It’s almost time to bid adieu to the U.S. World Cup players. But first three more matches to finish out Week 3.
Portland Thorns (2-0-0) at Chicago Red Stars (1-0-0)
8:30 pm EDT, Benedictine University Sports Complex
Series: Thorns lead, 2-1-4
Points of Interest: This is a fascinating series in that neither team has ever beaten the other at home. Both are expected to have their top Canadians—Christine Sinclair for the Thorns and former Thorn Karina LeBlanc for the Red Stars. Good thing for the Thorns who will not have Alex Morgan or Jodie Taylor through injury. Even though both teams have dynamic goal scorers, this one is likely to be decided in midfield, where the Thorns have been going with six and the Red Stars have are outstanding at winning balls and countering.
Houston Dash (1-0-1) at Boston Breakers (0-1-0)
5:00 pm EDT, Soldiers Field
Series: Dash lead, 2-1-0
Points of Interest: The Dash will be trying to spoil the Breakers’ home opener for the second straight year in what will be the first match at Soldiers Field (the WPS Breakers hosted a playoff match there in 2010.) The Dash look like a new squad with Carli Lloyd and Morgan Brian controlling the midfield, while the Breakers were slow out of the blocks in a 4-1 loss in Portland before having a week off. The Breakers will need to be better especially in the wide areas. And they will have to do it without Cat Whitehill, who has bruised ribs and will miss an NWSL match for the first time.
Washington Spirit (1-1-0) at Sky Blue FC (1-0-1)
6:00 pm EDT, Yurcak Field
Series: Sky Blue lead, 5-0-2
Points of Interest: Injuries are a big factor in this one. Ali Krieger won’t play for the Spirit two weeks after being concussed in Houston. Nadia Nadim will give it a go for Sky Blue a week after a tight groin limited her to 45 minutes. Also hobbled is Christie Rampone, who has played into the second half but not to the end of either of Sky Blue’s first two matches. Spirit keeper Ashlyn Harris has been forced into a league-leading 14 saves over two matches, an average the club will want to bring down.
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