Connect with us


Week 10 preview: Last call for USWNT players

After this weekend, the U.S. players will be gone from NWSL until after the Olympics.  (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

After this weekend, the U.S. players will be gone from NWSL until after the Olympics. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

This weekend is the final opportunity for NWSL fans to see their favorite United States national team players until after the Olympic break. Find who who is playing where and what the key matchups are.


Boston Breakers (1-7-1) at Western New York Flash (5-4-0)
7:00 pm EDT, Rochester Rhinos Stadium
All-Time Series: Flash lead, 6-2-2
Watch on YouTube

What to watch for: The Flash continue their long home stand and will look to get back on track against the worst away team in NWSL history. The Breakers trip to Western New York last month resulted in a 4-0 drubbing and their string of consecutive away games without a win has reached 16. For the second time in three weeks an injury will keep Kristie Mewis out of action but the Breakers ball movement in a 1-1 draw against the Spirit without Mewis may have been their best of the season. They could also be without Libby Stout—officially doubtful due to a right quad strain. That would pass the goalkeeping duties on to Jami Kranich whose only game this season was the 4-0 loss to the Flash. And The Flash are only getting better having acquired Lianne Sanderson earlier this week. The silver lining for the Breakers is that their most recent away win in July 2014 came at Rhinos Stadium (then Sahle’s)


Sky Blue FC (2-3-4) at Washington Spirit (5-1-2)
7:00 pm EDT, Maryland SoccerPlex
All-Time Series: Sky Blue lead, 5-3-2
Watch on YouTube

What to watch for: After not beating Sky Blue for two seasons the Spirit have had their way with the New Jersey side over the last two. That includes a 2-1 win in April to spoil Sky Blue’s home opener. The Spirit are still tinkering with their excess of riches at forward, trying to figure out who to put where to get them all to perform closer to capabilities. But even with Crystal Dunn on the duck and other forwards playing at or below average the Spirit are challenging for the Shield thanks to super ball movement in midfield and a tight defensive unit. Sky Blue has improved since the start of the season and the speedy Leah Galton was a handful for the right side of the Reign defense last weekend. But Sky Blue needs more production out of their midfield, a task that won’t be easy in this one.

Seattle Reign FC (3-3-3) at FC Kansas City (2-4-3)
7:00 pm EDT, Swope Soccer Village
All-Time Series: Kansas City lead, 5-3-2 (plus Kansas City, 2-0-0 in playoffs)
Watch on YouTube

What to watch for: Don’t look now but FC Kansas City are on a roll. The club parlayed its first win of the season into seven of a possible nine points over the last three games and their trademark defense has been up to the task of late as well with no goals given up in the run of play in five straight games. The Reign are still battling the consistency monster and were lucky to escape Yurcak Field with a point on Father’s Day. Their edge will be in central midfield where Kim Little and Jess Fishlock offer pieces FC Kansas City are not presently equipped to deal with. Little turned in a sublime, two-way performance when the teams met at Memorial Stadium earlier this season and should be that much more effective with Fishlock in the fold (she missed that game with a broken leg.) Manon Melis is also due back for the Reign.


Portland Thorns FC (5-0-5) at Orlando Pride (5-5-0)
5:00 pm EDT, Camping World Stadium
All-Time Series: Thorns lead, 1-0-0
Watch on YouTube

What to watch for: Both teams face quick turnarounds to begin the second halves of their seasons after satisfying wins at the midweek. The Pride stayed perfect at home with some stoppage time dramatics that included Jasmyne Spencer’s game-winning goal. The Thorns capitalized on some mistakes to race to a 2-0 lead and never let the Red Stars back in the match. When they teams played Week 1 the Pride had moments where they took the match to the Thorns, but Mark Parson’s side has come a long way since then and remains undefeated at the midway point in the season. The sheer dominance of Tobin Heath seems to have eased just a bit which could be the window the Pride need to seize control of this one. The long trip south and east for the Thorns probably negates any advantage they would have had playing on three days’ rest instead of two.

note: streams are subject to change up to the last minute; please consult for the most up-to-date information


Your account


More in Analysis