By: NWSL Editor
Week 4 Preview: NWSL Pitch Notes

Below is a selection of moments to watch for and notes to know entering Week 4 of NWSL regular season action.

Week 4 match coverage begins Friday, April 12 as the Houston Dash host the Washington Spirit at Shell Energy Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET on Prime Video.

Week 4 match coverage begins Friday, April 12 as the Houston Dash host the Washington Spirit at Shell Energy Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET on Prime Video.



Viewers tuning in to the NWSL this season can catch more than 120 matches across CBS, ESPN, ION and Prime Video. The remaining matches will be available for free on NWSL+, the league’s first-ever domestic direct-to-consumer streaming platform.


Week 4 kicks off on Friday with a matchup between first-year head coaches as the Houston Dash host the Washington Spirit. Fran Alonso has led the Dash to a 1-1-1 record, while interim head coach Adrián González and the Spirit are tied for the third-best record in the league at 2-1-0. Both clubs feature rookies in prominent roles, including midfielder Kiki Van Zanten and forward Amanda West, who both made their first professional starts for Houston in Week 3. Forward Avery Patterson, the No. 19 overall pick in the 2024 NWSL Draft, presented by Ally, has started two of the Dash’s first three games, ranking third on the roster in tackles won (4) and fifth in possessions won (13). First round picks Croix Bethune and Hal Hershfelt have started all three matches for the Spirit, each scoring one goal so far while both ranking second on the team in tackles won (5). Hershfelt, who has played every minute this season, leads Washington in blocks (2), while ranking second on the team in successful passes (128) and third in passing accuracy (82.05%).


The two clubs with most trophies in the NWSL, the North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns FC, will face each other for the first time this season on Saturday. The Courage have won two NWSL Championships (2018, 2019), three NWSL Shields (2017-19) and two NWSL Challenge Cup Championships (2022, 2023), while the Thorns have won three Championships (2013, 2017, 2022), two Shields (2016, 2021) and the 2021 Challenge Cup. North Carolina is 2-1-0 and tied for the best goal differential in the league (4), while Portland has yet to win a game this season despite having the third-highest scoring output (6).


Saturday’s battle between Racing Louisville FC and San Diego Wave FC spotlights two of the best goalkeepers in the league in Katie Lund and Kailen Sheridan, who both finished as finalists for Goalkeeper of the Year in 2023. Lund allowed just 24 goals for Racing last season, recording a career-best 1.09 goals against average while earning six clean sheets. She was the fourth in the league among keepers who played at least half the season with a 78.6 percent save percentage. Sheridan, the 2022 Goalkeeper of the Year, recorded 0.95 goals against average along with a career-high nine shutouts for the Wave while leading the club to its first NWSL Shield. Both keepers have earned a clean sheet in 2024.


Gotham FC takes on the Kansas City Current on Sunday in Harrison, New Jersey. The match features a friendly rivalry between Gotham owner and former New York Giants Quarterback Eli Manning and Current owner and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Manning added another ring to his collection with last year’s Gotham FC Championship win and took to social media this week to stoke the rivalry with Mahomes.


NWSL took a week-long break from action as players from the NWSL were called up for international duty. The SheBelieves Cup, featuring 31 players from the NWSL, saw the USWNT win their seventh SheBelieves title and second trophy of the year. The U.S. battled Canada after taking down Japan 2-1 in front of a crowd of 50,644, the largest crowd for a friendly match on home soil. The finals against Canada were the second meeting between the rivals in 35 days and second-straight game that went to penalty kicks. Alyssa Naeher from the Chicago Red Stars left the game as a hero for saving three penalties and scoring one of her own. Naeher is the only goalkeeper to save three penalties in a shootout, which she has done twice now. Jayden Shaw of the Wave was involved in both goals against Canada and scored one herself against Japan. Sophia Smith secured a brace in the run of play and converted her penalty against Wave keeper Kaileen Sheridan.


Zambian international and Orlando Pride forward Barbara Banda opened scoring against Morocco in Olympic Qualifying and later converted a penalty to secure Zambia’s ticket to Paris, winning 3-2 on aggregate score. Bay FC striker Asisat Oshoala and Houston Dash forward Michelle Alozie, both Nigerian internationals, also secured a spot in Paris after drawing South Africa and winning, 1-0, on aggregate score.


Friday, April 12

Houston Dash vs. Washington Spirit | Shell Energy Stadium | 8 p.m. ET | Prime Video Utah Royals FC vs. Orlando Pride | America First Field | 9:30 p.m. ET | NWSL+

Saturday, April 13

North Carolina Courage vs. Portland Thorns FC | WakeMed Soccer Park | 7 p.m. ET | NWSL+ Racing Louisville FC vs. San Diego Wave FC | Lynn Family Stadium | 7:30 p.m. ET | ION Chicago Red Stars vs. Angel City FC | SeatGeek Stadium | 9:30 p.m. ET | ION

Sunday, April 14

NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Kansas City Current | Red Bull Arena | 6 p.m. ET | NWSL+ Bay FC vs. Seattle Reign FC | PayPal Park | 8 p.m. ET | NWSL+

NWSL Pitch Notes