USWNT REWIND: Challenge Cup Championship Game Set

The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Championship match is set for Saturday, May 8 as NJ/NY Gotham FC – winners of the Eastern Division – will take on Western Division champions Portland Thorns FC at Providence Park at 1 p.m. ET on CBS.  


While Portland secured its spot in the final the week prior, Gotham clinched the Eastern Division with a 0-0 draw against Racing Louisville on Sunday, going unbeaten in its four divisional games (2-0-2). After opening the week with a scoreless draw against the Washington Spirit on April 27, Gotham FC entered the match against Louisville level on points, but with a game in hand over the North Carolina Courage, who played the Orlando Pride to a 0-0 stalemate on May 1. Gotham proved up to the task and pitched its third clean sheet of the Challenge Cup to come away with the draw and clinch its spot in the championship. As has been the case in all three of her Challenge Cup appearances, Carli Lloyd went the full 90 minutes for Gotham while Margaret Purce went 89 minutes in the game against Louisville to follow up back-to-back 90-minute outings.

North Carolina finished second in the Eastern Division standings, taking seven points with two wins – including a 3-2 victory over Racing Louisville on April 26 – and a draw. Orlando came in third in the East with five points, followed by the Spirit (4 points) and Racing Louisville (2).

Western Division champions Portland closed the round robin with a 1-1 draw against the Houston Dash on May 2, scoring in the 77th minute to match a tally by Houston’s Shea Groom right before the halftime whistle. Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan and Becky Sauerbrunn went the full 90 minutes for Portland, while Sophia Smith played 61 minutes in the attack and Adrianna Franch made one save as the Thorns finished the four-game slate with three wins and one draw.  Jane Campbell made six saves on the night for Houston – who also went unbeaten during the round-robin with a win and three draws – while Kristie Mewis played 61 minutes.

Mewis was named the NWSL Player of the Week after scoring twice in Houston’s 3-1 win over Kansas City on April 26, opening the scoring in the 25th minute with a left-footed strike and completing the brace with well-timed run in the 71st.

WATCH: Kristie Mewis Bags Brace Against Kansas City

Elsewhere in the Western Division, OL Reign topped the Chicago Red Stars, 3-2, on April 27 in a spirited affair in Tacoma. Forward Mallory Pugh opened the scoring in the 38th minute with a stellar left-footed strike, her first goal since joining the Red Stars. Casey Krueger tallied the assist. However, the Reign equalized just three minutes later and would score the game’s next two goals before a 90th minute tally from Chicago. Megan Rapinoe played 45 minutes for OL Reign while Pugh logged 66 minutes for Chicago, who received 90-minute efforts from Krueger, Julie Ertz, Tierna Davidson and Alyssa Naeher.


WATCH: Pugh Opens Red Stars Account


Across the Atlantic, action kicked off on Friday as Olympique Lyonnais defeated Le Havre, 5-1, with yet another goal from USWNT midfielder Catarina Macario. The 21-year-old extended her scoring streak to four consecutive games with a skillful turn and finish in the 79th minute, which extended Lyon’s lead to 5-1.

WATCH: Macario Shows Off Skill With Second-Half Goal


French side Paris Saint-Germain saw its run in the UEFA Women’s Champions League come to an end, falling to FC Barcelona 2-1 in the second leg on May 2 and 3-2 overall on aggregate. U.S. defender Alana Cook, who scored in PSG’s 1-1 draw in the opening leg in Paris, did not see action in the second leg.

PSG and Lyon are remain in a tight title race in D1 Arkema, the French top-flight. With its win over Le Havre, Lyon now sits at the top of the table, though PSG is just two points back with a game in hand. The longtime French foes will square off for the second time this season on May 29 in a match that should decide the league title.

In England, Manchester United defeated Bristol City, 1-0, in its penultimate game of the FA Women’s upper League. U.S. forward Christen Press went the full 90 minutes for the Red Devils and played a hand in the game’s lone goal with a service into the penalty area that eventually resulted in an own goal by Bristol City.

Manchester City also prevailed in its weekend fixture, defeating Birmingham City, 4-0, on Sunday to extend its WSL unbeaten streak to 18 games. Midfielders Samantha Mewis and Rose Lavelle both came on in the 78th minute of victory, and Mewis scored in stoppage for her seventh goal of the 2020-21 league campaign.

The 2020-21 Women’s Super League comes to a close on May 9 with Manchester United hosting Everton and Manchester City taking on West Ham on the final match day of the season. Chelsea, which sits one point behind Manchester City, but with two games left to play, needs wins over Tottenham (May 5) and Reading (May 9) to clinch the WSL title. Chelsea has also earned a spot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final by defeating Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate after a big 4-1 win over the weekend in the second leg.

Information on upcoming matches featuring U.S. Women’s National Team players can be found below. All times listed are ET.


Monday, May 3

Kansas City vs. OL Reign

NWSL Challenge Cup

8:00 p.m.


Thursday, May 6

Paris FC vs. Paris Saint-Germain

D1 Arkema (FRA)

12:30 p.m.

Saturday, May 8

NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns

NWSL Challenge Cup Championship

1:00 p.m.


Sunday, May 9

West Ham United vs. Manchester City

Women’s Super League (ENG)

9:30 a.m.

Manchester United vs. Everton

Women’s Super League (ENG)

9:30 a.m.

Le Havre vs. Paris Saint-Germain

D1 Arkema (FRA)

11:30 a.m.


Issy vs. Olympique Lyonnais

D1 Arkema (FRA)

11:30 a.m.