52813_solohope_isi_uswntro12082012054 Rick Osentoski/isiphotos.com
USWNT Roundup

Hope Solo Makes NWSL Debut Against Thorns

The United States national team star returned from injury but was unable to earn a win in her first game with the new league. Elsewhere, Alex Morgan sees yellow, Abby Wambach scores, and what else is new?
BY Maura Gladys Posted
May 28, 2013
10:38 AM
This week's major focus was on the return of one star and the absence of another. Hope Solo made her National Women's Soccer League debut while Sydney Leroux was omitted from Boston’s starting lineup against Washington.

Solo made three saves for the Seattle Reign in its 1-0 loss to Portland, but she was unable to stop Christine Sinclair’s penalty kick after a controversial phantom call by the referee. Solo was her usual self after the game.

“Unfortunately, Portland didn’t earn the victory,” Solo told SoccerWire. “And I think that’s what’s most disappointing for our team. They didn’t earn it. Dubious call. Referee gives it up. That’s really all I’ve got to say." Alex Morgan picked up a yellow card in the chippy game that was a fitting continuation of the rivalry between the two teams which kicked off earlier this year.

The Reign remain winless on the season but better times might be on the horizon. Solo is back, and Megan Rapinoe will join the team in late June. The squad sorely needs help from its world-class players.

On the other coast, striker Leroux was absent from the field in the Breakers match against the Washington Spirit. Breakers coach Lisa Cole cited several reasons for sitting Leroux, but said she would play again when she returned from national team duty.

“That was just a decision based on some of the things we’ve seen in the past game,” Cole told The Equalizer. “Syd’s been good for us, but we needed a collective team effort.

“We’re six games into the season,” Cole said. “There were just a bazillion reasons. [Leroux]’s going into national team camp, we have to get other people time, Kyah [Simon] is finally healthy. We just decided to mix things up, and she’ll be back on the field when she’s back from national team camp.”

The Breakers didn't need its young star as the team won 3-0. Heather O’Reilly opened the scoring in the 38th minute.

Abby Wambach found the net in the 54th minute with a classic header in the Flash’s 2-1 victory over the winless Chicago Red Stars. Carli Lloyd played a solid 90 minutes and was eager for a goal, putting several shots on net. Lloyd is still in search of her first score of the season.

In the other NWSL game of the week, Sky Blue FC defeated FC Kansas City 1-0. Kelley O’Hara left the game with an ankle injury in the 26th minute, but according to her Twitter, doesn’t appear to be serious.

Many international leagues are wrapping up the season, but Sweden plays through the summer. Christen Press was on the score sheet again, netting two in Tyreso’s 7-0 drubbing of Jitex.

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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