NWSL: Week 9 Preview
NWSL: Week 9 Preview / Denny Medley - USA Today Sports

There are a total of four NWSL games going on this week. If you want the individual game preview for the Seattle Reign and Sky Blue FC match, go here. This article will give a quick preview of the other three NWSL games going on this week. After this weekend, NWSL will be taking a 13 day break to accommodate the Women’s World Cup group stage.

The one team not playing this week is FC Kansas City as they are on a bye week and they will actually play in the first game back after the 13 day break.

BOSTON BREAKERS-WASHINGTON SPIRIT

When the Washington Spirit hosts the Boston Breakers on Saturday, it will feature two of the top three teams in the league so far this season. The Spirit currently sits second in the league with a record of 4-3-1 (W-L-T) with 13 points. The Breakers are just three points behind the Spirit with a record of 3-3-1 with ten points.

The Breakers are led in goals by Kristie Mewes and Stephanie McCaffrey with two each. Both of Mewes goals were game winning goals. McCaffrey also is the co-leader in assists with two. She shares that honor with Katie Schoepfer. The Spirit is led by Crystal Dunn’s six goals and two assists in eight games. Christine Nairn is second on the team with four goals. Francisca Ordega shares the team led in assists with Dunn.

Both teams will be missing their starting goalkeepers for this match. Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher have both been called into the United States women’s national team for the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. The Spirit will be backstopped by Kelsey Wys while the Breakers will be led by Jami Kranich.

Boston is trying to match their franchise best four game unbeaten streak. The only problem being, they have yet to win a match on the road. They are currently 0-3-0 and have been outscored 10-2 in those three games.  The Spirit will hope to win so they can stay close to the Chicago Red Stars at the top of the standings. Washington is perfect at home so far this year and has outscored their opponents 6-2 in those home matches.

CHICAGO RED STARS-WESTERN NEW YORK FLASH

Michele Dalton of the Chicago Red Stars is coming off a season best seven saves last week against the Seattle Reign. Their 0-0 draw in Seattle kept them as the only unbeaten team in the league so far this year and it was also their 10th straight game without a defeat. That is tied for the second longest streak in league history with FC Kansas City. The Reign set the record last year when they began the season unbeaten in their first 16 matches.

Western New York Flash is currently tied for last place in the nine team league with seven points through six matches. They are coming off a 3-2 win over the Washington Spirit at home. If they can take down the league leaders, it will put the Flash within five points and give them a lot of momentum heading into the 13 day break.

PORTLAND THORNS-HOUSTON DASH

The Houston Dash has been on a bit of a roll as of late. They are currently unbeaten in their last three matches which ties their club record. The left it late, but the Dash got their game tying goal from forward Allie Bailey in the 85th minute last week against Sky Blue FC.  Houston’s goalkeeper, Bianca Henninger, had six saves.  The Dash has struggled this season keeping their opponents off the board in the first 15 minutes of matches so far this season. They have conceded three goals in the opening 15 minutes so far.

The Portland Thorns find themselves in a similar situation. They have conceded four goals in the opening 15 minutes of games this season.  The Thorns are in the midst of a franchise worse five match winless streak, which includes three straight defeats. Portland is also looking for their first win on the road this season.

This will be the second meeting of the season between these two clubs. Houston won the first encounter 1-0 after former Thorns forward Jessica McDonald scored the lone goal back on May 23rd at Providence Park in Portland, OR.

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