NWSL Power Rankings: Current top, Giráldez's Spirit move up

It's Monday, and another week of NWSL action is in the books, which means it's time for ESPN's Power Rankings.

Our rankings are derived from a combination of key season statistics (points per game, goal differential, expected goal differential), recent performance, the Opta computer ratings and the observations of our writers.

Who's climbing the table? Who's in free fall? Our writers and statistical models have ranked all 14 clubs in the league after Matchday 14. Let's dive in.

<a  data-cke-saved-href=1. Kansas City Current

Previous ranking: 1

Next match: Saturday vs. Houston Dash, 8 p.m. ET

The impressive wins just keep coming for Kansas City. Dropping four goals and only allowing seven passes into the box on the road at Providence Park is an absurdly difficult accomplishment. But the Current have made the wild look routine in 2024. They're getting production from their forwards, from their attacking midfield line, and from Lo'eau LaBonta deeper in midfield. The veteran added a brace for her team on Sunday night.

Lo'eau LaBonta scores first for Kansas City

Lo'eau LaBonta goal 31st minute Portland Thorns FC 0-1 Kansas City Current

Orlando Pride logo 2. Orlando Pride

Previous ranking: 2

Next match: Monday at. Angel City, 7.30 p.m. ET

Barbra Banda is a menace, Marta is ageless, and the Pride are dominant. What else is new? Orlando blitzed Utah on Friday, scoring a half dozen goals and conceding none to kick off the weekend. Giving the Pride even an inch of space to exploit on the counter continues to be a death sentence for every backline in the league.

<a  data-cke-saved-href=3. Washington Spirit

Previous ranking: 4

Next match: Sunday vs. North Carolina Courage, 7.30 p.m. ET

New Spirit manager Jonatan Giráldez arrived in the nation's capital last week, though he wasn't in charge on Sunday for Washington's 2-0 win over Gotham. Will the former FC Barcelona coach shift the Spirit's tactical approach to look more like that of the European giants? Or will he let his players maintain their transition-heavy style? Time will tell. At the moment, though, Washington have taken hold of third place in the NWSL table and the third spot in these rankings.

Gotham FC logo 4. NJ/NY Gotham FC

Previous ranking: 3

Next match: Sunday vs. Seattle Reign, 1 p.m. ET (live on ESPN+)

After being carved up by the Spirit for a goal inside the first 30 minutes and watching as Yazmeen Ryan was sent off before halftime, Sunday could've gone much better for Gotham. They controlled the tempo and moved the ball into dangerous areas but spent too much time down a player to hang on against an excellent Washington team.

Portland Thorns logo 5. Portland Thorns

Previous ranking: 5

Next match: Saturday vs Utah, 10 p.m. ET

While they'll be eager to forget this weekend, it seems clear that the Portland Thorns are the last member of the distinct top five teams that headline the NWSL standings right now. The Thorns have lost just two of their past 10 matches, losing only to the Pride and the Current in that stretch. They're a trophy threat, but they're not an Orlando or a Kansas City-level threat.

<a  data-cke-saved-href=6. North Carolina Courage

Previous ranking: 7

Next match: Sunday vs. Washington, 7:30 p.m. ET

Want some good news, Courage fans? Kerolin, who won last year's NWSL MVP award, is back on the training field after tearing her ACL near the end of 2023. Want more good news? Your team took care of business against Chicago on Sunday, controlling the ball and creating the better chances out of their 4-2-2-2 shape. Things are looking up in North Carolina after a three-game winless run.

San Diego Wave logo 7. San Diego Wave FC

Previous ranking: 6

Next match: Friday vs. Chicago, 10 p.m. ET

Casey Stoney can't seem to solve the issue of how to get more attacking threat from a team that, on paper, is filled with reliable weapons. Unsurprisingly, San Diego limited Houston's quality looks on Kailen Sheridan's goal. But frustratingly, they took their worst shots of the year, averaging strikes from 21.6 yards, per FBref.

Racing Louisville logo8. Racing Louisville FC

Previous ranking: 9

Next match: Saturday vs. Bay FC, 4 p.m. ET (live on ESPN+)

No team in the NWSL has collected more draws this year than Racing, who snagged its seventh of the year on Sunday in a 1-1 tie with Seattle. While a low-scoring affair was always probable between the two not-good-but-not-horrible attacks, Louisville infused drama into the match. An early red card to Arin Wright changed the game, as did Reilyn Turner's 97th minute equalizer. Take a breath, Racing.

Chicago Red Stars logo 9. Chicago Red Stars

Previous ranking: 8

Next match: Friday at San Diego, 10 p.m. ET

Mallory Swanson gave Chicago an early lead against North Carolina, but sloppy turnovers in their own half unraveled what could've been a valuable road point. They look comfortable, but not consistently threatening, in their 4-4-2 under Lorne Donaldson. It's difficult to imagine this club transforming into a real force in 2024.

Mallory Swanson's nice finish makes it 1-0 Red Stars

Mallory Swanson's nice finish makes it 1-0 Red Stars

Bay FC logo 10. Bay FC

Previous ranking: 10

Next match: Saturday at Racing, 4 p.m. ET (live on ESPN+)

Tess Boade is an awesome story. After being selected into the 2024 expansion draft by newcomers Bay FC, the 25-year-old has impressed, even in a squad with much bigger names. The former North Carolina Courage attacker leads the team in goals (with three) and has already hit career-highs in minutes and goal contributions. It was Boade's go-ahead goal against Angel City that secured her team three points.

Angel City FC logo 11. Angel City FC

Previous ranking: 11

Next match: Sunday vs. Orlando, 7:30 p.m. ET

Angel City continue to be ... unremarkable. After a fun 3-2 midweek win over Racing Louisville, the Angles put up a goose egg in a narrow defeat to Bay FC on Saturday. Claire Emslie, their most productive scorer in 2024, was isolated as she pushed forward in the attacking half. On the whole, Angel City left the margins too thin.

<a  data-cke-saved-href=12. Houston Dash

Previous ranking: 12

Next match: Friday at Kansas City, 8 p.m. ET

We're still waiting for Fran Alonso's team to put together 90 minutes of high-flying, adventurous, creative and effective soccer. They've checked three of those boxes in a bunch of games this season. But hitting all four in the same match has eluded them. Houston created just six shots to the tune of 0.3 xG at home against the Wave on Saturday. At least they kept San Diego quiet and picked up a result?

Bethany Balcer puts Reign in front from the penalty spot

Bethany Balcer puts Reign in front from the penalty spot

Seattle Reign FC logo 13. Seattle Reign FC

Previous ranking: 13

Next match: Sunday at Gotham, 1 p.m. ET (live on ESPN+)

Dropping points at home against a shorthanded Louisville team stings for Seattle. After taking a lead in the 10th minute via a Bethany Balcer penalty, the Reign conceded a set-piece goal deep in second-half stoppage time to end the match with a solitary point. On the bright side, Seattle Reign officially has new owners -- a group that includes MLS club Seattle Sounders FC purchased the club for $58 million. With the ownership situation finally settled, much-needed reinforcements are reportedly on the way.

Utah Royals logo 14. Utah Royals

Previous ranking: 14

Next match: Saturday vs. Portland, 10 p.m. ET

After snapping their six-game losing streak last weekend against Bay FC, Utah fell back into their losing ways against Orlando on Friday. Manager Amy Rodriguez tried shifting to a three-back shape to give her team more cover against the Pride's high-flying attack, but the formation shift did virtually nothing to slow the opposition. Needless giveaways in the back didn't help, either. Back to the drawing board.