After two consecutive game-winning performances for Seattle Reign FC, Megan Rapinoe was named the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 11 by the NWSL Media Association. Her four goals in the past week helped propel the Pacific North-West team to third in the National Women's Soccer League and also added to Rapinoe's goals total, giving her nine so far this season.
The four goals she accumulated over the last week moved her into first place in the goal-scoring charts, putting her three ahead of second-placed Sam Kerr and Marta. As long as Seattle continue to play like they currently have, Rapinoe will no doubt add to that total this weekend if given the chance.
Chicago and Portland lose to Rapinoe's brilliance
The first match Rapinoe influenced was a mid-week game against the Chicago Red Stars and the United States Women's National Team midfielder scored two penalties to help the Reign eek out a 2-1 victory over the Red Stars. Rapinoe then went on to steal the show once again on the weekend in the Cascadia rivalry as she scored both goals to down Portland Thorns FC to a 2-0 loss against the Reign in front of a boisterous Seattle crowd.
Against Chicago, Rapinoe showed coolness personified as she netted two penalty kicks in the second half to gain all three points for the Reign. Her first came in the 58th minute after a handball call in the penalty area conceded the penalty to Seattle. Rapinoe stepped up and thumped the ball into the top corner, tying the game up for the Reign. The match-winner came in the 84th minute when Rapinoe herself was fouled in the box by Casey Short and even though goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher guessed the right way again, Rapinoe's accuracy was pin-point from the spot once again.
The second of her game-winning performances came on Saturday night at Memorial Stadium once again as the home team welcomed put in a fantastic performance to pick up a 2-0 win over their bitter rivals to the south. Rapinoe's first came in added time at the end of the first half when she chased down a poor backpass by Emily Sonnett to slide the ball past an advancing Adrianna Franch and give the Reign the lead. Her second goal was one of the best this weekend as she was found with a great through ball by Christine Nairn in the 81st minute. The midfielder let the ball bounce once into the area and hit a half volley form a tight angle past the goalkeeper and into the far corner. Her celebrations were just as good as the goals she scored as the Reign enjoyed another home win against the Thorns.
Rapinoe's 2017 season could be her best one yet
Rapinoe has won the NWSL Player of the Week title three times in her career but this is her first since 2015 after an injury-ladden 2016 kept her out for most of the season. She also became the fourth Seattle Reign player to be named POTW this season alongside Haley Kopmeyer, Jess Fishlock and Nahomi Kawasumi.
Her performances over the last eleven games have been nothing short of phenomenal and her statistics reflect that as she's racked up nine goals and one assist in eleven starts. Being injury-free has helped Rapinoe regain her best form once again and will also aid her cause to be an automatic starter and an influential piece of the USWNT once again just as she was in 2015 as the national team went on to win the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup. As for right now, head coach Laura Harvey will not want Rapinoe's form to dip and will look to have her continue to influence the play as well as she has done before in the coming weeks as the former NWSL Shield winners look to get into the playoffs this season.
The NWSL Player of the Week is selected each week of the regular season by the NWSL Media Association, a collection of writers that cover the league on a consistent basis.