NWSL Players of the Week: Week 5

Week 5 of the NWSL regular season brought some drama, debuts, and first goals. It was an action-packed weekend of soccer. Here are the top three players of the week. 

Courtney Petersen

Petersen has been such an important piece of this Orlando Pride team. She’s been terrific each game on both sides of the ball. Petersen was all over the field against Gotham, defending well, sending in dangerous corner kicks, and scoring a goal. Her goal couldn’t have come at a better time for the Pride, tying the game in the 90th minute to keep Orlando’s unbeaten streak alive and keep them on top of the NWSL table. Her shot might have been meant to be a cross but that doesn’t matter because she was able to find the back of the net. 

Ebony Salmon

Has there been a better NWSL debut than Salmon’s on Saturday? The English international subbed into the game for Racing Louisville in the 71st minute, in that same minute she would score her first NWSL goal and the game-winner. The goal was a thing of beauty. Salmon received the pass at the top of the box, beat three Houston defenders, and then placed a perfectly taken right-footed shot into the back of the net. In just over 20 minutes of play, Salmon was a spark that Louisville needed and if her debut is any indication of how the rest of the season will go, Salmon will be a star in purple. 

Jessica McDonald

McDonald was dangerous on the offensive side of the ball against OL Reign. The Courage have been creating chances but have struggled to finish them this season but McDonald has been a constant for the Courage and the NWSL. She found a much-needed goal for the Courage in the 45th minute with a great header. She finished the game with three shots for North Carolina and played all but 10 minutes.