Getty Images

The consistently competitive NWSL served up an unusually obvious sign of its reputation over the weekend, with five of the seven matches on the schedule ending in draws and just one team winning by more than one goal.

The close margins were the perfect showcase for individual talent, which made the difference during a round of matches that mostly featured one team tactically stifling another and sharing the spoils. The importance of singular players was not only on display in the NWSL's five draws over the weekend, though, with even Matchday 13's lone victors -- NJ/NY Gotham FC and the Utah Royals -- able to point toward individuals as they collected their three points.

Solo efforts can be a double-edged sword, though. Brilliant individuals are undoubtedly an asset for any team, possessing the ability to bail their side out of trouble should the situation arise, but in the absence of consistent performances around those standout players, a team's weaknesses can become glaring. This week's rewind, then, is full of good news and bad news - the teams and players who will be name-dropped are clearly doing something right, but how much they are getting right is a different story entirely.

Here's a look at the weekend that was in the NWSL.

Gotham's superteam era finally begins

Five long months after Gotham made a major free agency splash, the reigning NWSL champions are officially kicking off their superteam era -- and in style. Women's World Cup-winning quartet Tierna Davidson, Crystal Dunn, Rose Lavelle and Emily Sonnett started together for the first time last week in the team's 2-1 win over Angel City and followed that up with a 2-0 win over Racing Louisville over the weekend.

The results speak for themselves as much as the performances do. Gotham are now building a habit of dominating possession, posting their highest figure of the season by holding to 61.3% against Louisville as well as their best passing game after accurately playing 87.7% of their passes. The attacking effort still leaves a little to be desired at times, since they took just nine shots against Louisville but the days were they post single-digit shot counts mostly seem to be behind them.

The individual brilliance that comes with four U.S. women's national team players with plenty left to give is paying off for Gotham -- Dunn scored against Angel City and notched an assist against Louisville, while Davidson's play out of the back is a foundational element of the team's game plan. The best thing, though, about Gotham's standout soloists is that they are not exclusively members of the USWNT -- look no further than Ella Stevens. The other free agent the team signed over the offseason is already having a career-best year with five goals, including one in Louisville.

Gotham offer up the best example of individual brilliance by assembling an all-star squad of them, including both big names and rare finds like Stevens. Their superteam era might be on pause soon with the Olympics, but after months of teasing that they would become a force to be reckoned with, they are starting to live up to the hype.

Royals snap losing streak

This season's most unwanted streak is officially over, with the Royals ending their 10-match losing run with a 1-0 win over fellow expansion side Bay FC on Sunday. Defender Kate Del Fava scored the game's lone goal in the 89th minute, no doubt providing a sense of relief amidst a rocky return to the NWSL for the Royals.

It has been an unideal first half of the season for Amy Rodriguez's side, who have yet to mimic her goalscoring exploits as a player and have scored just seven goals so far this season. Their track record in attack is arguably the definition of a solo effort, since this year's first overall draft pick Ally Sentnor has two goals and three assists this season. That includes an assist on Del Fava's game-winner over the weekend, and the go-ahead goal in their only other win this season -- a 2-1 victory over the North Carolina Courage in March. (Coincidentally, Del Fava also scored that day.)

Sentnor has arguably been the Royals' lone bright spot this season thanks to her quick adjustment from the college game to the NWSL and is no doubt one of the standouts in an exciting rookie class. The fact that her impressive first season as a professional is an anomaly from her team's performances, though, calls into question the Royals' recruitment efforts ahead of their expansion season. The team has no obvious standout players and seems not to have taken advantage of the NWSL's new mechanisms to sign exciting domestic and international talent while many other teams did this offseason.

As long as Sentnor bears the goalscoring load, it leaves the Royals vulnerable to the "one-player team" label, highlighting their collective shortcomings even if the rookie continues her strong form.

Shaw, Sanchez steps up for San Diego

While Gotham are at the top end of this spectrum and the Royals fall at the bottom, the San Diego Wave are stuck somewhere in between. Two of their standouts -- Jaedyn Shaw and Maria Sanchez -- played a major role in their 1-1 draw with the Washington Spirit, showcasing why they are reliable performers in the NWSL.

Shaw scored her side's lone goal on Saturday, her 13th in the league to become the highest-scoring teenager in the NWSL's history, while Sanchez notched her second assist of the season and her sixth from an open play cross in the last three seasons. Shaw's exploits come as no surprise at this point, while Sanchez has been a well-respected attacker for several years in the NWSL and is making the most of her dramatic trade to the goal-desperate Wave.

The likes of Shaw and Sanchez allow the Wave to overcome their offensive shortcomings, despite their attempts to boost their attack by acquiring Sanchez and Savannah McCaskill for this season. They have the second-fewest goals scored this season with just 11 and rank midtable in most other attacking categories, an improvement from their bottom-of-the-league status earlier this season but far from impressive. The function of players who can do it on their own, partially, is that they can overcome whatever funk their team is in and at least to the Wave's credit, having this combination of attackers on their roster feels like a sustainable strategy.

That said, there's plenty to fix to ensure the Wave actually get the best out of Shaw and Sanchez.