USWNT REWIND: Arsenal Claims Conti Cup, Current Extend Win Streak

USWNT REWIND: Arsenal Claims Conti Cup, Current Extend Win Streak
USWNT REWIND: Arsenal Claims Conti Cup, Current Extend Win Streak

As the US Women’s National Team reconvenes in Atlanta to begin preparations for the 2024 SheBelieves Cup, presented by Visa, the 23-players called up for the four-team tournament come to camp on the heels of a busy and productive week of play for their clubs.

In the National Women’s Soccer League, the Kansas City Current continued their perfect start to the 2024 Regular Season, making it three wins in three games with a 4-2 victory over Angel City FC on Saturday afternoon at CPKC Stadium.

The Chicago Red Stars also remained unbeaten on the year, coming back to earn a 1-1 draw on the road Friday night against the Orlando Pride. Chicago fell behind after an own goal in the 21st minute but equalized in the 64th as forward Mallory Swanson, who returns to the USWNT game roster for the SheBelieves Cup, corralled a pass into the right side of the penalty area and finally finished with her left. It was Swanson’s first goal for club or for country since March 25, 2023, putting an exclamation point on her return to the field after rupturing her patella tendon on April 8, 2023, in a friendly against the Republic of Ireland. The 2023 Visa SheBelieves Cup MVP, Swanson now has 23 goals for the Red Stars in all competitions, good for third in club history.

WATCH: SWANSON SCORES FIRST GOAL SINCE RETURN FROM INJURY

San Diego Wave FC, winners of the 2023 NWSL Supports Shield, also picked up points on Friday night, earning their first victory of the 2024 regular season campaign with a 1-0 win over Seattle Reign FC at Snapdragon Stadium. Scoreless deep into second-half stoppage time, Australian international Emily van Egmond netted the game winner for San Diego in the 90+8th minute, finishing from close range on a ball that flicked off Alex Morganwho tallied her first assist of the season.

The late-game drama on the west coast continued on Saturday night as Portland Thorns FC battled back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw at home against Racing Louisville FC. The visitors from Kentucky took a two-goal lead six minutes into the match after a brace from Nigerian international Uchenna Kanu. However, the Thorns flipped the switch in the second and pulled one back in the 62n.d. minute as Sophia Smith slotted the ball across to an on-rushing Morgan Weaver for the finish. With 10 minutes of stoppage time added to the end of the second half, Portland completed its comeback in the 90+9th minute as Sam Coffey evaded defending as she dribbled into the penalty area and then blasted the ball into the upper left corner for her first goal of the season.

WATCH: COFFEY SCORES LATE EQUALIZER FOR PORTLAND

Goals and drama abounded further south down the Pacific coast as Bay FC and the Houston Dash combined for five goals – three of which were scored in the 87th minute or later – on Saturday afternoon. Ultimately it was Houston who played spoiler, scoring in the 90+10th minute to secure a 3-2 victory and deny expansion club Bay FC the victory in its home opener.

The North Carolina Courage remain perfect at home this season, beating reigning NWSL champions NJ/NY Gotham FC 1-0 on Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park. The Courage netted the game’s lone goal just before halftime as Ashley Sanchez picked out Brianna Pinto in the 44th minute and Casey Murphy recorded her first clean sheet of the season to preserve the victory.

Rounding out the third weekend of the regular season, the Washington Spirit made it wins in back-to-back games with a 2-1 win over the visiting Utah Royals. Andy Sullivan converted to penalty kick in the 21st minute to put the Spirit in front and Washington doubled its lead in the 30th ace Trinity Rodman whipped in a cross from the right flank that was headed in by French international Ouleye Sarr. The Royals pulled one back in the 71st minute through US Youth National Team star Ally Sentnor but the Spirit held steady to secure in the victory.

In Europe, Emily Fox captured her first hardware since joining Arsenal FC over the offseason, playing the full 120 minutes as the Gunners defeated Chelsea 1-0 in extra time in the FA Women’s League Cup Final on Sunday. Fellow American Catarina Macariowho returns to her first USWNT roster since 2022 after coming back from injury, made a substitute appearance for Chelsea but Swedish international Stina Blackstenius netted the game’s only goal in the 116th minute to lift Arsenal to victory.

While Chelsea can no longer complete the quadruple, three trophies are still in play for the Blues this season, including the elusive UEFA Women’s Champions League title. Chelsea moved one step closer in their pursuit, drawing Ajax 1-1 on Wednesday and advancing 4-1 on aggregate out of the quarterfinals. Chelsea will now face reigning champions Barcelona in the semi-finals, which kicks off on April 20.

The other semifinal pairing features French powers and longtime rivals Olympique Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain. Powered by a pair of assists from USWNT midfielder Lindsey Horan Lyon defeated Benfica 4-1 on Wednesday evening, advancing past the Portuguese side 6-2 on aggregate.

blanked Swedish side BK Hacken 3-0 in the second leg of the quarterfinals to advance 5-1 on aggregate. Midfielder Korbin Albert scored PSG’s second goal of the game with a left-footed strike from nearly 30 yards out and defending Eva Gaetinowho earned her first call-up for the USWNT, played the full 90 minutes on defense.

WATCH: ALBERT ADDS TO PSG ADVANTAGE


Both Gaetino and Albert featured in PSG’s 3-0 win over Dijon on Sunday afternoon.

 
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