The 2022 National Women's Soccer League regular season returns on Friday after a brief pause in the wake of the Concacaf W Championship. Many USWNT and Canadian internationals have returned to their respective clubs, and NWSL action will feature a full slate of six games featuring all 12 clubs competing over the weekend.
Friday will kick off all the action as North Carolina Courage host Washington Spirit, and Racing Louisville FC face Portland Thorns FC. host Houston Dash, and Angel City FC face Kansas City Current. Fans can watch NWSL action all season live and on demand with Paramount+.
Here's what to know about this weekend's matches:
Schedule and how to watch
Friday, July 29
- North Carolina Courage vs. Washington Spirit, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount +)
- Racing Louisville FC vs Portland Thorns FC, 8 p.m. ET (Paramount +)
Saturday, July 30
- Chicago Red Stars vs. San Diego Wave FC, 8 p.m. ET (Twitch)
- Angel City FC vs. OL Reign Saturday 10:30 p.m. ET (Paramount +)
Sunday, July 31
- NJ/NY Gotham FC vs Houston Dash, 5 p.m. ET (Paramount +)
- Kansas City Current vs Orlando Pride, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount +)
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Second half of season in full swing
North Carolina Courage will face Washington Spirit for the fifth time this year after three meetings during the Challenge Cup that included a championship final victory for the Courage. The familiarity between the two sides has led to some hard-fought even contests, though with two draws and two wins for North Carolina, the Courage are currently getting the better of it. Both the Courage and the Spirit find themselves in unfamiliar territory at the bottom of the table as the second half of the regular season is in full swing, and both teams will be desperate to pick up points as the season winds down, hoping to slip into fifth or sixth position and nab one of the last couple of playoff spots.
Seventh-place Angel City FC will host sixth-place OL Reign in a battle for a place in the upper half of the table. The two teams are meeting for the forth time this year, with the Reign dominating the series with three wins. However, the contests have become more narrow, with the most recent meeting a 1-0 win for OL back in June. Both clubs are level on points, and a win could tie-breaker implications between the two clubs which might matter for determining who makes the playoffs or seeding if they both do. Angel City holds and extra game in hand, so these two will be fighting it out in the table the whole way.
NWSL comes to Soldier Field
Chicago Red Stars will host San Diego Wave FC at Soldier Field in a double header with MLS side Chicago Fire. Chicago had their nine game undefeated streak snapped just before the regular season break in a lopsided 4-1 loss on the road to Houston Dash, while San Diego are winless in their last two matches. The game could see USWNT forwards Mallory Pugh and Alex Morgan go head to head, though how many minutes the two forwards can play post Concacaf W Championship is up in the air.
The Red Stars are thin along the back line, so the return of Alyssa Naeher in net will be an added boost defensively as they try to get back in the win column.
Kansas City and Portland try to extend undefeated streak
Kansas City Current are on a seven game undefeated streak as they prepare to host Orlando Pride on Sunday. The Current have won their last three games, and have been turning narrow leads into victories thanks to strong performances by goalkeeper Adrianna Franch. Franch has two clean sheets heading into Sunday's game, and she'll face an Orlando have run out of ideas in their attack, producing only one goal (an own goal) over their last two matches.
The Portland Thorns will also try to extend their undefeated streak to nine when they face Racing Louisville on Friday. Their ability to pick up results on the road will only aid them as they look ahead to make a run at the NWSL shield. Five of the teams previous eight winning results have come on the road. Portland's depth has carried the club through another midseason without key international players, and Yazmeen Ryan has made the case to remain the starting lineup alongside the returning Sophia Smith in the second half of the season. Ryan now leads the team in assists with four, producing them all over the last month , and chances created with 16.