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OCT 27
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10 games to watch this season
The summer of 2017 is going to be fun
Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com
Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com

Of course, we are excited for every NWSL game this season, but here are ten of our favorites.

Portland Thorns FC vs. Orlando Pride (April 15th: Lifetime, 3 p.m. ET)

The first NWSL Game of the Week on Lifetime! The Rose City Riveters and the Portland home crowd will surely be up for the match as Christine Sinclair, Amandine Henry, Nadia Nadim and the Thorns look to build on what was nearly a run to the championship match last season. Portland is a perfect 4-0-0 in home openers, including last season, when they topped the Pride 2-1 thanks to a late goal from Lindsey Horan. The Pride made a huge splash last week by signing five-time FIFA Player of the Year Marta and the Brazilian star is expected to be available to play in Orlando’s opening match. She joins Ashlyn Harris, Kristen Edmonds, Jasmyne Spencer and Ali Krieger on the Pride.

 

Washington Spirit vs. North Carolina Courage (April 15th: go90, 3 p.m. ET)

 

 

Though a lot has changed since the NWSL Championship last year, North Carolina Courage forward Lynn Williams’ late-game heroics in the match will still be fresh in the minds of Spirit fans.

FC Kansas City vs. Boston Breakers (April 16th: go90, 6 p.m. ET)

United States women’s national team co-captain Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City) should have her hands full with her national team teammate and No. 1 draft pick Rose Lavelle (Boston Breakers), who will be making her NWSL debut after shining in her first four appearances with the USWNT.

The Breakers had a difficult 2016, but they had FC Kansas City’s number last season. Two of Boston’s wins came against the two-time NWSL champs, with the Breakers shutting them out both times. FC Kansas City will be looking to reverse that trend in 2017.

 

Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit (April 22: Lifetime, 3 p.m. ET)

The Orlando Pride set the NWSL attendance record in their opening game last year and they’ll be looking to best that record when they play their first game at the new Orlando City Stadium. It’ll also be Krieger’s first game vs. her old team and the first time Pride fans will get to see Marta in person.

 

Chicago Red Stars vs. Seattle Reign FC (June 4: go90, 3p.m. ET)

The Seattle Reign just barely missed the playoffs last year, so all the losses and ties hurt, but their September game in Chicago must certainly sting. Up 2-0 after 9 minutes, and fighting to get into the playoff picture, the Reign could not hold the lead. Despite Seattle’s best efforts, Alyssa Naeher (and the crossbar) kept them from adding what would’ve been a game-winning third goal. Christen Press’ penalty kick in the 79th minute earned Chicago a draw. Seattle could never climb up into the fourth spot down the stretch.

 

Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit (June 17: Lifetime, 4 p.m. ET)

 

 

The Red Stars play host to the team that eliminated them from the playoffs last year in a dramatic extra time game. The crossbar was especially cruel to Chicago that day, denying Press a chance to win the game at the end of regulation.

Washington Spirit vs. Orlando Pride (July 8: go90, 4 p.m. ET)

Krieger makes her first return to the Maryland SoccerPlex since she was traded away to Orlando in the offseason. The Virginia native expressed surprise about the trade and said she remained committed to growing soccer in the DC community. She should receive a warm welcome from the Spirit fans.

 

Portland Thorns FC vs. North Carolina Courage (July 15: Lifetime, 4 p.m. ET)

 

 

The last time Sinclair, Williams, Jessica McDonald and Emily Sonnett were all on the same field in Portland? A playoff game we’ll never forget. If we even get half of that excitement this time, it could be one of the most fun games of this season.

 

Houston Dash vs. North Carolina Courage (August 27: go90, 8 p.m. ET)

Williams and Houston’s Kealia Ohai finished tied for first in the league with 11 goals, with Williams winning the Golden Boot tiebreak thanks to her five assists (to Ohai’s four). Four of those assists came against the Dash. Ohai tallied three goals in the two matches she played against Williams.

 

Sky Blue FC vs. North Carolina Courage (September 24: go90, 4 p.m. ET)

There’s no saying this is Christie Rampone’s final professional soccer season (and knowing Rampone, it probably won’t be), but if it is, this would be her last regular season home game. For all but one season of professional women’s soccer in the United States, the New Jersey native has played for the club closest to home. In the WUSA, she played three seasons with the New York Power and is now in her seventh season (over WPS and NWSL) with Sky Blue FC. A few highlights: she bounced back from an ACL injury with the Power, brought a title home as player-coach in WPS and was one of the best defenders in the NWSL last season, playing every minute of every game.

With even the possibility that this could be her last home game, expect Yurcak Field and the Cloud 9 supporters to send Rampone out with a fitting tribute. They certainly had a great tifo planned for when Rampone was honored at the SheBelieves Cup in March, but high winds kept them from displaying it.

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