NWSL midweek preview: Westfield Matildas trio to stake title claim

If you need your midweek fix of Westfield Matildas, we’ve got you covered with a huge National Women’s Soccer League double-header on Thursday.

Portland Thorns stars Caitlin Foord, Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso are in sharp focus as the NWSL leaders welcome Clare Polkinghorne and Kyah Simon’s Houston Dash to Providence Park at 12.30pm AEST.

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The Aussie trio were denied what would have been a massive three points on the weekend by Utah Royals and Canberra United defender Rachel Corsie, who secured a 2-2 draw with a last-minute strike.

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That handed second-place North Carolina Courage the opportunity to regain the lead with a win over Chicago Red Stars on Monday morning, only for Sam Kerr to do her Australian teammates a favour by scoring a wonderful goal and leading the Red Stars to a priceless 2-1 win.

Visitors Houston returned to the winner’s circle for the first time in nine matches with a 2-1 triumph over Washington Spirit last weekend.

Portland Thorns
Portland Thorns - where Caitlin Foord, Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso ply their trade - are 1st in the NWSL

In Thursday’s other match, Amy Harrison, Chloe Logarzo and Elise Kellond-Knight of Washington Spirit are out to get their title fight back on track against Sky Blue (9.30am AEST kick-off).

Washington were competition frontrunners for a long stretch of the 2019 season but their outside bid has unravelled over a stretch of three defeats and two draws in their last five matches.

Last time out, Spirit were crushed by a 2-1 defeat to Houston in a match that saw midfielder Kellond-Knight make her first appearance since her mid-season trade from Reign FC.

With their Finals Series rivals not in action for a few days, Washington have the chance to leap into third position if they can navigate the challenge of a re-energised Sky Blue team, who still prop up the ladder but have won two of their last three matches.

Amy Harrison in action for Washington Spirit