NWSL West Week 3 Preview

The NWSL western teams get back to action this weekend starting Friday with a Cascadia matchup.

By Taylor Vincent

The NWSL’s 2022 regular season continues this weekend with games for all four western region teams including a big rivalry matchup between Portland and OL. Angel City has its first regular-season road trip while San Diego will look to continue its win streak. Here’s your weekend preview for all the upcoming action.

OL celebrates opening goal against Portland in initial Challenge Cup matchup. (Photo from OL Reign)

Cascadia Derby: OL vs. Portland

OL Reign vs. Portland Thorns  – Friday, May 13 at 10:30 P.M. ET (CBSSN)

The Thorns and the Reign have already faced off three times this calendar year. They were each other’s preseason opener which ended in a 0–0 draw. They then played each other twice in the Challenge Cup with Christine Sinclair equalizing in a 1–1 draw at Lumen, and OL taking the game at Providence Park with a Rose Lavelle goal. Currently OL has more wins than Portland when they face off, with a 13–10–6 overall record going back to the first season in 2013. 

Keep an eye on Tziarra King this week for the Reign. She’s still working up her minutes post-injury, but still put two balls in the net for OL this past weekend against Racing Louisville. OL will be looking to extend her minutes in the upcoming matches. 

The player to watch for the Thorns this week is still going to be Sam Coffey (since Portland didn’t play last weekend). On a recent Men in Blazers podcast, Becky Sauerbrunn described her as, “the most efficient, clean, young player that I’ve seen in a really long time…she’s got all the tools and so I’m really excited about her because she has fit in perfectly for us.”

Angel City goes to Washington 

Angel City FC vs. Washington Spirit – Sunday, May 15 at 5 P.M. ET (Paramount +)

After a disappointing loss to Orlando, Angel City will be looking to bounce back. Ideally captain and centerback Ali Riley will be released from Covid protocols in time for her to travel with the team, because the Washington Spirit’s front line will be keeping Angel City’s defense on their toes for the full 90 minutes. In this difficult matchup, ACFC will look to just continue building and growing as a young expansion team.  

The player to watch for Angel City this week is Vanessa Gilles. She is a staple in the Angel City backline as well as an important target during set pieces. She leads the team in clearances (16), blocks (2), and also had a header goal in the regular-season opener win against North Carolina. 

San Diego vs. Chicago

San Diego Wave vs. Chicago Red Stars – Sunday, May 15 at 5 P.M. ET (Paramount +)

The Wave will be continuing their home stay as Chicago heads to San Diego following an off weekend. If San Diego wins, they’ll become only the second NWSL team ever to win their first three matches in their regular-season debut (the 2017 North Carolina Courage team went 4–0 before losing). The Wave had a remarkably good showing against Gotham FC and will look to continue to build that momentum into this weekend. 

The player to watch for the Wave this week is Tegan McGrady, who had 6 crosses in the first half alone against Gotham. She also leads the team in crosses and successful crosses. 

This week’s matches begin Saturday, May 7. Check out the full schedule here.

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