Megan Rapinoe Makes NWSL Debut in 1-1 Draw
The United States women's national team star had an immediate impact in her first league game while Abby Wambach and Lauren Cheney scored for their clubs over the weekend.
BY Maura Gladys PostedAfter a record-breaking victory at Red Bull Arena on Thursday night, the U.S. women’s national team’s NWSL players got back to work over the weekend. The European leagues are over for the summer, so Megan Rapinoe and Tobin Heath are moving to the Seattle Reign and the Portland Thorns, respectively. Whitney Engen’s Liverpool Ladies and Christen Press, Meghan Klingenberg, and Yael Averbuch of Sweden’s Damallsvenskan have a two-month break before picking back up. As the U.S. finished up at Red Bull Arena on Thursday night, Alex Morgan and Rachel Buehler met up with their Portland Thorns teammates down the road in Piscataway, New Jersey where they faced off against Sky Blue FC on Saturday. The teams, who are tied atop the NWSL standings, played to a 0-0 draw in a largely defensive affair. Buehler played 90 minutes, helping Portland withstand Sky Blue’s seven shots on goal while Christie Rampone marshaled Sky Blue’s back line and helped them keep the shutout. Morgan and Kelley O’Hara were not able to do much for their respective clubs. A day later and roughly 300 miles northwest, Rapinoe made her NWSL debut. Her play wasn’t enough to give Seattle its first win of the season, as the match with the Western New York Flash finished 1-1, but she did make Seattle better. Rapinoe finished with six shots and set up several more opportunities for her teammates. The Reign jumped out to lead in the first half when Keelin Winters collected a bouncing ball in the box and sent it in for a goal. New all-time international goal-scoring leader Abby Wambach added another goal to her club tally when she equalized for the Flash in the 57th minute. Wambach drew a penalty kick and Hope Solo, who had eight saves on the day, was unable to stop her national team teammate’s shot. Wambach still has a ways to go to eclipse Jeff Cunningham’s MLS goal-scoring record of 134 but her seventh of the year for the Flash is good enough for the NWSL league lead. Lauren Cheney scored on both sides of the half in FC Kansas City’s 2-0 win over the Washington Spirit. Her first goal was a cracker from 24 yards out in the 18th minute, and she slid in an open net goal in the 65th minute to double the lead. Ashlyn Harris put up a fight for the Spirit in goal, facing 18 shots and making eight saves. Her counterpart, Nicole Barnhart, made three saves to preserve Kansas City’s shutout. Maura Gladys, a featured ASN columnist, works in production for KICKTV. She also runs the goalkeeping blog All You Need Is Glove.
June 25, 2013
June 25, 2013