NWSL wrap: Kerr makes more history on Sky Blue return

It was another record-breaking weekend for Perth Glory striker Sam Kerr in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Meanwhile, there were strong performances from Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso as Portland Thorns notched up a big win.

Here’s how our Westfield W-League stars went this weekend in the NWSL.

SKY BLUE FC 1-3 CHICAGO RED STARS

The spotlight was fixed firmly on Sam Kerr's highly-anticipated return to Yurcak Field on Sunday morning (AEST) ahead this weekend's NWSL action.

And it was a typically ruthless display from the 24-year-old against her former employers. 

Kerr clinched a sensational hat-trick to become the first ever player to reach 50 goals in the National Women's Soccer League as Chicago Red Stars ran out 3-1 win victors.

The 23-minute treble against Sky Blue means Kerr is the first Chicago player to register a hat-trick in the club's history, and it moves the club into third position on the competition ladder.

PORTLAND THORNS 4-0 UTAH ROYALS

Hayley Raso and Ellie Carpenter both starred in Portland's 4-0 drubbing of Utah Royals at Providence Park.

It was a huge performance from the Thorns, who were faced against the league’s best defensive side prior to the match. Moreover, the Royals had never in their history allowed more than two goals to go past them in a single match.

But Katrina Gorry’s Utah side quickly found themselves 3-0 down after 35 minutes as the home side piled on the goals.

Raso has battled injury for most of the season but made her second start in a row for Portland and came close to adding a fourth with a glancing header in the second half.

Carpenter meanwhile was solid at the back as the Thorns shut down the Utah attack for a hard-earned clean sheet, and move into fifth spot on the ladder.

ORLANDO PRIDE 2-1 WASHINGTON SPIRIT

Orlando Pride bounced back from consecutive losses and moved into third place with a 2-1 win over Washington Spirit at Orlando City Stadium.

Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy were once again paired in midfield and both got through a mountain of work in the middle of the park.

Van Egmond was replaced by Camila a little over the hour mark, and the match appeared to be heading for a 1-1 draw until this stunning goal from Marta gave Orlando the win.

SEATTLE REIGN FC 3-1 HOUSTON DASH

Four Westfield Matildas were on show as Seattle Reign kept up their title challenge with a 3-1 win over Houston Dash.

Lydia Williams and Steph Catley both played the 90 minutes as Seattle cruised to a 3-1 triumph to move into second on the ladder.

Although the scoreline was routine for the Reign, it could have been a lot worse but for several fine interventions from Williams.

Kyah Simon made her return to the starting line-up for the Dash, and looked dangerous on several occasions before her eventual substitution in the 73rd minute.

Meanwhile, Clare Polkinghorne played the full match for Houston in a defensive midfield role in front of the back four. The midfielder offered an industrious display but was unable to turn the tide for the Dash, who remain in seventh position on the ladder.

NWSL LADDER

*Teams in bold contain Westfield Matildas players

  1. North Carolina Courage – played 16, 39 points, +21
  2. Seattle Reign – played 15, 26 points, +5
  3. Orlando Pride – played 16, 25 points, +2
  4. Chicago Red Stars – played 17, 25 points, +3
  5. Portland Thorns – played 16, 20 points, +4
  6. Utah Royals – played 15, 21 points, -2
  7. Houston Dash – played 15, 17 points, -7
  8. Washington Spirit – played 16, 10 points, -11
  9. Sky Blue – played 14, 3 points, -15

Matches can be live-streamed at nwslsoccer.com