NWSL Week 19 Preview & Picks

You really wanted to watch the NC Courage play Houston in Houston on Sunday, didn't you. Sorry, it's not happening. Not this weekend. 

In case you missed it, there's a little thing called Hurricane Harvey playing its own sort of game in the Houston Metroplex this weekend. MLS Dynamo and NWLS Dash are SOL due to what is forecast to be 10-30 inches (!) of rain. From Friday night:

Anyway, sports are pretty unimportant compared to devastating natural disasters, so here's hoping the coming nights are not so dark and full of terrors for our friends in Texas. 

Our normal league schedule kicks off on Lifetime:

Orlando Pride at FC Kansas City

Saturday at 3:30PM on Lifetime TV

Yeah, OK, they're kinda good, n' stuff.

Yeah, OK, they're kinda good, n' stuff.

FCKC hosting the Orlando Pride didn't seem like such a challenging call a few short weeks ago. Marta, Morgan and company would clean house, right? But the Blues have found a way to collect points lately, working as a very cohesive team. Orlando could be forgiven for looking past KC, but the home team plays very tough at Children's Mercy Victory Field. Is it a trap for Orlando?

Both sides are relatively healthy, and Orlando showed some weakness on attack at Boston last week (really, they only scored on two set pieces earned by bad refereeing). So it's not such a stretch to think the home side could win this one. Sadly, I sniff a draw on national TV.

FCKC 2-2 Orlando Pride


Portland Thorns at Seattle Reign

Saturday at 4PM on Go90 App

Um...

Um...

Don't hate me, but I feel like the Reign win this one at home. They really should have taken three points from Sky Blue last week, and if Sam Kerr wasn't Super Woman, Wonder Woman and Furiosa all blended into the same human form, they'd have had it. 

There's nothing new on the injury report, and Seattle simply must win this game to keep their playoff hopes alive. They get the job done in the battle for pacific northwest volcano-town supremacy on Saturday afternoon. That's what I'm calling the derby this week. The BfPNV-TS for short. Catchy, I know.

Seattle Reign 3-2 Portland Thorns


Chicago Red Stars at Washington Spirit

Saturday at 7PM on Go90 App

Who are you, Chicago?

Who are you, Chicago?

OK, Chicago has been unimpressive for weeks (possibly just to me). But Washington is just plain bad lately. This game is in Maryland, so there is a home-town advantage, and Washington just took the Red Stars for a first round pick plus Morgan Proffitt (claimed on waivers for free) for Kristie Mewis, who Chicago seems to think is the missing piece they need to right the ship.

I like Mewis, but I don't know where she fits for the Red Stars. Yes, obviously in the midfield, but is she better than the incumbents? In any case, she won't be slotting perfect passes to Christen Press just yet, right?

Press won't need them. She'll find other ways to torment Washington's suspect defense that will be missing Zadorsky on a bone bruise and Kallman on a concussion. Red Stars rediscover their goal scoring prowess and dump the Spirit on their home (grass) turf.

Red Stars 3-1 Spirit


Boston Breakers at Sky Blue FC

Saturday at 7PM on Go90 App

Can Boston find points in New Jersey? One point maybe.

Can Boston find points in New Jersey? One point maybe.

The Breakers played very well against full-strength Orlando last week, and they're getting healthier. Rose Lavelle is now just questionable on the injury report with her hamstring, and may see some late minutes to test it out. Chapman's groin strain has her listed as probable, and only Christen Westphal is confirmed as out for this one. Kai, O'Hara and Rodriguez are all questionable, but Sky Blue probably will need at least one of the latter two to suit up and run around for a while if they expect to get the ball to Sam Kerr. 

Kerr, of course, is coming off a 4-goal performance v Seattle. Can the Breakers slow her down?

Not sure. Feeling a lame draw nobody will like with Kerr scoring but not scoring on a raised flag at the death to remain level.

Sky Blue 2-2 Boston Breakers 


NC Courage at Houston Dash

Nope. Not 'gonna play it. Wouldn't be prudent.

You guys know what the Courage needs? More rest.

You guys know what the Courage needs? More rest.

Hurricane Harvey has punted all football from Houston this weekend, so we'll have to see how things shake out to see when this match gets rescheduled. Booooooooo hurricanes!