A busy weekend of NWSL Fall Series action saw several USWNT regulars make key contributions across the league’s three matches.
Saturday’s nationally televised game on CBS featured the North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride play to a scoreless draw in Cary, N.C. It was Orlando’s first competitive match in nearly a year after being forced to withdraw from the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup due to COVID-19 precautions. Despite the layoff, Ashlyn Harris – who recorded four saves in the shutout - and Ali Krieger led a strong defensive effort to come away with the clean sheet. Abby Dahlkemper – who captained North Carolina - and Lynn Williams both played the full 90 minutes for the Courage, who remain unbeaten in the Fall Series. Williams and Dahlkemper both scored in North Carolina’s first match of the Fall Series, a thrilling 4-3 win over the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup champions Houston Dash.
Watch: Harris Denies Debinha
The Chicago Red Stars earned their first win of the Fall Series on Sunday, beating Sky Blue FC, 4-1. Alyssa Naeher made six saves in the win while Morgan Brian Gautrat assisted the game-winner in the 28th minute.
Capping off the weekend’s action, Portland Thorns FC topped Utah Royals FC, 3-0, in the first Fall Series action for both clubs. Lindsey Horan assisted Portland’s opening goal in the 35th minute and added a goal of her own in the 81st minute, blocking an attempted goalkeeper clearance out of the back. The ball ricocheted off her and directly into the back of the net. Becky Sauerbrunn also saw action for Portland, making her return from a hip injury suffered in the Thorns’ first NWSL Challenge Cup match. She came on in the 62nd minute and put in her usual composed and consistent performance.
Watch: Horan Brings The Pressure At Providence Park
The NWSL Fall Series continues on Saturday, September 26 with three games: Chicago Red Stars vs Washington Spirit (1 p.m. ET on CBS), Utah Royals FC vs OL Reign (3:30 p.m. ET on CBS All-Access) and Houston Dash vs. Orlando Pride (8:30 p.m. ET on Twitch). The full Fall Series schedule and viewing information can be found at NWSLSoccer.com.
Following the conclusion of the UEFA-only FIFA window on September 22, action is also set to resume abroad next weekend, with all three FA WSL clubs featuring USWNT players scheduled for Oct. 4 matches.