USWNT REWIND: Chelsea, Lyon Prevail in Opening Leg of UWCL Semis


As the European calendar nears its close, Chelsea FC and Olympique Lyonnais took important steps in their pursuit of the 2023-24 UEFA Women’s Champions League crown, winning the opening leg of their respective semifinal matchups on Saturday.

Chelsea defeated reigning champions Barcelona, 1-0, on the road on Saturday afternoon, handing Barcelona its first home loss in all competitions in over five years. The Blues, who lost to Barcelona in the 2021 UWCL Final and fell to the Spanish powerhouse in last year’s semifinals, took the lead in the 40th minute off a strike from Scottish international Erin Cuthbert and stifled Barcelona’s attempts at an equalizer to come away with the shutout victory. Forward Catarina Macario came on for Chelsea in the 73rd minute to help close out the win. The teams will meet in the second leg of the semifinal on Saturday, April 27 at the famed Stamford Bridge with a spot in the UEFA Women’s Champions League Final on the line.

The other semifinal featured two fierce and longtime French rivals with eight-time Champions League winners Olympique Lyon hosting two-time runner-up Paris Saint-Germain. PSG seemed poised to spoil Lyon’s pursuit of a ninth title, taking an early 2-0 lead with goals from French international Marie-Antoinette Katoto in the 44th and 48th minutes. Despite the deficit, Lyon remained undeterred and put together a remarkable comeback, scoring three goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to come away with the 3-2 victory. Lindsey Horan went the distance for Lyon and played a pivotal role in the third and decisive goal, winning the ball in a hard challenge on the right wing which led to the eventual game winner from French international Amel Majri. Defender Eva Gaetino played the full 90 for PSG in the defeat while midfielder Korbin Albert started and played the first half. The teams will now play in Paris during the second leg of the semifinal on Sunday, April 28 at the iconic Parc des Princes.

Along with the Champions League, Chelsea and incoming USWNT head coach Emma Hayes are in pursuit of yet another FA Women’s Super League title to close out Hayes’ tenure with the Blues. Chelsea defeated Aston Villa 3-0 midweek and remains second in the standings, just three points back of Manchester City but with a game in hand. Macario made her first start for Chelsea in the victory and tallied and assist in the 38th minute, setting up Japanese international Maika Hamano with a nifty flick at the top of the six-yard box.


Arsenal sits third in the WSL standings, three points back of Chelsea following a 3-0 win on Sunday over Leicester City. Defender Emily Fox started for the Gunners and came off in the waning minutes of second half stoppage time, helping Arsenal secure a spot in next year’s Champions League with the victory.

In the NWSL, three unbeaten teams remain as the Kansas City Current, Orlando Pride and Racing Louisville FC all continued their strong starts to the season. The Current remain first in the league standings following a 5-2 win over Bay FC on Saturday night, led by braces from Brazilian international Beatriz and Malawi international Temwa Chawinga. It marked the second time this season the Current have scored five or more goals in a game.

Racing Louisville also erupted for five goals, topping the Utah Royals 5-1 on Saturday night to earn their first victory of the 2024 regular season. After four consecutive draws to open the year, Louisville finally broke through to take all three points with a dominant showing at home. Midfielder Savannah DeMelo  tallied twice in the victory, pouncing on a rebound in the 68th minute to break a 1-1 deadlock and converting from the penalty spot in the 78th to give Louisville a 3-1 advantage.


The Orlando Pride made it back-to-back wins with a 1-0 win over San Diego Wave FC on Friday night. The Pride scored the game’s only goal in the 26th minute but controlled the match throughout, holding the 2023 NWSL Shield Winners to just one shot on target and four total shot attempts on the evening. 

The Washington Spirit moved into second in the standings with their fourth consecutive win, topping reigning NWSL Champions NJ/NY Gotham FC 2-0 on Saturday at Audi Field. The Spirit took the lead in the 41st minute as veteran defender Casey Krueger tallied her second assist of the season, setting up the opening score by rookie Croix Bethune. Washington then doubled its advantage in the 69th minute as Ashley Hatch buried her attempt from the penalty spot.


The Chicago Red Stars moved into third in the table, tallying their third win of the season with a 2-1 road victory over Seattle Reign FC. Forward Mallory Swanson played a hand in both goals for Chicago, setting up the opening score from Ally Schlegel in the fourth minute with a blazing run down the field and then netting a goal of her own in the 31st with a left-footed blast from 12-yards out.


Seattle pulled on back in the 79th minute, but Chicago held strong on defense to secure the win away from home.

Playing in the friendly confines of Providence Park, Portland Thorns FC picked up its first win of the 2024 campaign with an emphatic 4-1 win on Saturday over the Houston Dash. After a slow start to the season, Portland wasted no time in taking control against the Dash, taking a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute with a goal from Canadian international Christine Sinclair and doubling the advantage in the 27th minute as forward Sophia Smith netted her third goal of the season.


Houston scored in the 49th minute to cut the deficit to one, but Portland responded with a goal from 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie – assisted by Smith – in the 87th minute to reclaim a two-goal lead. The goal was Moultrie’s first of the year and her sixth career regular season goal. Portland scored again late in second-half stoppage time to clinch the victory.


Rounding out the weekend action, Angel City FC earned its second consecutive win with a 2-1 victory on Sunday afternoon over the visiting North Carolina Courage. Scottish international Clair Emslie scored both goals for Angel City, the second of which was assisted by forward Alyssa Thompson. Angel City led 2-0 after 54 minutes before North Carolina pulled on back in the 73rd but could not complete the comeback.

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

Wednesday, April 24
D1 Féminine: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Paris FC 12:30 p.m. DAZN
D1 Féminine: Olympique Lyon vs. Guingamp 12:30 p.m.  
Friday, April 26
NWSL: Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride 6:30 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: Angel City FC vs. Kansas City Current 9:00 p.m. Prime Video
Saturday, April 27
UWCL – Semifinals: Chelsea FC vs. Barcelona 12:30 p.m. DAZN
NWSL: North Carolina Courage vs. Seattle Reign FC 6:30 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC 6:30 p.m. ION
NWSL: Utah Royals FC vs. Houston Dash 6:30 p.m. NWSL+
NWSL: San Diego Wave FC vs. Bay FC 9:00 p.m. ION
Sunday, April 28
FA Women’s Super League: Everton vs. Arsenal 7:30 a.m. Paramount+
FA Women’s Super League: Aston Villa vs. West Ham United 9:00 a.m. The FA Player
UWCL – Semifinals: Paris Saint-Germain vs. Olympique Lyon 10:00 a.m. DAZN
NWSL: NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Racing Louisville FC 4:00 p.m. NWSL+