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NWSL schedule: 3 must-see week 10 contests in the NWSL

HARRISON, NJ – SEPTEMBER 21: Megan Rapinoe #15 of OL Reign takes a shot on goal in the second half of the National Womens Soccer League match against NJ/NY Gotham FC at Red Bull Arena on September 21, 2022 in Harrison, New Jersey. (Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images)

With four teams tied for second position in the NWSL, week 10 presents another opportunity to shake up at the top of the table.

The NWSL enters the month of June with just three points separating the sixth-place North Carolina Courage and NJ/NY Gotham FC at the top of the table. Week 9 produced two draws, and two games decided by just one goal, setting up for another week of thrilling matches in week 10. This weekend of fixtures is unique compared to the ones of the past. The contests will be spread out between three days, but the final game of the match week will not be played until 10:00 pm EST on Monday. Chicago Red Stars visit Angel City FC at BMO Stadium in that match to close out the weekend while two Saturday 8:00 p.m. EST contests kick things off.

Saturday night features four games with the first Cascadia rivalry of the league campaign being the highlight. A matchup between two-top four teams in New Jersey is the only contest on Sunday. Each week in this league presents new surprises and standout performers. Week 10 is going to be no different. With teams attempting to break away from the cluster, here are three matches that fans must make sure they tune in to for this upcoming weekend slate:

3 crucial matches on tap for week 10 in the NWSL.

3. Portland Thorns at OL Reign

Date: Saturday, June 3, 8:00 p.m. EST

How to watch: Paramount+

When you think of top NWSL rivalries, this is the one that is continuously at the top of the list. Both sides are coming off of thrilling wins in the UKG Challenge Cup during the mid-week with OL Reign laying the hammer on San Diego Wave on the road. The two have matched up 31 times in the past. Laura Harvey’s Reign have the advantage in the win column, proving victorious 14 times to the Thorns’ eight against their fellow Pacific Northwest rival. Along with the San Diego Wave and the Washington Spirit, these two teams are knotted at 16 points, just one behind the leaders NJ/NY Gotham FC at the moment.

Since their shocking back-to-back defeats including one three-goal loss to Gotham, Harvey’s side has begun to find its form again. Last week in the league, Megan Rapinoe led the Reign to a convincing 4-1 triumph over Angel City, putting 11 shots on target with just 42 percent possession. On the other side, Mike Norris’ Thorns have collected points in their last two fixtures via a goal in the 90′ or later. Gotham laid out the blueprint to taking out the Reign at Lumen Field, but Harvey’s team has to be licking their chops just wanting to get back there to rebound from such an embarrassing display.

While Portland has been prolific at home, this team only has one win away from Providence Park. To make matters worse, Harvey’s side has the most wins of any club this campaign on their home turf. Four out of the last five matches between these two have resulted in draws, making that the most likely result. A Bethany Balcer late equalizer at Lumen back in July of 2022 propelled the home team to a point in the club’s last meeting.

It is the two clubs with the most goals scored through nine weeks of play fighting for some breathing room in a tight postseason picture. This is a rivalry for a reason. The people in Seattle are going to be geared up for a match that has everything and more to be the headliner among these week-10 contests.

Prediction: Portland Thorns 1-1 OL Reign 

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