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NWSL Fall Series: TV listings, final day preview

NWSL Fall Series on Oct. 17: TV listings, final day preview, featuring Orlando Pride vs North Carolina Courage

October 16, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The remaining four teams – North Carolina Courage, OL Reign, Orlando Pride and Utah Royals – are set to close NWSL Fall Series play on Saturday, Oct. 17, as the Courage seeks a third-place finish.

The 2020 NWSL Fall Series will conclude on Saturday with its final two matches.

In the South pod, the Orlando Pride will host the North Carolina Courage at Exploria Stadium, starting at 4 p.m. ET. The match will be available on CBS and exclusively on CBS All Access for American viewers and Twitch for international viewers.

In the West Pod, the Utah Royals will travel to Seattle to take on OL Reign. The game is set to start at 8 p.m. ET with CBS All Access screening the match exclusively for American viewers and Twitch for international viewers.

Headlining the final day of the competition is the North Carolina Courage, who could snatch third place from Washington Spirit if they win by a four-goal differential.

Orlando Pride vs North Carolina Courage

The Pride and Courage last met on Sept. 19 at WakeMed Soccer Park in a match that ended in a scoreless draw. It was Orlando’s first game since Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, and North Carolina’s second in the 2020 NWSL Fall Series.

Orlando Pride

The Orlando Pride has suffered a tragic 2020 campaign missing out on NWSL Challenge Cup after several players tested positive for COVID-19 just days before to the competition. Moreover, the Pride made their return to an NWSL game on Sept. 19 after nearly a year without playing a single game. However, they are still looking for their first win in 2020 after losing two and drawing one game so far in Fall Series play.

Pride head coach Mark Skinner has used these matches for evaluation in the future of the club. Skinner arrived at Orlando in January 2019 and he is still looking to establish a cultural and tactical identity on the pitch, given the lack of games under his command. A win to finish off the year could end Orlando’s run of bad form and luck.

North Carolina Courage

The Courage is the only one of the remaining four teams that has something to play for on Saturday. A win by a four-goal differential can see North Carolina overtake the Spirit and win $10,000 for its community partner, 321 Coffee. 

Four goals might sound like a lot, but probably not for manager Paul Riley and his players. The Courage scored four goals in their first game of the Fall Series against a strong Houston Dash side. However, they conceded three goals in the process. They looked better defensively in their second game against Orlando, keeping a clean sheet in the process. Offensively, the Courage had 18 shots, four on target, but no goals. If there is a will, there is a way, and scoring many goals is possible when you have players like attacking midfielder Debinha and striker Lynn Williams at your disposal.

OL Reign vs Utah Royals

The Utah Royals and OL Reign join the Orlando Pride as the only teams in the NWSL Fall Series to be looking for their first win. These two sides last met on Sept. 29 in a game that ended in a 2-2 draw 

OL Reign

The club managed by the former PSG manager, Farid Benstiti, enters the final day of the competition at the bottom of the nine-team leaderboard, having lost two games and drawn one. The team has not been particularly bad, as both losses came at the hands of Verizon Community Shield champions Portland Thorns.

Benstiti brought an attractive playing style and developed the Reign’s tactical shape, which has fit the scopes of attacking players Shirley Cruz and Bethany Balcer. The only thing this team is missing is a win in this Fall Series.

Utah Royals

Professional Soccer in Sandy, Utah been under fire since Utah Royals and Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen was placed on administrative leave following allegations of racial abuse when the return of the MLS regular season in August 2020. Furthermore, Amy LePeilbet was named interim head coach before the Royals’ first game of the Fall Series after Craig Harrington and Louis Lancaster were also placed on leave for misconduct.

To say the least, Utah joins Orlando in having the most tremulous 2020 campaigns and it reflects in their performances. A win on the final day can send the Royals to offseason with something to be happy about.

Kick-off times, dates and broadcast channels/streams for NWSL Fall Series matches on Oct. 17

 


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