Most United States women’s national team stars were in action over the past week, many as part of the opening weekend of the newest incarnation of women’s professional soccer in America, the NWSL.
Goals were scored by Americans Sydney Leroux and Yael Averbuch, and Abby Wambach had a costly miss.
The NWSL also signed a television deal.
Check out videos of the goals and much, much more in this week’s USWNT roundup.
On Sunday, Sydney Leroux scored a 91st-minute equalizer as the Boston Breakers tied the Washington Spirit 1-1. Leroux and fellow USWNT regular Heather O’Reilly went the distance for Boston.
After the game, Leroux tweeted a somewhat ghastly picture of the beating her legs took from playing the game on turf. It was an obvious reference to the recent decision by FIFA to allow the 2015 World Cup to be played on artificial surfaces.
This is why soccer should be played on grass! twitter.com/sydneyleroux/s…— Sydney Leroux (@sydneyleroux) April 15, 2013
For Washington, the Spirit net was tended by Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger also started and played the full match.
Kristie Mewis, Becky Sauerbrunn, Nicole Barnhart and Lauren Cheney all started for FC Kansas City as they tied the Portland Thorns 1-1. Mewis played 80 minutes and was credited with the assist on Kansas City’s goal, which happened to be the first in NWSL history. Sauerbrunn, Barnhart and Cheney all went the distance.
Alex Morgan and Rachel Buehler both started for Portland and played the full 90. Canadian Christine Sinclair had Portland’s lone goal in the match.
The Western New York Flash opened up their 2013 campaign with a loss as USWNT stalwart Abby Wambach missed a keeperless goal in stoppage time, putting her shot over the crossbar.
After the game, Wambach tweeted this.
A sincere apology to all the @wnyflashfans, players and staff. I take responsibility for not doing my job tonight. It won't happen again.— Abby Wambach (@AbbyWambach) April 15, 2013
USWNT youngster Adrianna Franch started the game for the Flash in goal.
For Sky Blue FC, Christie Rampone and Kelley O’Hara both started the match and went the distance.
USWNT youth player Christine Nairn had the opening goal in Seattle Reign’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars. Nairn scored the goal on an impressive header in the 10th minute. After a senior campaign in which she scored 17 goals for Penn State and finished runner-up for the Hermann Trophy, Nairn may be on her way to the full national team sooner rather than later.
For the Red Stars, former USWNT players Lori Chalupny and Ella Masar connected for the goal. Shannon Boxx entered the game at the beginning of the second half for Chicago.
On Wednesday, Yael Averbuch scored an 83rd-minute equalizer as Goteborg tied Linkoping 1-1. The goal can be seen at the 1:35 mark of the video here.
Christen Press played 90 minutes in Tyreso’s 1-0 win over Umea on Tuesday. Brazilian star Marta had the game-winning goal.
Megan Rapinoe played 49 minutes in Lyon’s 3-0 win over Juvisy on Saturday.
Paris Saint-Germain and Americans Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan did not play this week.
Amy LePeilbet continues to recover from ACL surgery.
Amy Rodriguez is pregnant and will not be playing for Seattle this season.
Carli Lloyd (shoulder) and Jill Loyden (broken hand) are still recovering from injuries suffered in the Algarve Cup, and Hope Solo is still recovering from wrist surgery.
NWSL announced yesterday that they have signed a deal with Fox to televise nine NWSL matches this season, including six regular-season games as well as the semifinals and final of the NWSL playoffs.
While a relatively small deal, it does provide a showcase for the new league in the hopes that, finally, women’s professional soccer in America will prove to be sustainable.
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