After one of the most exhilarating weekends of NWSL regular season action, the league turns the page into the month of May.
With six teams having competed in the UKG Challenge Cup this week, there is potential that the weekend regular season fixtures in week 6 could feature some sluggish mid-week energy. Still, the slate of matches in the first week of May in the NWSL includes enticing contests including a clash between two top-four teams.
Week 6 begins with four matches on Saturday with two games closing out the weekend on Sunday. The action concludes in Los Angeles on Sunday night under the lights where Angel City FC encounter the red-hot Kansas City Current. Over a month of the 2023 campaign has passed, and this is where the action begins to heat up. With the World Cup just around the corner, the next couple of weeks in the league are going to be critical for teams that possess internationals throughout their roster. Here are three matches to keep an eye on in week 6 as five points separate the top of the table and eighth position.
3 must-watch regular season matches in week 6 of the NWSL schedule:
3. San Diego Wave at Washington Spirit
Date: Saturday, May 6, 1:00 p.m. EST
How to watch: Paramount+
Mark Parsons’ Washington Spirit to everyone’s surprise are one of the two remaining unbeaten teams in the NWSL. Led by a dynamic attack and an underrated backline that has conceded the second-fewest goals of any team so far this season, the Spirit sit in fourth, just two points behind the league-leading Portland Thorns.
Just ahead of them on the same goal differential are the San Diego Wave. Casey Stoney’s Wave head east to the nation’s capital following a questionable loss at Snapdragon Stadium against the only winless club left in the league. Stoney has only lost back-to-back matches in the regular season once since this franchise’s introduction last season. In 2022 in Washington D.C, these two sides battled in a seven-goal thriller that was ultimately won by the Spirit through an Ashley Hatch penalty deep into stoppage time.
For big matches like these, Stoney has always found a way to get her team prepared. San Diego has to have a short memory as it holds a massive opportunity to redeem itself on the road against a top side. Stoney’s team visit to Audi Field is the first of a three-game road trip which includes matchups against three teams all in the current top seven of the table. Neither team had a mid-week game, and while this is a match in the middle of a Saturday, that should not degrade the quality that this contest has the potential to produce.