After big wins from Chicago and Seattle last weekend, the top three teams in the league are now only separated by four points, with the North Carolina Courage retaining that No. 1 spot (24 points), followed by Chicago (23) and Seattle (20). Here are the matches and U.S. WNT players to keep an eye out for this weekend:
Friday, July 7
Boston Breakers vs. Chicago Red Stars – 7 p.m. ET (go90.com)
A win last weekend snapped Boston’s slump and gave some spark to the young team. The Breakers now host Christen Press – who was scored five goals so far this season, tied for fourth-best in the league – Julie Ertz, Casey Short, Alyssa Naeher and a red-hot Chicago team that has the top spot in the league in their sights. Chicago has gone unbeaten in 10 straight games against Boston (8W-2D).
Saturday, July 8
Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride – 3:30 p.m. ET (TV: Lifetime Game of the Week)
Following one-goal losses last weekend, both teams will look to bounce back with three big points and continue its push for the top four playoff spots in this week’s Lifetime Game of the Week. Alex Morgan, Ali Krieger, and the Orlando Pride are currently sitting in sixth place, three points behind the Portland Thorns, and are set to face Mallory Pugh and the Spirit on Saturday. It will be Morgan’s second game back this season with Orlando after playing coming on as a sub at home last weekend.
Washington has gone unbeaten in three all-time meetings against Orlando (2W-1D). The Spirit drew with the Pride 1-1 earlier this season in Orlando. Washington has posted two consecutive shutouts at home after allowing six goals in their first four home games. If the Spirit pick up another shutout, it will be their second-longest home shutout streak in franchise history (four from April 15 - June 17, 2016). Meanwhile, the Pride has picked up eight points on the road this season, doubling their efforts away from home last season.
Sky Blue FC vs. FC Kansas City – 7 p.m. ET (go90.com)
With 19 points, Kelley O’Hara and Sky Blue FC are currently sitting in fourth place and in playoff contention but with the season past the halfway, the points become even more important and a win at home against Becky Sauerbrunn, Sydney Leroux and FCKC on Saturday will go a long way to create some separation between the teams at the top.
Sky Blue has beaten FC Kansas City just three times in their 11 all-time meetings and all three of those games ended 1-0. Kansas City has gone 5W-3D when scoring against Sky Blue. After winning their first three home games this season, Sky Blue has dropped their last two home games. Kansas City has scored just two goals on in six road games this year, tied for the fewest in the league.
North Carolina Courage vs. Seattle Reign – 7:30 p.m. ET (go90.com)
A clash between two red-hot teams takes place in North Carolina on Saturday evening as Samantha Mewis, Abby Dahlkemper, Lynn Williams and the Courage welcome NWSL leading-scorer Megan Rapinoe and the Seattle Reign.
North Carolina’s 1-0 loss to Sky Blue last weekend snapped a seven-game home scoring streak dating back to last season, their third-longest since the start of 2013. In their last eight home matches, they are 5W-2L-1D. Seattle has lost just two games this season, the fewest in the league, and have tied five games.
Houston Dash vs. Portland Thorns – 8:30 p.m. ET (go90.com)
Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and the Houston Dash return home on Saturday night to host Allie Long, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg and the Portland Thorns at BBVA Compass Stadium. Houston has won two of the last four meetings against Portland (1L-1D), although Portland won the most recent meeting 3-0 on September 7, 2016, in Portland. The Dash has scored four goals in their last three games, as many as they had in their six-game losing streak.
NWSL Team of the Month – June
Five U.S. WNT players were selected by the NWSL Media Association as part of the NWSL Team for the month of June: midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Samantha Mewis; and defenders Abby Dahlkemper, Ali Krieger and Casey Short.
Watch NWSL on go90.com
To watch live in the USA on a mobile device or tablet, download the go90 app (free) via the App Store or Google Play. Users with go90 version 3.0 and later can cast live games from the go90 app to Airplay and Chromecast. No registration or authentication is required. Fans can also watch matches on their laptops via go90.com, nwslsoccer.com or on the NWSL app.
Internationally all games are available on the NWSL app and the NWSL website.
The complete 2017 NWSL schedule is here. For more in-depth information and the latest news and updates about the NWSL schedule, matchups, records, etc., visit: www.nwslsoccer.com and follow them on Twitter @NWSL.