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USWNT Roundup

Holiday, Lloyd, and Morgan Take Charge in NWSL

In the midst of a tight playoff race in the National Women's Soccer League, three U.S. national team players stepped up big with key goals. Maura Gladys with the key takeaways from the week that was.
BY Maura Gladys Posted
July 23, 2013
11:00 AM
Going into this weekend’s NWSL matches, there was the potential for front-runners to pull ahead or for upsets to muddy the playoff waters even more. Several national team players, namely Lauren Holiday (formerly Cheney), Carli Lloyd, and Alex Morgan seized the opportunity and inched their teams one step closer to the playoffs.

Lauren Holiday (sound a bit strange, right?) snuffed out any potential Seattle Reign playoff run with a long-range strike in the the 39th minute on Saturday night in FC Kansas City’s 2-0 win. Defender Becky Sauerbrunn helped goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart earn the shutout for the Blues, who are just one point behind the second place Portland Thorns. Megan Rapinoe played 90 minutes, but put no shots on goal, while Hope Solo conceded both FC Kansas City goals. It’s the first loss for Seattle in six games and the first one with Rapinoe in the lineup.

Carli Lloyd scored the opening goal in the Western New York Flash’s 3-0 win over Sky Blue FC, while Abby Wambach added two assists. The win widened the gap between fourth and fifth place, allowing the Flash to breathe a bit easier in the playoff pursuit

The four-game winless streak is finally over for Alex Morgan and the Portland Thorns. Morgan scored an equalizing goal in the 23rd minute, her sixth of the season and her first since June 6, in the Thorns 2-1 win over the Boston Breakers.

The Breakers, who were surging a few weeks ago, have stalled a bit, and the Chicago Red Stars passed them in the standings. The Red Stars, who have quietly strung together a four-game unbeaten streak, feature zero current national team players. However, former national teamer Lori Chalupny has been stellar this season and leads the team with five goals.

Two noticeable names missing this week were Ali Krieger and Kelley O’Hara, both of whom were out with injuries. Krieger suffered a concussion last week in the Washington Spirit’s 2-1 loss to Seattle while O’Hara is out with a right ankle sprain. Neither player has had a great NWSL season, with Krieger getting frustrated playing for the nose-diving Spirit and O’Hara struggling to find her rhythm as a forward for Sky Blue.

Maura Gladys, a featured ASN columnist, works in production for KICKTV. She also runs the goalkeeping blog All You Need Is Glove.

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