Photo By Jane G. Photography/Seattle Reign FC
By KAREEN DROT
The midweek fixtures for Week Six of the National Women’s Soccer League provide the clubs sitting in the middle of the pack a chance to climb back up.
Following a 1-0 loss to Seattle, the Portland Thorns have a chance to reclaim their second place spot as they meet the Houston Dash – a club that is riding a three game goalless streak. Portland lost their second place spot to the Western New York Flash and currently sit in fourth behind FC Kansas City.
Kansas City’s Amy Rodriguez currently leads the league with six goals, one ahead of Kim Little – a member of the top seeded team in the league, the Seattle Reign FC. FCKC will look to build on a win streak as they meet the Reign on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, last-placed Boston Breakers are set to host the Chicago Red Stars, a side that struggles offensively, too.
Here’s a closer look at the midweek fixtures of Week Six in the NWSL:
PORTLAND THORNS FC AT HOUSTON DASH (Wednesday at 8:00 pm ET – watch live)
After holding the Seattle Reign scoreless until the last minute of regulation for their first loss of the season last week, the Thorns will be eager to get back to their winning ways against a struggling Houston side.
Portland could incorporate more set pieces with Jessica McDonald and Christine Sinclair — both are strong on the ball, but McDonald is talented at finishing inside the box. Houston’s defense might look to sit behind her as she has a knack for slipping between defenders to place the ball on target – possibly giving Portland a strong chance to earn the lead.
FC KANSAS CITY AT SEATTLE REIGN FC (Wednesday at 10:00 pm ET – watch live)
FC Kansas City is riding high after two big wins last week that moved them up to third in the league table — but a very tough test awaits in the form of league-leading Seattle Reign FC.
Amy Rodriguez is the main source of goals for FC Kansas City and is usually played in by Lauren Holiday or Jen Buczkowski near the 18-yard box, so Seattle might look to block these advances. FCKC is strong centrally while Seattle dominates the flank so a lot of the Reign’s set pieces could be formed from the wings.
CHICAGO RED STARS AT BOSTON BREAKERS (Thursday at 7:00 pm ET – watch live)
For two teams that are still struggling to find their footing, Thursday may be a chance to grab some points.
Chicago struggles to find goals while Boston is stronger at scoring but their defense hasn’t improved much, conceding nine goals in four games. With that in mind, Chicago could press forward with some of their strongest players, Vanessa DiBernardo, Jen Hoy and Adriana Leon to try and earn the lead.
Boston might play on the flank where Joanna Lohmann or Mollie Pathman could connect with Heather O’Reilly, whose speed plays into strong set pieces and goals.
Which match are you looking forward to for Week Six’s midweek matchups? What are your predictions?
Share your thoughts below.