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NWSL Power Rankings: Kansas City Current still No. 1

Written by on May 1, 2024

It’s Monday, and another week of NWSL action is in the books, which means it’s time for ESPN’s Power Rankings.

Our rankings are derived from a combination of key season statistics (points per game, goal differential, expected goal differential), recent performance, the Opta computer ratings and the observations of our writers.

Who’s climbing the table? Who’s in free fall? Our writers and statistical models have ranked all 14 clubs in the league after Matchday 6. Let’s dive in.

– Stream on ESPN+: NWSL, FA Cup & more (U.S.)


Previous ranking: 1

Next match: Sunday at Houston Dash, 1 p.m. ET

It looked like Angel City FC had the right game plan to keep the dynamic Current attack under wraps, but K.C. eventually stretched the game just enough to take the upper hand. The 3-1 scoreline flattered K.C. a bit, but any win away from home is a good win, and it was lovely to see Claire Lavogez score twice after a long, hard rehab from a torn ACL.

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Vanessa DiBernardo scores stunner to bring Current level

Vanessa DiBernardo scores a screamer from outside the box to bring the Kansas City Current level vs. Angel City FC.

Previous ranking: 2

Next match: Wednesday at Orlando Pride, 7 p.m. ET

Tyler Lussi is on fire right now, and her third goal in as many games proved to be the difference in the Courage’s 1-0 win over Seattle. That win is especially important because North Carolina is about to embark on a brutal three-game road trip that will see it play two games on short rest (against Orlando and Gotham) before taking on league-leading Kansas City. The Courage needed these three points at home.

Previous ranking: 4

Next match: Wednesday at Bay FC, 10 p.m. ET

It’s Sophia Smith’s world, and we’re just living in it. The superstar found the back of the net twice in Chicago as she picked the Red Stars apart all game. More importantly, the Thorns’ defense, which was shipping goals early in the season, put up its first clean sheet in the 2-0 win.

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Sophia Smith’s excellent footwork and finish makes it 1-0 Thorns

Sophia Smith’s excellent footwork and finish makes it 1-0 Thorns

Previous ranking: 8

Next match: Wednesday vs. North Carolina Courage, 7 p.m. ET

Barbra Banda had the assist on Orlando’s first goal, scored the second and drew the penalty for the third in a 3-2 win over the Spirit. Watch out, y’all: Banda is here, and she’s a menace.

Previous ranking: 3

Next match: Wednesday at Chicago Red Stars, 8 p.m. ET

Ouleymata Sarr’s chipped goal was gorgeous, but the Spirit’s defending wasn’t in a frustrating 3-2 loss to Orlando.

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Ouleymata Sarr scores outrageous chip to equalize for Spirit

Check out this delightful scoop from Washington Spirit striker Ouleymata Sarr in the NWSL.

Previous ranking: 7

Next match: Friday at Seattle Reign FC, 10 p.m. ET

The Wave defense was a bit shaky, but that didn’t matter because they got to bring Jaedyn Shaw, Elyse Bennett and María Sánchez off the bench. That’s an obscene amount of firepower to unleash on a tired Bay FC defense and it worked out, with Bennett setting up Shaw for the winning goal in a 2-1 victory.

Previous ranking: 6

Next match: Sunday at Orlando Pride, 6 p.m. ET

When you score a go-ahead goal in the fifth minute of stoppage time, you’re supposed to win. Unfortunately, Racing allowed Gotham to hit right back and they had to settle for an astounding fifth draw in six matches. Rookie Reilyn Turner continues to look like the answer up front.

Previous ranking: 8

Next match: Wednesday vs. Washington Spirit, 8 p.m. ET

The Red Stars had yet another great goal line clearance in their loss to Portland — this time by Natalia Kuikka — but it’s probably not a good sign that they need goal line clearances so often. As exciting as Chicago’s quick start to the season was, this team still needs a little more juice on the ball.

Previous ranking: 9

Next match: Friday at Utah Royals FC, 9:30 p.m. ET

Angel City did a good job sitting back and limiting Kansas City for most of the match, Claire Emslie scored a terrific goal and Rocky Rodríguez appears to be just what the team needed in midfield. Unfortunately, they don’t have quite the firepower to match up with a team like the Current and fell 3-1.

Previous ranking: 12

Next match: Saturday vs. North Carolina Courage, 7:30 p.m. ET

Gotham looked stuck in mud for stretches against Louisville, but Rose Lavelle kicked them into high gear once she came off the bench with 15 minutes to g. Health continues to be a concern for Lavelle and Gotham, but we got a glimpse of just how dangerous they can be when they have her pulling the strings. Of course, they still conceded in extra time to fall behind, but they answered two minutes later — in the 97th minute — through Lavelle for the draw.

Previous ranking: 11

Next match: Wednesday vs. Portland Thorns, 10 p.m. ET

Bay will rue some of their missed chances as they failed to capitalize on a Wave defense that had some communication issues, especially on balls in the air. A loss in San Diego is hardly reason to worry and, maybe most importantly, the injury that forced Asisat Oshoala off appears to be minor.

Previous ranking: 10

Next match: Friday vs. San Diego Wave FC, 10 p.m. ET

The Reign are now bottom of the NWSL table after their loss in North Carolina. They didn’t create much going forward again and while the absence of star attacker Jordyn Huitema is part of that, this is hardly a new problem. Seattle really needs to play faster with the ball.

<a  data-cke-saved-href=13. Houston Dash

Previous ranking: 13

Next match: Sunday vs. Kansas City Current, 1 p.m. ET

The Dash will be happy to take a point back from Utah even if it wasn’t the most aesthetically pleasing effort. The referee didn’t help things much by calling a tight game (34 fouls) and while it was the type of match that the injured Cece Kizer could have made a big difference in, Houston will take their draw and run.

Previous ranking: 14

Next match: Friday vs. Angel City FC, 9:30 p.m. ET

The addition of former Lyon star Amandine Henry is already looking shrewd as she played a big role in Utah holding the center of the pitch in her debut. The Royals still don’t seem to have much of an idea of what to do in the final third, though, so they settled for a scoreless draw with Houston.

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