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NWSL Challenge Cup: How to watch games on April 21

How to watch three NWSL Challenge Cup games on Wednesday, April 21, 2021

April 21, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
Three 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup games will unfold on Wednesday, April 21, and we have you covered with all you need to know about each game.

Three 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup games will follow up a blockbuster match on Tuesday evening where NJ/NY Gotham FC took down North Carolina Courage at home 4-3. 

The action will kick-start with the Chicago Red Stars hosting Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. ET followed by the Orlando Pride taking on the Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. ET and ending with a rivalry match between the Portland Thorns and OL Reign at 10 p.m. ET.

Paramount+ (USA) and Twitch (international) will stream live the first two games before CBS Sports Network screens the big match of the night, featuring the Portland Thorns and OL Reign. The game will also be available on Twitch for international audiences.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City at 6:30 p.m. ET

The Chicago Red Stars will aim to win their first game of the tournament after a draw against the Dash and a loss against the Thorns. Chicago is currently sitting fourth in the Western Division table with just one point and a negative one-goal differential. The Red Stars will hope to make the best out of home-field advantage when they host Kansas City at SeatGeek Stadium in Chicago, Illinois.

Kansas City will also look for its first 2021 Challenge Cup win after losing against Portland on opening day. The fiery matchup between Kansas City and Portland saw defender Kristen Edmonds receive a red card, which will see her miss the game against the Red Stars. Manager Huw Williams will count on captain Amy Rodriguez to lead the team to victory.

Both sides have players returning from international duty. The Red Stars welcome back Julie Ertz, Tierna Davidson, Alyssa Naeher from representing the USA in Europe against Sweden and France. On the other hand, Jordyn Listro, Desire Scott, Marianna Larroquette and Chloe Lozargo will be available for Kansas City.

Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit at 7 p.m. ET

The Orlando Pride will look to secure three points at home against the Washington Spirit that will see them go up to second place in the Eastern Division. The Pride has missed out on three points from conceding late in games – a 93rd-minute equalizer from Racing Louisville and a 79th-minute game-winner from Gotham FC. Marta, Sydney Leroux and Taylor Kornieck have been key in the attack for the Pride and will continue to play important roles against Washington.

The Washington Spirit will look to go level on points with Gotham FC in the Eastern Division with a win over the Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on Wednesday. The Spirit is coming off a win in their second game of the competition against Racing Louisville, where Ashley Sanchez scored a goal in added time to secure three points. Washington looked strong in its first two games, where they dominated possession and created many dangerous chances. 

The Pride and the Spirit will have reinforcements for the upcoming game on Wednesday. Orlando Pride head coach Mark Skinner will count on forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir. On the other side of the coin, Washington Spirit manager Richie Burke will welcome back Kelley O'Hara, Emily Sonnet, Mariana Speckmaier, Andi Sullivan and Saori Takarada.

Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign at 10 p.m. ET

The Portland Thorns find themselves in a perfect position to secure a spot in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Final. A win on Wednesday night against rivals OL Reign would see Portland go 3-0-0. Forward Morgan Weaver scored a game-winning goal against the Chicago Red Stars last Thursday and will look to make another appearance in the starting line-up against OL Reign. Defenders Natalia Kuikka and Kelli Hubly, and midfielder Rocky Rodriguez will look to continue to be the backbone of the team. Simone Charley will return after serving her one-game suspension following a red card against Kansas City on opening day.

OL Reign will aim to avenge a goalless draw at home against the Houston Dash in their first game of the Challenge Cup. The Reign kept reigning champs Houston at bay and were able to get one point. OL Reign will travel to Providence Park with the goal to stop the Thorns from winning the Western Division and join the race for a spot in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Final.

Portland Thorns and OL Reign will each have four returning players. Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Becky Sauerbrunn and Sophia Smith return from international duty for the Thorns. Forward Christine Sinclair is also back with the squad, but still taking care of her ankle. On the other hand, OL Reign head coach Farid Benstiti will welcome back Jess Fishlock, Quinn, Nicole Momiki and Megan Rapinoe. 

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