Alright, we’re all new here so I’m going to give us a refresher on what’s going on so far during this NWSL season. Ironically enough this is the perfect time to do this since we are literally halfway through the season. Let’s take a look at where the Courage currently stand.
With 12 NWSL games played so far (out of 24), the Courage currently sit at 6-4-2 with a +14 goal differential which has them sitting on top of the NWSL standings. Without knowing anything and just looking at the standings, this league is very competitive and the competition is extremely close to each other leaving the margin for error very thin if you want to win the league. Which is good a thing, there’s like six of nine teams who have a legitimate shot.
The Courage goal differential is pretty eye opening compared to the rest of the league. The next highest is Portland at +7, so if it comes down to GD then the Courage should be feeling very comfortable.
As far as statistical leaders go, Kristen Hamilton lead the courage in scoring with 7 goals in 11 games played but it appears she was filling in for Jessica McDonald who was on USWNT duty. It will be interesting to see if McDonald returns to the starting lineup or if manager, Paul Riley, rides with the hot hand in Hamilton.
Lynn Williams (5) and Crystal Dunn (4) follow in scoring behind Hamilton. Williams is seen as a future USWNT player while Dunn, like McDonald was busy winning the World Cup. Dunn has also only featured in three games this season so I expect her to be a big addition to the team. Also, she started at left back for most of the World Cup, but she’s an attacking midfielder for the Courage. Versatile, I like it.
Williams, Merritt Mathias, and Jaelene Hinkle (yes, her) lead the team –and the league– in assists with four each. USWNT star Sam Mewis should slot back into the starting lineup which will add some fire power to the midfield.
That’s probably about it, Canadian goal keeper, Stephanie Labbe, has already reclaimed her starting spot on the team. The Courage kick off against Sam Kerr and the Chicago Red Stars, Sunday at 6. It will be on ESPN 2 so we all have no excuse not to tune in.