NWSL weekend preview: Spotlight on Kerr in Sky Blue return

Sam Kerr will be out to prove a point in the National Women's Soccer League this weekend while a string of other Westfield Matildas are seeking to enhance their playoff hopes.

Find out exactly what's ahead of our NWSL representatives in a preview of the upcoming action.

READ: PFA award for Westfield Matildas star Kerr


Last weekend's narrow late defeat at Seattle Reign leaves Portland Thorns needing to beat Utah Royals in order to keep the pressure on the top four.

Caitlin Foord has rejoined training as she closes in on a return to action and while the versatile star won't be ready for this one, Portland can look forward to a fully fit Hayley Raso after she started her first match of the season last time out.

Ellie Carpenter also featured in that match and the right-back should hold her spot in defence as she seeks to keep out a Utah side led by compatriot Katrina Gorry.

An ever-present in midfield, Gorry will be intent on preserving her team's single-point buffer on the sixth-placed Thorns.


Sam Kerr returns to former club Sky Blue FC as Chicago Red Stars make a quick turnaround from their midweek loss against leaders North Carolina Courage.

There will be a sense of unfinished business for Kerr after national team duty meant she missed April's 1-1 draw against the team for whom she scored a record-breaking 17 goals last campaign.

The star striker will fancy her chances of extending her lead at the top of the all-time NWSL scoring charts with Sky Blue having managed just three points from their opening 13 games.

Chicago, despite their heavy loss to the Courage, are right in the mix to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth successive season.


Orlando Pride have an ideal chance to put back-to-back defeats behind them when they welcome lowly Washington Spirit to Orlando City Stadium.

The hosts will be confident of correcting their recent wobble against the competition's second-bottom team, who are winless in six.

Emily van Egmond and Alanna Kennedy were paired in midfield in the recent 3-0 loss to North Carolina and will be among the Orlando players itching to return to winning ways.

The match is laced with particular anticipation for Kennedy after she struck a stunning long-range winner in the teams' previous meeting two weeks ago.


Four Westfield Matildas regulars will be on show in a second versus seventh clash in Seattle.

Hosts Seattle Reign are coming off a crucial 1-0 win over Portland Thorns, Jodie Taylor scoring in the 89th minute to add to a clean sheet built on the sturdy work of Lydia Williams and Steph Catley.

Those two will again have their hands full containing a Houston Dash side which remained in top four contention with an impressive 2-1 win at Orlando Pride in which Clare Polkinghorne played a full 90 minutes.

Kyah Simon was an unused substitute in that match but could prove integral to Houston's hopes of making it two on the trot with her inside knowledge on Melbourne City team-mates Williams and Catley.


*Teams in bold contain Westfield Matildas players

  1. North Carolina Courage – played 16, 39 points, +21
  2. Seattle Reign – played 14, 23 points, +3
  3. Orlando Pride – played 15, 22 points, +1
  4. Chicago Red Stars – played 16, 22 points, +1
  5. Utah Royals – played 14, 21 points, +2
  6. Portland Thorns – played 15, 20 points, 0
  7. Houston Dash – played 14, 17 points, -5
  8. Washington Spirit – played 15, 10 points, -10
  9. Sky Blue – played 13, 3 points, -13

Here are the game details for Westfield Matildas stars and their teams…

  • Portland Thorns v Utah Royals | Saturday, 1:00pm AEST
  • Sky Blue FC v Chicago Red Stars | Sunday, 9:00am AEST
  • Orland Pride v Washington Spirit | Sunday 9:30am AEST
  • Seattle Reign v Houston Dash | Sunday 12:00pm AEST

Matches can be live-streamed at nwslsoccer.com