Chawinga and Banda lead in NWSL Golden Boot race as Olympics approach

Malawi's Temwa Chawinga is in league-leading form in the NWSL for Kansas City Current, while Barbra Banda continues to find the back of the net with ease for Orlando Pride through June.

Chawinga currently (Current-ly...) leads the NWSL Golden Boot race, as well as the shots taken and shots on target lists, while Zambia's Banda, who will lead their line at the Olympics, sits tied at the top with Chawinga with 11 goals scored.

Ghana's Jacqueline Owusu bagged a brace for Real Sociedad, as Nigeria star Asisat Oshoala, who has been named as one of four NWSL players in the Nigeria squad for Paris, rediscovered her scoring touch with a crucial winner.

1. Temwa Chawinga, Kansas City Current

Chawinga flew out of the blocks in March and April after joining the NWSL's Kansas City Current, but had gone off the boil slightly until an exceptional month in June.

The Malawi international scored twice in a 5-2 win over Seattle Reign before scoring the Current's second goal in a 2-2 draw with Chicago Red Stars.

Chawinga scored again in a 4-1 win over Portland Thorns and then netted both goals in the 2-0 win over Houston Dash.

She now has 11 goals for the season, putting her joint-top of the NWSL scoring charts with Banda.

2. Barbra Banda, Orlando Pride

While Chawinga has taken 15 games to reach 11 NWSL goals, Banda has done it in only 11. Chawinga was the more prolific scorer in June and hence tops our rankings, but Banda remains the most lethal striker in the league altogether.

Over the past month, she continued her seemingly unstoppable run of form for Orlando Pride by scoring twice in a 6-0 drubbing of Utah Royals and once more in a 3-0 win over Angel City.

Not only are Banda and Chawinga level on goals, but the Current and Pride are also level on 35 points and +19 goal difference at the top of the NWSL standings, with the Current ahead only by virtue of goals scored.

3. Rasheedat Ajibade, Atlético Madrid

Even when not at her best in front of goal throughout the course of the season, Nigeria's Ajibade was instrumental in helping Atlético Madrid secure UEFA Women's Champions League football with a third-place finish in Liga F.

Her strike rate improved towards the end of the 2023/24 campaign and she scored the 75th-minute winner which secured a 1-0 win over Villarreal in Atléti's final game of the season.

Deployed on the right flank, Ajibade worked tirelessly for her team and ensured that she contributed both with the 10 crucial goals she scored throughout the course of the Liga F campaign and the way she served to make her teammates better.

The versatile Super Falcons attacker scored six times in her last nine appearances of the league season.

4. Jacqueline Owusu, Real Sociedad

Ghana's Owusu has been contributing off the bench for Real Sociedad. At 22, she has yet to reach her prime, but in June, she made the most of her limited action on the field with two goals to turn the game against Madrid CFF on its head and secure the win.

Owusu replaced Synne Jensen after half-time with Madrid leading 2-0 and she took less than two minutes to pull a goal back before adding another in the 64th minute. A Nerea Eizagirre penalty in the 87th minute secured the win for Sociedad.

5. Asisat Oshoala, Bay FC

Like her compatriot Ajibade, Oshoala finished the month with a vital winner to remind fans the true extent of her capabilities.

Oshoala netted from the penalty spot in the 76th minute, firing into the top corner to hand Bay a 1-0 win over Racing Louisville, lifting them up to eighth in the NWSL.

Oshoala initially struggled to find her feet for Bay, but now has three goals for the season. The team's fortunes have improved significantly and they have won their last two games, keeping clean sheets in both after struggling defensively early in the season.

6. Princess Marfo, Bay FC

While it was Oshoala who converted the penalty which handed Bay FC victory over Racing Louisville, Marfo deserves credit for winning the spot-kick.

The 20-year-old Ghanaian-born forward, signed from FC Nordsjælland off the back of her stint with Right to Dream Academy, pinched the ball in the box and drew a foul to win the penalty, which Oshoala converted.

Marfo, who holds Danish nationality as well as Ghanaian citizenship, has yet to score for Bay, but is viewed as a bright prospect for the future and helped her cause in June.

7. Thembi Kgatlana, Tigres UANL

Kgatlana was on target for Tigres UANL in a 3-2 win over Monterrey in her first game of July, and although she and Tigres had a quiet June, her form in recent months has done enough to warrant her presence in the rankings.

The Banyana forward has scored seven times in 20 appearances for the Mexican champions.

8. Jermaine Seoposenwe, Monterrey

Seoposenwe was on target for Tigres' opponents, Monterrey, in their recent clash and also gets a place in our top 10 by virtue of her form over an extended period of time.

The Banyana forward, who often links up with Kgatlana for the national team and is a selfless servant for club and country, has scored 15 times in 37 appearances for Monterrey since joining from fellow Mexican side Juárez.

9. Noxolo Cesane, UWC

Cesane scored for South Africa in a 2-0 friendly win over Senegal, making a strong case for more playing time for her country.

Banyana Banyana went into the friendly double-header against Senegal with an inexperienced side, trying new combinations rather than opting for their usual stalwarts.

In the first clash between the sides, Nthabiseng Majiya scored for Banyana in a 1-1 draw, before Banyana won the rematch 2-0 with goals from Amogelang Motau and Cesane.

Our rankings are predominantly form-based, but Cesane edges ahead of Majiya by virtue of having established herself already on the big stage to some degree with Stade de Reims and Tigres UANL, although her game is still a work in progress.

10. Michelle Alozie, Houston Dash

Utilised predominantly as a fullback, Nigeria's Alozie has the ability to contribute to every team she is on in several positions and she continues to provide a key bridge between defence and attack for the Dash.

In June, she contributed to clean sheets in 0-0 draws against Angel City and San Diego Wave, although it was a disappointing month at the other end of the field as the Dash failed to score throughout the month.