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Recap on the WSL Season: Top 5 Spotlight

1st - Chelsea

The 2023-2024 WSL season came to a dramatic end on May 18th with Chelsea's defeat of Manchester United with a devastating end score of 6-0. Chelsea took home their fifth championship title in a row, a neat send-off gift for long-time team manager Emma Hayes, who is ending her 12-year run at Chelsea to become head coach of the USWNT. Apologies to the Brits, but we Americans are definitely excited.

Chelsea’s win was not without some inner losses. Superstar Sam Kerr was knocked out of the final game with a knee injury sustained at a club training camp. She was officially ruled out of the Olympics for a five-month rehabilitation process. Forward Mia Fischel was also confirmed to be ruled out of the Olympics after tearing her ACL in her right knee during a practice session. 

Despite the losses of these key players, Chelsea pulled off a truly stunning win. They were predicted to earn 1st, and they followed through.

Courtesy of Naomi Baker/Getty Images

2nd - Manchester City

Manchester City came into the final game with big hopes to take home their first WSL title in eight years but couldn't hold up against Chelsea when it came down to it. A Manchester City win had to rely on a Chelsea slip-up to happen, but despite injuries to significant players for Chelsea, it wasn’t enough of a boost for Manchester City to secure the trophy. City doesn’t have a history of scrapping for wins; they either sweep the competition all year or nothing. Next year, they’ll hopefully develop the fighting spirit that propels Chelsea no matter the challenges.

3rd - Arsenal

Many WSL fans were disappointed with the third-place finish for Arsenal. Their lack of aggression and ruthlessness kept them on a different level from Chelsea this year. However, Arsenal fans can console themselves with the Women’s League Cup and the secured qualification to compete in next year’s Women’s Championship League. They're expected to show a progression next season from all the investing they’ve done in the squad for the summer, and we’re excited to see them make a comeback. That said, fans are surprised at the recent announcement of Arsenal forward Vivienne Miedema's possible move to Manchester City after Arsenal reportedly did not offer to renew her contract. The all-time top scorer may be what Manchester City needs to fight for the title again next season.

Courtesy of Paul Harding/Getty Images

4th - Liverpool

Liverpool finished at a respectable 4th after a great season, achieving Manager Matt Beard’s goal of finishing in the top five. They built a solid consistency that served them well against Manchester United twice and Chelsea once. They gave it their all towards the end, winning four out of their last five games. Their next season is sure to reflect the hard work they’ve been putting in.

5th - Manchester United

Manchester United finished 5th after securing the Women’s FA Cup but couldn’t take home the championship title. Fans are especially disappointed after 2023’s stellar performance that landed them runner-up in the WSL. There was always a struggle for Manchester United to bring it home, especially with Chelsea’s dominance and teams like Manchester City and Arsenal getting stronger. A slew of injuries and off-pitch distractions certainly didn’t help. It's not terrific, but it's no small effort.

A stream of upsets, reigning champs, and surprise injuries defined this WSL season. With the Olympics looming over the summer horizon, all attention will now turn to England’s bid to qualify for Paris 2024.

Places 6th - 12th were as follows: Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, Brighton, Leicester City, West Ham, and Bristol City.

Edited by: Sarah Muñoz

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