NWSL Preview: An all-Aussie showdown in Chicago

There’s a big match-up between two Westfield Matildas in this weekend’s National Women’s Soccer League action.

Here’s what to expect:

Chicago Red Stars v Portland Thorns

Hayley Raso is set to return for Portland Thorns after overcoming an injury which had kept her sidelined since the win over Thailand in the Asian Cup.

She’ll join fellow Aussie Ellie Carpenter, who will be looking to help Portland bounce back from a heavy 4-1 defeat on their last outing to league leaders North Carolina Courage.

It’s a big match for both sides, who both have 15 points. Portland sits fourth and Chicago fifth, so it’s all on the line come Saturday morning (AEST).

One woman to watch for Chicago is Westfield Matildas superstar Sam Kerr, who has scored five of Red Stars’ 16 goals so far this season.

Orlando Pride v Sky Blue FC

A swag of Australian talent will be looking to help Orlando Pride do their best and potentially jump all the way into second place.

Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy will be hoping to help their sidekick back into some form following a scoreless draw with Seattle Reign last weekend.

Orlando currently sits in third place, with two points between them and second place Seattle. Fourth and fifth place are behind by just a point, so a win on Saturday morning (AEST) is crucial.

This weekend’s opponents Sky Blue FC played out a scoreless draw with Washington Spirit last weekend and has just two points from ten games this season.

Washington Spirit v Seattle Reign FC

Steph Catley will be looking to add to her two assists for Seattle so far this season when they head to Washington on Saturday morning (AEST).

It’s off the back of some good form for Catley which earned her a place in the May NWSL Team of the Month.

Fellow Westfield Matilda Lydia Williams will also take part in the match which is shaping as one where Seattle can’t afford to be complacent.

With just three points separating them and the three sides behind them on the ladder, the second-place Reign will know a win is crucial against second-last Washington.

North Carolina Courage v Utah Royals FC

Utah is up against it on Saturday morning (AEST) when they face league leaders North Carolina who hasn’t lost in the league this season.

Katrina Gorry is one Aussie who may be able to make the difference for Utah as they look to climb into the playoff places.

Their last outing was a tight 2-1 win over cellar-dwellers Sky Blue FC, and it took an own goal to secure all three points.

NWSL LADDER

*Teams in bold contain Westfield Matildas players

  1. North Carolina Courage – played 12, 30 points, +13
  2. Seattle Reign – played 10, 18 points, +5
  3. Orlando Pride – played 11, 16 points, +3
  4. Portland Thorns – played 11, 15 points, -1
  5. Chicago Red Stars – played 12, 15 points, 0
  6. Utah Royals – played 10, 14 points, +1
  7. Houston Dash – played 10, 10 points, -5
  8. Washington Spirit – played 12, 9 points, -7
  9. Sky Blue – played 10, 2 points, -10

Here are the game details for Westfield Matildas stars and their teams…

Chicago Red Stars vs. Portland Thorns FC | Saturday, 10am AEST

Orlando Pride vs. Sky Blue FC | Saturday, 9:30am AEST

Washington Spirit vs. Seattle Reign FC | Saturday, 9am AEST

North Carolina Courage vs. Utah Royals FC | Saturday, 9am AEST

Matches can be live-streamed at nwslsoccer.co

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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