The W-League season in Australia is entering its home stretch, with teams jockeying for position in their final few games and fighting for one of the four playoff spots before next month’s Grand Final.
Eight Seattle Reign FC players are on loan at four clubs, and six of them are in playoff position coming into this weekend’s matches, but the table is still tight and things could still change dramatically over the final matches of the season. So with that in mind, let’s check in and see how the Reign FC loanees are doing. All stats and standings are accurate as of yesterday’s matches.
Brisbane Roar (7-0-2 [W-D-L], 21 points, 1st place)
Carson Pickett and the Roar are the surprise club of the season, holding the top spot and winning seven matches to date, despite scoring only 13 goals on the season. Pickett has started every game for the Roar this season; in addition to her defensive duties she has contributed one goal and one assist. Highlighting her contributions, Pickett is tied for ninth in the league in chances created with 17, fourth in crosses (52), and ninth in passes (476).
Next up for Pickett and the Roar is a match at Melbourne City against a number of Reign FC teammates tomorrow evening (available to stream on oz.com at 9:30 p.m. PT), followed by home matches against Adelaide on Jan. 27 and Canberra on Feb. 3 to finish the regular season, both also available to stream on oz.com.
Melbourne City FC (5-1-4, 16 points, 4th place)
If Brisbane has been the pleasant surprise of the season in W-League, Melbourne City has been the unpleasant surprise, struggling to rekindle the magic that led them to back-to-back championships despite a star-studded roster featuring five Reign FC players.
Jess Fishlock is tied for fifth in the league with 5 goals and is second to Sam Kerr with 32 shots in her 9 starts, and as usual is all over the middle of the park offensively and defensively for her team. Lauren Barnes has played every minute of the season and leads the league in pass attempts with 719. Lydia Williams has backstopped eight of City’s games this season, conceding 8 goals and making 15 saves. Larissa Crummer continues her comeback from injury and has scored 3 goals in 7 appearances, but is still looking to regain the form that earned her the golden boot in the 2015-16 season. Jodie Taylor joined the club in late December and has made minimal impact, with only three substitute appearances for 108 minutes, and no shots on goal.
Melbourne City hosts Brisbane tomorrow night (see above), then travels to Newcastle for their season finale. Despite currently being in a playoff position, they might need to win out and/or get some help to qualify for the playoffs since Canberra is only one point behind them and has a game in hand.
Canberra United (5-0-4, 15 points, 5th place)
Haley Kopmeyer and Canberra United are currently sitting just outside of the playoff spots, but are only two points behind and have a game in hand on two teams immediately above them, so they still control their own destiny. A tough stretch in the middle of the season saw them drop three matches in a row, but they rebounded with two solid wins over basement dwellers Adelaide and Western Sydney. Kopmeyer has played every minute for Canberra, conceding 14 goals while leading the league with 42 saves.
Canberra travels to Perth tomorrow, then hosts Newcastle on Jan. 27 before closing out the season with a match at league-leaders Brisbane on Feb. 3. Their final match will be streamed on oz.com.
Melbourne Victory (3-2-5, 11 points, 7th place)
They’re not yet mathematically eliminated, but it looks highly improbable that Kristen McNabb and the Victory will see the post-season. Like Brisbane, they have scored only 13 goals this season, but they’ve conceded 15 and struggled to consistently earn points. Their fate was likely sealed in their 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers last night.
McNabb has started all but one game for the Victory this season, recording one goal on four shots and showing good defensive stats, including an impressive 61 clearances and 20 interceptions.
Victory close their season with a home game against Sydney FC on Jan. 25 (available to stream on oz.com), followed by a finale against Adelaide United on Feb. 2.
Here’s the full W-League table; the top 4 teams qualify for a single-elimination playoff:
- Brisbane Roar, 7-0-2, 21 pts
- Sydney FC, 6-1-3, 19 pts
- Newcastle Jets, 5-2-3, 17 pts
- Melbourne City FC, 5-1-4, 16 pts
- Canberra United, 5-0-4, 15 pts
- Perth Glory, 4-1-5, 13 pts
- Melbourne Victory, 3-2-5, 11 pts
- Western Sydney Wanderers, 2-2-6, 8 pts
- Adelaide United, 2-1-7, 7 pts