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NWSL Matchday 2 preview: How to watch all games

NWSL Matchday 2 preview: How to watch all five games including Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign

May 21, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
National Women’s Soccer League Matchday 2 kicks off Friday, May 21, with Racing Louisville playing the Washington Spirit at home.

Four other NWSL games will follow throughout the weekend, including the Cascadia rivalry game between the Portland Thorns and OL Reign on Sunday. Catch up with everything you need to know about the league and learn how you can watch all the games from most places around the world.

NWSL Matchday 2 games 

Racing Louisville vs. Washington Spirit on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET – Twitch 

NWSL action resumes Friday, with Racing Louisville hosting the Washington Spirit at Lynn Family Stadium. 

Louisville will look to avenge their Challenge Cup loss to the Spirit by winning their first game in franchise victory. Despite not winning a game in their first five competitive matches, the expansion side has lost two games by one goal and drawn the other three contests. Forward Savannah McCaskill will lead the home team in attack like she has done in her first games wearing Racing Louisville colors.

The Washington Spirit are also looking for their first three points of the season after an away draw against the Orlando Pride. Forward Ashley Hatch headed in what looked to be the game-winning goal in the 76th minute after dominating the match. However, Orlando’s Alex Morgan made the best out of a golden opportunity shortly after to level the scoring. Head coach Richie Burke will emphasize the importance of closing out a game before kicking off on Friday afternoon.

NC Courage vs. Orlando Pride on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET – Paramount+ 

The North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride will open Saturday play at WakeMed Soccer Park. 

Orlando is coming off a one-all draw against Washington on Matchday 1. Head coach Marc Skinner will aim to bounce back with an away win against a powerful NC Courage side. To do so, Skinner is likely to deploy the same attacking players he chose in week one. Captain Marta, rookie Taylor Kornieck and veteran Sydney Leroux played behind Morgan, who salvaged a point for the Pride last week. These four attackers will continue to build up chemistry with the hopes of carrying their team to the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Courage sit under Orlando due to goals scored after a goalless draw against OL Reign. North Carolina played Orlando in the 2021 Challenge Cup, with the game ending in a 0-0 draw. Head Coach Paul Riley will rely on Jessica McDonald, Hailie Mace, Kristen Hamilton, Debinha and Lynn Williams to snap the two-game winless streak.

Chicago Red Stars vs. Gotham FC on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET – Paramount+ 

Chicago and Gotham will close Saturday NWSL play when they meet at Toyota Park on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET.

The Chicago Red Stars are looking to overcome a week one 5-0 defeat against the Thorns at Providence Park in week 1. The Red Stars will have the comfort of playing at home, but they will face a 1-0 Gotham FC without star midfielder Julie Ertz. The USWNT star came off the game in the first half with a knee injury. She will miss the game against Gotham FC on Saturday.

Last week’s Budweiser Player of the Week Midge Purce will lead NJ/NY against Chicago. The 25-year-old is surrounded by star players – Carli Lloyd, Paige Monaghan, Evelyne Viens, Allie Long and Jennifer Cudjoe – who complement her pacey and technical ability on the pitch. Also, the team has proved to be rock solid in defense, keeping four clean sheets in six competitive games this year.

Portland Thorns vs. OL Reign on Sunday at 6 p.m. ET – CBS Sports Network

Cascadia rivals the Portland Thorns and OL Reign headline Matchday 2 as the only game to be broadcasted on North American television on CBS Sports Network.

The 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup champions proved to be the league’s most dominant side again by taking down the Chicago Red Stars 5-0 on opening weekend. Forward Sophia Smith was key in the game, forcing an own goal and scoring a brace in the first half of the game. Forward Morgan Weaver leads the league in assists after dishing out two assists Smith. Also, Christine Sinclair became the third player to reach 50 regular-season goals in NWSL history, joining Sam Kerr and Lynn Williams. The Thorns are oozing quality and home-field advantage at Providence Park will only help them overcome their bitter rivals.

On the flip side of the coin, OL Reign does not have a super team, yet. OL Head coach Farid Benstiti is waiting for reinforcements to arrive from Europe. USWNT midfielder Rose Lavelle is set to join the team permanently this week and is most likely to be ready to compete against her former club – the Washington Spirit – on Sunday, May 30. Olympique Lyonnais players Eugenie Le Sommer, Dzsenifer Marozsan and Sarah Bouhaddi are set to join the American club at the end of their European season. Until then, Benstiti will rely on Megan Rapinoe, Jess Fishlock, Quinn, Tziarra King and Shirley Cruz. 

Houston Dash vs. Kansas City on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET – Paramount+

And to conclude the week, the Dash will host Kansas City at BBVA Stadium. Both teams are in dire need of a win after failing to get the results they looked for last week and in the 2021 Challenge Cup.

The Dash defeated Kansas City 3-1 in Challenge Cup play, making it their only win in 2021. Forward Kristie Mewis scored a brace and England’s Rachel Daly converted a penalty kick to secure the three points. Houston will look to go 2-0 against Kansas City to edge closer to the Thorns in the NWSL table. As for KC, they will look to win their first game of 2021.

Top five teams in the NWSL heading into Matchday 2

 
 
 
 
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NWSL Matchday 2 Stat leaders

  • Top goalscorer – Sophia Smith (2)
  • Most assists – Morgan Weaver (2)
  • Most clean sheets – Adrianna Franch; Michelle Betos; Nicole Barnhart; Kailen Sheridan; Karen Bardsley; Casey Murphy (1)
  • Most team goals – Portland Thorns (5)
  • Most team assists – Portland Thorns (2)

How to watch all NWSL Matchday 2 games


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