The 2021 National women's Soccer League regular season rolls on as teams begin to navigate the early middle stages of the season. All the teams are heading into week seven of 24 as clubs start to bid farewell to international players heading off for Olympic duty and figure out how to cope with no break in the league for the summer games in Tokyo.
Let's take a look at where some teams have landed in power rankings after week six action, as NWSL continues this weekend on July 2.
North Carolina Courage
Lynn Williams has led the Courage to three straight wins, contributing to goals in every game, first with an assist and then scoring four goals in back to back matches to take the Courage up to second in the table.
Orlando Pride had their seven game unbeaten streak snapped, losing against the Houston Dash. They'll hope the dropped points are only a blip, but things only get harder from here with stars Alex Morgan and Marta off to the Olympics.
The Spirit stay hot and are coming off a big come from behind win against Kansas City, extending their unbeaten streak to five matches. Forwards Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez have become a force to be reckoned with this season as the young attacking duo have all the clubs goals over the clubs last two games, including Rodman's dramatic 95th minute winner in KC.
The team has been stellar on defense as the club leads the league in goals allowed conceding only twice, although how long that continue is an open question given that they've conceded 11.17 expected goals. Regardless, they will miss goalkeeper Kalien Sheridan as she departs for the Olympics.
A big win over the last undefeated team in the league has Houston up in the power rankings, with goals from Veronica Latsko and Maria Sanchez. Sanchez's loan with the club is now over, and the team will have to look to their depth to carry them through the Olympic stretch as they'll also be without Kristie Mewis, Sophie Schmidt, Allysha Chapman, and Nichelle Prince.
Portland Thorns FC
After escaping with a narrow 1-0 win against the bottom table Kansas City, Portland were defeated on the road against North Carolina. The team will be without several key starters ahead of the Olympics. The club is strong in the midfield, with Rocky Rodriguez and Angela Salem, but forward Sophia Smith will need to stay active in front of goal if the team wants to keep picking up points.
Racing Louisville FC
Louisville picked up a big 3-0 win on the road against Chicago, but will need to start stringing together more consistent performances against teams if they want to stay in the mix.
OL Reign have added some big pieces to their lineup in Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsán, Eugenie Le Sommer, but have struggled to pick up significant results with a 2-0 win against Chicago the only points they've picked up in their last five matches.
Chicago Red Stars
Chicago is winless in their last three matches, including two consecutive losses. After eight games, the club have struggled to establish themselves on the pitch as a team who can be lethal in the attack or string together wins. They'll need to figure things out soon to stay afloat during the Olympic stretch without several key players out on international duty.
Kansas City NWSL
The team is still the only club without a win in 2021, and while they were able to put in strong performances over their last two matches they didn't pick up a single point while blowing leads against the Spirit and the Pride . International signings Jessica Silva and Mariana Larroquette have been standouts for the team on a top line that needs more dynamic looks in the attack after scoring only four goals this season.