville. Currant struggled to make the most of their attacking chances after being outscored in Louisville, 17-9. They also had some questionable shot selections, and defender Haley Mess’s own goal was too much to exceed.

6.

Portland Thorns FC

– 2

Portland will be disappointed not to capitalize on the mid-week pace of the 3-0 win over Angel City. A narrow loss to the rival OL kingdom was not due to a lack of effort, and even after ousting Sophia Smith, the teammates went ahead. Wingback Natalie Quikka led the team with four shots and Japanese international Hina Sugita recorded two shots.

7.

San Diego Wave FC

+1

Wave picked up their first win in franchise history with a 4-2 win over Angel City. With Alex Morgan scoring twice in the win, the team did a good job of clearing the gap behind the opposition.

8.

NJ / NY Gotham FC

+2

The team struggled to keep pace with the attack, and Gotham’s defensive performance guaranteed them their last two matches. Late goals in two consecutive matches can be the key to moving things forward in the end for sure results.

9.

Racing Louisville FC

+3

The club has risen to the power rankings after an impressive win over Kansas City. Forward Jessica McDonald’s performance forced her own goal early on. His emerging chemistry with former brave teammate Lauren Millett makes them a pair to keep an eye on.

10.

Houston Dash

-6

Two consecutive losses with a slight answer inside the dash line. The team tried to coordinate by pushing Canadian international Sophie Schmidt back into midfield, but Houston’s backline is fighting once again, conceding five goals in two games.

11.

Orlando Pride

-1

The team clashed with Gunny Jonesdotir with a consolation goal against the Washington Spirit. Marta’s one season-ending injury and Sydney Leroux’s injury mean Orlando are probably grateful for the international break and the break in the game.

12.

Angel City FC

-4

The lack of depth and chemistry has led to three consecutive defeats for the expansion side as Angel City searched for their first franchise win.

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