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NWSL Week 2 Preview: KC Current host Thorns in 2022 Championship rematch

The National Women’s Soccer League continues action this weekend with a five-match slate on Saturday and one match on Sunday.

After dropping points in North Carolina on opening weekend, Matt Potter and his side face a massive test on Saturday with the Portland Thorns in town.

The Kansas City Current kick off their home schedule with a rematch of last fall’s NWSL championship game against the Portland Thorns at Children’s Mercy Park.

Kansas City continue to miss key off-season additions due to injuries. Debinha, Vanessa DiBernardo and Mallory Weber have returned to full training, but it seems unlikely any of the three will make an appearance on Saturday.

Portland, the defending champions, started the 2023 regular season with a 4-0 victory over the Orlando Pride in front of their home crowd last weekend.

Reigning NWSL MVP Sophia Smith started 2023 right where she left off, scoring once and assisting once. Morgan Weaver, Hina Sugita and Michele Vasconcelos all contributed goals for the Thorns in the blowout win.

Here is a closer look at this weekend’s action:

Chicago Red Stars v Houston Dash

Saturday 12:50 p.m. ET

A late game-winning penalty by Alex Morgan saw the Chicago Red Stars travel home with zero points in its NWSL regular season opener.

The Red Stars were able to put two goals away in the first half, but eventually failed to register a single shot on net in the second half. USWNT star Mallory Swanson and Chicago forward Yuki Nagasato both registered goals in the 3-2 loss.

In Houston, the Dash started its season splitting points in a 0-0 stalemate with Racing Louisville. Houston goalkeeper Jane Campbell registered five saves on the night, earning her 23rd-career clean sheet and Sunday Night’s Player of the Match honors.

2022 Rookie of the Year Diana Ordóñez made her debut for the Dash in its NWSL opener last weekend. The Texas native adds a needed boost up-front after collecting 11 goals last season.

Racing Louisville FC v Washington Spirit

Saturday 3:00 p.m. ET

After upsetting the Kansas City Current in its home opener, the Washington Spirit travel to Louisville to face off with Racing Louisville FC.

The Spirit kicked off their 2023 campaign with a 1-0 victory, compliments to Trinity Rodman. Rodman’s solo goal was enough to propel Washington to three points despite not registering a single shot on net outside of the goal. Teammate Aubrey Kingsbury contributed three first-half saves for the Spirit, keeping OL Reign at bay for the full 90 minutes.

Racing Louisville FC registered a clean sheet in Houston last weekend, drawing 0-0 in the Dash’s home opener. A late game save from Louisville FC’s goalkeeper Katie Lund kept the match tied at the final whistle.

NJ/NY Gotham FC v OL Reign

Saturday 7:30 p.m. ET

Following a successful trip to California, Gotham FC host OL Reign in its home opener at Red Bull Arena. Gotham returns home for their opener after a controversial three points against Angel City FC last weekend.

A rapid two-goal punch in the second half from Margaret Purce and Lynn Williams secured a comeback victory for Juan Amorós side. After collecting 40 points last season, visitors OL Reign will test the limits of the newly appointed manager.

2022 Shield winners, OL Reign started their regular season dropping points at Audi Field. Though the Reign dominated for majority of the match, they struggled in the final third of the pitch. Laura Harvey and her side will hope for a better outcome on their road trip to New Jersey this Saturday.

San Diego Wave FC v North Carolina Courage

Saturday 10:00 p.m. ET

After wins for both clubs in Week 1, the San Diego Wave and North Carolina Courage face off at Snapdragon Stadium on Saturday night.

A late game-winning penalty by Alex Morgan propelled the wave to their first win in a 3-2 result over the Chicago Red Stars. The Wave remain home for their second-consecutive match at Snapdragon.

North Carolina’s Millie Gejl’s lone goal was enough to secure three points for her club in its home opener last weekend.

Orlando Pride v Angel City FC

Sunday 5:30 p.m. ET

After disappointing starts for both teams, Orlando Pride host Angel City FC in its home opener. Orlando were victims of a blowout loss to the defending NWSL champions Portland in its season opener.

Things weren’t much better in California as two VAR decisions swayed the visitors way leading to a goal for NJ/NY Gotham and a no-goal decision for Angel City.

Both clubs hope to bounce back and collect their first points of the season.

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