NWSL saw the eagerly awaited return of many of the USWNT Women's World Cup winners over the weekend, with the likes of Tobin Heath, Julie Ertz, Sam Mewis, Lindsey Horan, Abby Dahlkemper, Christen Press, Ashlyn Harris and others in action for their respective club teams.


Having greeted the home crowd before Alex Morgan watched from the stands as Orlando Pride faced Sky Blue, while Megan Rapinoe's Reign FC were not in action.

Pride were buoyed by the returns of goalkeeper Harris and veteran full-back Ali Krieger as they saw off Sky Blue in front of 9,415 fans at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Rookie talent Marisa Viggiano scored the only goal, while Brazilian legend Marta was also paying for Pride.


But the near 10,000 crowd in Florida couldn't beat the record 17,388 attendance at SeatGeek Stadium where Chicago Red Stars hosted North Carolina Courage. Just days earlier, MLS side Chicago Fire had drawn only 7,482 fans at the venue for their game against Columbus Crew.

World Cup winners Alyssa Naeher, Tierna Davidson, Morgan Brian and the aforementioned Ertz all started for Red Stars, while Mewis, Dahlkemper, Jessica McDonald and Crystal Dunn all featured for Courage. A 10th NWSL goal of the season for Australian star and all-time leading scorer Sam Kerr handed Chicago a 2-1 win.


Elsewhere, 15,931 fans were at Rio Tinto Stadium to see Utah Royals host Portland Thorns. Press marked her return to club action with a spectacular goal in the 2-2 draw, with Becky Sauerbrunn and Kelley O'Hara also in action for Utah. Heath, Horan, Emily Sonnett and Adriana Franch all played roles for the visiting Thorns, who stay top of the standings despite the tie.

There was a sell out 5,500 crowd in the capital as Houston Dash beat Washington Spirit 2-1 to end a seven-game win-less streak. Spirit were still missing World Cup Bronze Ball winner Rose Lavelle, but Mallory Pugh could have been a hero on her return, only to miss a penalty.

NWSL 2019 Season - Week 14 Standings:

Pos​Team​PldGD​Pts
​1.​Portland Thorns​13​+7​23
​2.​North Carolina Courage​13​+1322​
​3.​Chicago Red Stars​13+1​20​
​4.​Reign FC​12+1​20​
​5.​Washington Spirit​12​+5​18
​6.​Utah Royals​120​18​
​7.​Houston Dash​13​-5​16
​8.​Orlando Pride​14-15​11​
​9.​Sky Blue​12-7​8​