NWSL weekend preview: Key clashes for Westfield Matildas

The race for the National Women's Soccer League semi-finals will come to fore over the weekend.

Two big clashes with Westfield Matildas involvement could bear significant ramifications in the top four make up.

READ: Midweek NWSL wrap: Catley shines in Seattle win

READ: Hat-trick hero Kerr named NWSL player of the week

Here’s a run down of a big weekend in the United States for out Westfield Matildas.


The play-off hopes for Katrina Gorry’s Utah Royals will come under the microscope when the sixth-placed side welcomes Orlando Pride on Sunday morning.

Gorry’s team were narrowly pipped 1-0 by Seattle Reign midweek leaving the Royals with a four point gap to make up on current fourth-placed side Chicago Red Stars.

The midfielder came on late for Utah as the side pushed hard to restore parity, but Gorry was unable to help craft what would have been an important equaliser.

It means the Royals will approach this Sunday’s match against Orlando Pride, who have Emily van Edmond and Alanna Kennedy on their books, with the utmost importance.

Kennedy has been an ever-present at the base of midfield for Orlando in recent weeks, while van Egmond came off the bench against the Dash to play alongside her Westfield Matildas' partner in crime.

The Pride are currently third following a 3-1 defeat to Houston Dash midweek and will be without Brazilian superstar Marta after her dismissal late on. They'll be hunting for a victory to keep themselves well-placed for a semi-finals finish.

Emily van Egmond
Westfield Matildas' midfielder Emily van Egmond.


A huge top of the table clash awaits in Chicago on Sunday morning when the Red Stars host second-placed Seattle Reign.

Sam Kerr set more NWSL history last weekend with a hat-trick against former club Sky Blue and the 24-year-old will once again look to dominate the headlines as the two competition heavyweights face off.

READ: World reacts to Kerr's historic hat-trick

A defeat for Kerr’s Chicago could see Portland Thorns primed to take advantage. The Thorns take on Houston Dash on Monday afternoon and find themselves just two points away from the Red Stars prior to kick off this weekend.

But claiming three points in this one will also be a must for visitors Seattle as well. Lydia Williams and Steph Catley kept the team's slim title hopes alive with a 1-0 win over Utah Royals midweek in a match that saw Catley supply the winning goal and Williams maintain a clean sheet.

The two sides drew 0-0 earlier in the season, and it’s likely to be another tense affair this weekend - and one that could have big ramifications for the semi-finals race.



Portland Thorns find themselves two points shy of a top four berth prior to their fixture with Houston Dash on Monday afternoon.

The Thorns are currently in fifth position but with fourth-placed Chicago Red Stars taking on Seattle Reign the day before, Portland could break back into the top four with a win over Houston.

Portland come into the clash in fine form having dispatched four past a normally resolute Utah Royals defence last weekend.

That match saw Westfield Matildas forward Hayley Raso enjoy her second start in a row, while Ellie Carpenter was her usual solid and enterprising self in defence.

Meanwhile, Houston will enter the clash in similarly buoyant mood following a superb 3-1 win over Orlando Pride midweek. Kyah Simon and Clare Polkinghorne both started for the Dash as the side claimed a big win to keep their semi final hopes alive.

They'll want to claim back to back wins, and this is perhaps a fixture approaching must-win territory for the Dash. Houston are five points off fourth-placed Chicago Red Stars and three points away from this weekend's opponents Portland prior to the weekend kick off.



The weekend commences with runaway leaders North Carolina Courage visiting cellar-dwellers Sky Blue on Sunday morning.

Sky Blue are still searching for their first three points of the campaign and will be looking to spring a huge surprise on the Courage to re-ignite the title race.


*Teams in bold contain Westfield Matildas players

  1. North Carolina Courage – played 17, 42 points, +23
  2. Seattle Reign – played 16, 29 points, +6
  3. Orlando Pride – played 17, 22 points, 0
  4. Chicago Red Stars – played 17, 25 points, +3
  5. Portland Thorns – played 16, 23 points, +4
  6. Utah Royals – played 16, 21 points, -3
  7. Houston Dash – played 16, 20 points, -5
  8. Washington Spirit – played 17, 10 points, -13
  9. Sky Blue – played 14, 3 points, -15

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

Utah Royals v Orlando Pride | Sunday 9.00AM AEST

Chicago Red Stars v Seattle Reign | Sunday 10.00AM AEST

Portland Thorns v Houston Dash | Monday 1.00PM AEST

Matches can be live-streamed at nwslsoccer.com