The biggest NWSL storyline of last weekend was the signing of U.S. WNT forward Mallory Pugh to the Washington Spirit. The news was announced on Saturday, and Pugh, who had her first training with Washington on Tuesday morning, was officially introduced by the team with a press conference that afternoon. She is now expected to make her NWSL debut on Saturday, May 20 when the Spirit welcomes FC Kansas City to the Maryland SoccerPlex, where Pugh will go against one of her National Team co-captains in Blues captain Becky Sauerbrunn.
Here are upcoming match-ups from the weekend and the first mid-week clash of the season, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team players to keep an eye on:
Friday, May 19
Boston Breakers vs. Portland Thorns – 7 p.m. ET (go90.com)
In the first game of the year to take place on a Friday night, Rose Lavelle and the Boston Breakers will welcome several WNT players in Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Allie Long and Emily Sonnett and the Portland Thorns for the first meeting between the two sides in 2017. Lavelle scored her second goal of the season last weekend to help the Breakers earn a 1-1 draw on the road against the Chicago Red Stars.
Boston has been successful when it comes to hosting Portland, winning four of the six matches the teams have played at Jordan Field. But the Thorns do hold the advantage in the series with six wins to the Breakers’ five in the 11 meetings between the two in the history of the clubs.
Saturday, May 20
Sky Blue FC vs. Houston Dash – 4 p.m. ET (TV: Lifetime Game of the Week)
After a 3-1 Sky Blue win last weekend in Houston, Kealia Ohai, Morgan Brian and the Dash will now travel to New Jersey in search for a big away win. Kelley O’Hara, who missed last weekend’s game due to a family commitment, is expected to be with Sky Blue this weekend, and she’ll look to help her side to its second win against Houston in as many games.
Washington Spirit vs. FC Kansas City – 7 p.m. ET (go90.com)
All eyes will be on Washington on Saturday evening as Mallory Pugh is set to make her NWSL debut with the Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The game will match Pugh against fellow WNT teammates Becky Sauerbrunn, Sydney Leroux and FC Kansas City, a club that has twice been crowned NWSL champion.
The game is a big one for both teams as they continue to try to find their legs this season and earn their second win of 2017. The Spirit especially will look to bounce back with a strong performance at home following a tough 6-1 loss in Seattle last weekend that dropped them to the bottom of the league standings.
Sunday, May 21
North Carolina Courage vs. Chicago Red Stars – 4 p.m. ET (go90.com)
It will be a busy week for Lynn Williams, Samantha Mewis and the North Carolina Courage as the team will play three games in six days, starting with the first of a home-and-away series against Chicago on Saturday afternoon. The Courage, which is coming off its first loss of the season, a 3-1 decision to the Orlando Pride last Sunday, still sits atop the NWSL standings with 12 points.
Meanwhile, Christen Press, Julie Ertz, Alyssa Naeher and Casey Short salvaged a point at home last weekend vs. Boston on a late header goal from Press, but Chicago will now look for its first road win of the year in the first meeting between these two franchises in their history.
Seattle Reign FC vs. Orlando Pride – 9:30 p.m. ET (go90.com)
After scoring six goals against Washington last weekend, Megan Rapinoe and the Seattle Reign welcome Ali Krieger, Ashlyn Harris and the Orlando Pride to Memorial Stadium on Sunday night.
For Seattle, things have been looking solid as the team sits in second place with eight points. Rapinoe has four goals so far this season plus an assist and leads the league in scoring. The Pride comes to the Pacific Northwest after earning its first win of the season last weekend versus the previously undefeated NC Courage.
Wednesday, May 24
North Carolina Courage vs. Sky Blue FC – 7:30 p.m. ET (go90.com)
In its second match of three in six days, the North Carolina Courage will host Sky Blue FC in the first midweek game of the season. The Courage comes into the match after having faced Chicago four days earlier at home, while Sky Blue FC will have an extra rest day before taking on the NWSL leaders.
Carli Lloyd and Manchester City return to league action this weekend following their FA Cup triumph last weekend. They take on Yeovil Town Ladies FC on Sunday, May 21 at home.
Olympique Lyonnais is set to meet Paris Saint Germain in the French Cup Final on May 19, the second of three games between the two sides in a span of three weeks. OL has announced that WNT forward Alex Morgan has been ruled out of the game, as she rehabs a left hamstring injury suffered in the OL-PSG game on May 13, where she scored and helped Lyon to a 3-0 victory. OL’s medical staff is hopeful to have her available for the UWCL Final in Cardiff, Wales, on June 1.
Crystal Dunn and Chelsea FC take on Sunderland in league play on Sunday, May 21. They drew Arsenal Ladies on May 17, 2-2 at home. Dunn had an assist.
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 in the USA can also watch matches on their laptops via go90.com and nwslsoccer.com.
Matches will also be streamed live via nwslsoccer.com or the NWSL app (for users outside the U.S. only.)
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.