For several weeks, the gals in the lab* have been hard at work developing and refining our algorithm for our weekly NWSL Power Rankings. We think we’ve finally cracked the code.
Here, now, is the first edition of our Power Rankings (beta release).
(1) North Carolina Courage
After failing to get a win to open the season, the defending champions proceeded to smash Orlando in mid-week. So, yup, still scary.
(2) Houston Dash
It’s still early but Houston have become a pleasant surprise this season. They haven’t been piling on the goals yet, but they’re getting results, including a solid win on the road against Sky Blue. It’s only a matter of time before Sofia Huerta hits her stride, and once that happens, the Dash could very well become a force to be reckoned with this season.
(3) Portland Thorns
They’re still one of the strongest teams in the league and the most capable of directly challenging North Carolina’s supremacy. But shipping four goals against Chicago, and giving up a win they seemingly had in the bag before stoppage time, isn’t a great look.
(4) Washington Spirit
We’re grading on a bit of a curve here. A win and a loss from the opening two isn’t great on paper, but for Washington it could be a real jumping off point. The next few weeks will be crucial for them, but right now, we’re pegging them to give us all a nice surprise.
(5) Utah Royals
With the kind of star power they’ve got on their roster, Utah really should be doing better, even at this early stage. There’s still time to press (no pun intended) forward, but at some point this club is going to run out of excuses.
(6) Chicago Red Stars
The Red Stars have two points from their first six. Given how how many of their big-name players are going away after this weekend, it’s hard to look at these first two results as anything but a missed opportunity. If they’re struggling now, how are they going to hold it together next month when the B-Team has to step up?
(7) Reign FC
I really wish I knew what was going on with the Reign. They may have their issues, like any other team in the league, but I really expected them to be a little better through the first couple of games. Like Utah and Chicago, they have a limited amount of time to pull it together before the season starts passing them by.
(8) Orlando Pride
You can’t really hold it against them for getting steamrolled by North Carolina. Failing to protect a lead against Reign FC, on the other hand, is a worrying sign.
(9) Sky Blue FC
*= me and my stuffed anteater, Emma von Großenase