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Jul 6, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Orlando Pride forward Barbra Banda (22) celebrates after a victory over the Kansas City Current at CPKC Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nick Tre. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Only one unbeaten National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) team remains this season after the Orlando Pride handed Kansas City Current their first loss of 2024 in last weekend’s top-table clash.

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Barbra Banda opened the scoring for the Pride while Brazil legend Marta slotted home a penalty to clinch the 2-1 win. The Current’s Temwa Chawinga scored her 12th goal of the season in the loss, keeping pace with Banda atop the Golden Boot leaderboard.

Orlando managed to pull out the win despite playing more than half the match down a player after defender Carrie Lawrence was shown a second yellow card in the 42nd minute. The loss was Kansas City’s first at future NWSL Championship host CPKC Stadium, their new purpose-built home, and broke their league-record 17-game unbeaten streak.

Should they avoid a loss in their first regular season match after the NWSL’s Olympic break, still-unbeaten Orlando is now poised to surpass that record. With the Pride now sitting alone atop the league standings, other clubs strived for separation above the eight-team playoff line ahead of the international break.

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After the weekend's games, six of the NWSL's top eight teams enter the Olympic period on a win: Washington Spirit, Gotham FC, Portland Thorns, North Carolina Courage, and Chicago Red Stars. Eighth-place Bay FC still holds the final playoff spot despite falling 3-0 to the Spirit.

None of the teams currently sitting under the playoff line have registered a win in their last three regular season matches.

Meanwhile...

With the Olympics looming, a number of the weekend's highlights featured players about to make the trip to Paris.

Read Also - FIFA Women’s World Cup Individual Records

Banda is heading to the Olympics with Zambia, while Marta will be participating in her final Olympic tournament with Brazil.

United States Women's National Team (USWNT) Mallory Swanson and Rose Lavelle both notched goals last weekend, as did Trinity Rodman from the penalty spot for Washington Spirit.

The NWSL will pause briefly before returning for the inaugural NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup on July 19th. The regular season will pick back up on August 23rd after the Olympics conclude.

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