The 2021 National Women's Soccer League season is slowly approaching its finish line, and several teams are vying for playoff position with the weeks winding down. Five games are on the schedule this weekend and fans can watch four of the games via Paramount+.
Saturday's doubleheader features the Orlando Pride against NJ/NY Gotham FC on Twitch, and the Washington Spirit against Racing Louisville FC on Paramount+. Sunday's tripleheader will see Kansas City NWSL host Portland Thorns FC, OL Reign face the Chicago Red Stars, and the Houston Dash and North Carolina Courage meet as the six teams close out the weekend. All of Sunday's matches will be on Paramount+.
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Here's how to watch and what to know about the games this weekend:
Saturday, Oct. 9
- Orlando Pride vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC, 7 p.m. ET (Twitch)
- Washington Spirit vs. Racing Louisville FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Sunday, Oct. 10
- Kansas City NWSL vs. Portland Thorns FC, 5 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- OL Reign vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
- Houston Dash vs. North Carolina Courage, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Pride hanging onto last playoff spot
After going on a seven-game undefeated streak to kick off regular season play, the Orlando Pride now find themselves sitting in the sixth and final playoff spot as the season winds down. Alex Morgan's return from injury could give them a boost moving forward, but they also have Sydney Leroux, who's in tip-top form, to rely on. Leroux sits second in the golden boot race with eight goals this season.
Spirit try to get back into playoff hunt
The seventh-place Washington Spirit might be able to leapfrog back into playoff position with a win over Racing Louisville FC. Washington has had to deal with significant off-pitch issues surrounding the organization, and the players have recently released a statement of support for Y. Michele Kang as they ask for her to become majority owner. The team is coming off a scoreless draw midweek and will need their attacking core of Ashley Hatch, Trinity Rodman, and Ashley Sanchez to reignite the spark on offense and find their finishing.
Thorns aim to stop losing skid
The table-toppers are on the road to face last-place Kansas City as they aim to bounce back into the win column after losing their last two matches. The team welcomed the return of Lindsey Horan back from injury and the midfielder recorded two assists in the team's 3-2 midweek loss to Houston. Kansas City NWSL will look to play spoiler as the season winds down, and the defense will need an organized performance against a Thorns attack led by Christine Sinclair and Sophia Smith.
OL Reign chase NWSL shield
OL Reign, three points back from the Portland Thorns in the race for the league's No. 1 seed, host fifth-place Chicago Red Stars at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. Prior to a pause in the regular season last week, the Reign were the hottest team in the league, picking up results and climbing their way to second place. They're currently in the mix for the NWSL shield if they pick up a win against Chicago and if Portland continues to drop points. The team will need another big performance by forward Bethany Balcer, who leads the league in the golden boot race with nine goals scored this season.
Three points separate Dash and Courage
Fourth-place Houston Dash host third-place North Carolina Courage as both teams are coming off big wins this week. Both sides are on a quick turnaround after having games on Wednesday, and are primed for a big play off push if either gets a win. Only three points separate these two teams, so if Houston manages to come away with a win, they'll be level on points. Dash captain Rachel Daly has been putting up big performances, as the English international recorded a brace in a midweek road victory over Portland.