NWSL Week 16: They're Back!

We got a bonus game last week as the Spirit went to Houston to make up their earlier rain-out. This week, almost all of the Olympians are back with their sides as a rapid-fire few weeks of NWSL gets underway on Friday night. 

The playoff race is wide open, so don't miss a minute. 

Oh, right, Bad Predictions. Hmm. OK, I'll do them. Feeling good. Totally guessed Sweden would make it to the Olympic final, so I've got this. Really. 

Washington Spirit at Orlando Pride

Friday at 7:30PM Eastern

Bold Prediction: The Pride looked a bit disjointed without their Olympians, and some of them aren't back yet. Washington is alone at the top of the table, and will want to keep ahead of Portland in the playoff race. Spirit 2-1 Pride.

Portland Thorns at Seattle Reign

Saturday at 5:00PM Eastern

Bold Prediction: Hope Solo, Hope Solo, Hope Solo? Hope Solo! Hope Solo, Solo Solo Solo? Hope Solo! Oh, right, that's just what everyone will be talking about. This match is more important for Seattle at home, but I think the Thorns are just too strong. Portland 3-1 Reign.

Houston Dash at WNY Flash

Saturday at 7:00PM Eastern

Bold Prediction: Nobody wants to go to Rochester. I've been saying this most of the year. It currently seems as though Carli Lloyd will not be with the Dash on this trip, though she's expected to be in Boston next week. Despite the extremely entertaining play of Ohai and Daly, I can't see the Dash getting a result past the Flash this week. But, I'm not 100% sold on the Flash either. Draw, 2-2.

Chicago Red Stars at Sky Blue FC

Saturday at 7:00PM Eastern

Bold Prediction: Sky Blue has a chance to match Chicago on the table at 25 points with a home win this weekend. Chicago has had a tough time scoring this year, but Sky Blue has surrendered more goals than any other team not from Boston. Hate it, but I'm calling a 2-2 draw.

Boston Breakers at FC Kansas City

Sunday at 6:00PM Eastern

Bold Prediction: This is not the same Breakers team that started the season. Some of the additions and subtractions have worked, and some have not. But goals have started to arrive, and players have returned to fitness. A confidence has been building as Matt Beard has found the team he feels can play his style. Plus, Natasha Dowie has brought a spark of class and an eye for goal up top. Now, they travel to Kansas City to face a team they've already beat. I think they unleash all of their pent-up frustration on FCKC and grab their first away victory since 1973*. Breakers 3-1 FCKC.

*OK, only since July 2014.