We’re only two weeks into the 2019 National Women’s Soccer League campaign and a few Westfield Matildas stars are already lighting up the competition.
Sam Kerr continues to find the net for the Chicago Red Stars while Alanna Kennedy – fresh from scoring the Goal of the Round in Week 2 – is in fine form for Orlando Pride.
There’s another four huge matches to look forward to this weekend and here's the full run-down for your Westfield Matildas involved in NWSL action.
All kick-off times in AEST. All games are LIVE and FREE on the NWSL’s official website at NWSLsoccer.com, where you can also watch on-demand.
- Main image courtesy of NWSLsoccer.com
Orlando Pride v Utah Royals, Sunday 9:30am
It hasn’t been an ideal start to the campaign for Orlando but there were some promising signs in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Reign FC.
That was the Pride’s first point of the season in their opening three matches, and it was the performance of their two Westfield Matildas that were integral to the result.
Of course, Alanna Kennedy stole the show with her incredible bicycle kick goal, although she was equally as dependable at the other end in the heart of defence.
Compatriot Emily van Egmond has also performed better in every match, and she’ll be vital in the middle of the park against a Royals side that have won their only game played so far in 2019.
Chicago Red Stars v Reign FC, Sunday 10am
Westfield Matildas skipper Sam Kerr has continued where she has left off the last couple of seasons in the NWSL, scoring in each of Chicago’s first two games.
Kerr, the winner of the Golden Boot in the last two NWSL seasons, always takes some stopping and there’s three fellow Aussies in the Reign FC side tasked with that this weekend.
Keeper Lydia Williams could be in for a busy time of it between the sticks, while Steph Catley and Elise Kellond-Knight will do their best to cut-off the supply line to their Westfield Matildas skipper.
This is a vital game for both sides who have drawn each of their opening two games and are desperate for a win to kick-start their campaign.
Sky Blue FC v Portland Thorns, Monday 8am
Portland will be hoping that Westfield Matildas attacker Hayley Raso will be right to play her first game of the season after missing the opening two rounds while she finalised her work visa.
Raso is a key component in the Thorns’ attacking arsenal, although they have coped well without the 24-year-old so far with a win and draw in their first two games.
Part of the reason for that is the form of compatriot Caitlin Foord, who has one goal to her name this season in the opening round 2-0 win over Orlando.
Defender Ellie Carpenter makes up the trio of Aussie in the Thorns roster and they will start warm favourites against a Sky Blue side without a goal or point from their opening two matches.
Houston Dash v North Carolina Courage, Monday 8am
Having missed the finals last season, it has been an encouraging start by the Dash with a draw and win in their opening two games.
Westfield Matildas defender Clare Polkinghorne was flawless in her side’s 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC last time out and she’ll need a similar display to stop the attacking threats in the defending champions’ line-up.
Now recovered from the ankle injury that scuppered her Westfield W-League season, Kyah Simon will be hopeful of getting a few minutes under her belt in this one.
Simon was an unused sub against Sky Blue FC.