Home News NWSL Season Preview 2023: Opening weekend matchups

NWSL Season Preview 2023: Opening weekend matchups

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This season promises the usual amount of NWSL chaos and it all kicks off Saturday, March 25. Here are the match reports for opening weekend.

NWSL Season Preview: Kansas City Current v. North Carolina Courage

Kickoff: March 25, 2:00 p.m. EST

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Host stadium: WakeMed Soccer Park

The Courage host the Current in the first match of the season. Coming off their championship berth, the Current will be looking to kick things off with a bang and remind everyone that they’re playoff material. Whether that bang includes a Debinha golazo or iconic LaBonta celly remains to be seen. The Courage on the other hand will be showcasing their new starting lineup after losing many of their veterans in the offseason and will feature a young squad eager to prove themselves against last year’s runner-up.

NWSL Season Preview: Chicago Red Stars v. San Diego Wave

Kickoff: March 25, 10 p.m. EST

Where to watch: CBS Sports Network

Host stadium: Snapdragon Stadium

Pack the Snap is back featuring a brilliant match-up to kick off the Wave’s sophomore season. The game promises a packed house with over 23,500 tickets sold as of Monday. The Wave are going to want to put on a show for their home fans, probably with an exceptional Alex Morgan goal and an amazing Sheridan save. But the Red Stars are never one to be counted out, with Mal Swanson on their side and Naeher in goal. This will be the match to watch for Saturday and promises lots of action.

NWSL Season Preview: OL Reign v. Washington Spirit

Kickoff: March 26, 4:00 p.m. EST

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Host stadium: Audi Field

Last year’s shield winners kick off their season in the district facing a Washington Spirit side that is likely to look a little lost. Between a rebrand off the field and an offseason littered with the loss of their championship-winning roster, the Spirit are going to be unsettled. Their team is young, and the Reign will be looking to take advantage of that. Stacked with seasoned players benefitting from playoff experience, Rapinoe, Lavelle, Fishlock, and Barnes should have a field day at Audi. There is always the possibility of a Trinity Rodman impossible goal, so Phallon Tullis-Joyce will still have to be on high alert.

NWSL Season Preview: Orlando Pride v. Portland Thorns

Kickoff: March 26, 5 p.m. EST

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Host stadium: Providence Park

This match promises an entertaining start to the season for last year’s champions, with the Pride appearing as a possible dark horse pick for the season. This will be the Thorns’ first match with new head coach Mike Norris and will put legends Christine Sinclair and Marta against each other. All eyes will be on 2022 MVP Sophia Smith, with the expectation that she’ll spark the scoring for the Thorns this season. Not to mention Marta’s return to the pitch for the NWSL season will be a monumental point for the Pride.

NWSL Season Preview: Racing Louisville v. Houston Dash

Kickoff: March 26, 7 p.m. EST

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Host stadium: Shell Energy Stadium

Are you here to run with racing or hold it down for H town? After making their first playoffs last season, the Dash stepped up their offseason with the acquisition of Diana Ordóñez. With a record-breaking rookie season under her belt, she’ll spend this one paired up with the attacking power of Ebony Salmon and María Sánchez, promising entertainment for Houston fans. While Racing has been mostly middle of the pack for their first two seasons, they picked up some fun new faces during the off-season including Paige Monaghan and Carson Pickett, and it would be a mistake to dismiss them entirely.

NWSL Season Preview: NJ/NY Gotham FC v. Angel City FC

Kickoff: March 26, 9:00 p.m. EST

Where to watch: Paramount Plus

Host stadium: BMO Stadium

Both teams will be looking to improve on their previous season, with Gotham putting in significant offseason work to rebuild themselves for success. Angel City almost made the playoffs last season, and is hoping the return of Sarah Gorden, Sydney Leroux, and Christen Press plus the addition of Rookie of the Year hopeful Alyssa Thompson will push them into the top half of the standings. Gotham is relying on experience to get them there, with leaders Ali Krieger, Kristie Mewis, Kelley O’Hara, Lynn Williams, and Midge Purce taking them to victory.

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