The NWSL Championship final is on the horizon as second-place Portland Thorns FC will face fifth-place Kansas City Current on Saturday. The two teams are the final clubs standing in the postseason and will have the chance to lift the trophy when they meet at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET on CBS and fans can stream on Paramount+ (Premium). Pregame coverage on Paramount+ begins at 6:30 p.m. ET with Kate Abdo, Midge Purce and Jenny Chiu. The Attacking Third, the podcast devoted to bringing you everything you need to know from women's soccer, will have postgame coverage carried live on YouTube and on the CBS Sports App following the trophy ceremony, with Angel City defender Ali Riley featured as a special guest.
Want more coverage of women's soccer? Listen below and make sure to follow Attacking Third, A CBS Soccer Podcast devoted to bringing you everything you need to know from the NWSL and around the globe.
Let's take a look at some predictions ahead of the match including matchup to watch and most likely to score:
Matchup to watch
Kristen Hamilton vs. Kelli Hubly. Hamilton has been an integral piece of Kansas City's attack ever since the club made a trade for her during the midseason of 2021. Hamilton has seven goals and two assists this year and provided the go-ahead goal for the Current in the semifinal against OL Reign. Portland Thorns center back Hubly played every single minute for the Thorns backline this season earning ironwoman honors. She will be tasked with keeping an eye on the Current's plentiful attack, as Hamilton is one of three players to provide goal-scoring for Kansas City with CeCe Kizer (7) and Lo'eau LaBonta (8) adding to the Current's 22 goals this year.
KRISTEN HAMILTON EXTENDS KANSAS CITY'S LEAD WITH A WONDERFUL STRIKE. 💥 pic.twitter.com/7hncuL2Zp7— Attacking Third (@AttackingThird) October 24, 2022
Most likely to score a goal
Sophia Smith. The 21-year-old striker was everywhere during the Thorns' semifinal against San Diego Wave FC and did everything but get a goal. Smith has provided 14 goals and three assists this season, earning an MVP nomination. Whether it's with the Thorns or the U.S. women's national team, Smith has shown she's not afraid of a big stage, and she's due for another highlight moment.
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Player of the Match pick
Adrianna Franch. The goalkeeper has had an outrageous season for the Current making 22 starts for the team this year. With six shutouts and a 75% save rating, Franch earned a nomination for NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year and finished second in the voting. She helped anchor the defense to a shutout during the semifinal against OL Reign, earning her third shutout in nine playoff appearances.
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The Thorns had long stretches of momentum during the semifinal when they applied the pressure, and the team will need to make sure they convert when generating their attack. Kansas City was able to produce a collective effort in front of the goal during their semifinal, making 37 clearances and picking up a clean sheet. It will come down to whether or not Kansas City can remain organized once more against one of the highest offensive production teams in the league. Expect Thorns forward and NWSL MVP finalist Smith to put it all together on a big stage. Pick: Portland Thorns 2, Kansas City Current 1.