NWSL schedule: Courage test three-game league winning streak against Dash
Houston Dash at North Carolina Courage
Date: Saturday, July 1, 7:30 p.m. EST
How to watch: Paramount+
On Saturday night in Cary, North Carolina, Sean Nahas’ North Carolina Courage encounter a Houston Dash team that has not lost a regular season match since May 20. Sam Laity’s Dash have drawn their last two contests 0-0, failing to challenge the Angel City goalkeeper once last weekend.
Points are points, and while Houston has not been picking up the maximum, three points in three weeks is better than coming up with nothing. With the Mexican national team missing the cut for the World Cup, Maria Sanchez, and Diana Ordóñez will still be around. Though it has been rough sledding when it comes to finding the back of the net for them this season, at some point it has to improve.
The Courage’s possession-style football has worked wonders in recent weeks, scoring 11 goals over their last four matches across all competitions. Now, they just have to do it without MVP candidate Kerolin in driving at the opposition’s backline. North Carolina’s roster is loaded with youthful talent including rookies Olivia Wingate, and Haley Hopkins. With Tyler Lussi also playing a part in the attack, the Courage are more than equipped to be able to handle the loss of many of its players.
Prediction: Houston Dash 0-1 North Carolina Courage
NWSL schedule: Two struggling sides aim to get back on track in Chicago
San Diego Wave at Chicago Red Stars
Date: Saturday, July 1, 8:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Paramount+
Every NWSL season is about those ebbs and flows. Right now, these two sides are swinging in the wrong direction. Neither the San Diego Wave or the Chicago Red Stars have won a match over the last three weeks of the regular season. Both clubs have lost by a one-goal margin in two successive weeks. Head coach Casey Stoney took all the blame post-game for her side’s first-half performance on the road during the mid-week. She believed that she did not put her team in the best position to win the match. The Wave have not lost three regular-season games in a row in franchise history under Stoney. They lost two consecutively earlier in the campaign. Their 2-0 win over the Current not only ended the losing streak but began a run of five unbeaten in the league.
Chris Petrucelli’s Red Stars have been competitive in their last two fixtures, but were not able to take a single point from either contest. Chicago has scored more goals than any team in the bottom half of the table. The only issue is their porous defense. 14 goals in four matches. That is not going to get the job done. Danielle Colaprico, in her return to the Windy City is going to have a field day picking passes out if this Red Stars team does not find any sort of stability defensively. Having no Alyssa Naeher does not help, making this a match one which Stoney should feel they need to take all the points.
Prediction: San Diego Wave 2-1 Chicago Red Stars