Happy Championship Weekend, friends. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff: Sunday, October 27th, 3:30 PM ET / 12:30 PM PT
Location: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes
Commentating: Jenn Hildreth, Aly Wagner, and reporter Marisa Pilla
North Carolina Courage
Regular season record (W-L-T): 15-5-4
GF / GA: 58 / 24
Last 5 games: W W L W (W)
How they got here:: 4-1 win vs Reign FC
Players to watch: Seriously take your pick. NC’s forward line is arguably their biggest strength, so we’ll sound out their goalscorers— Lynn Williams, Jess McDonald, and Kristen Hamilton. With Tierna Davidson ruled out for Chicago, North Carolina will have opportunities to expose the Red Stars’ defensive line. And if the Courage can start scoring, they may be unstoppable.
Chicago Red Stars
Regular season record (W-L-T): 14-8-2
GF / GA: 42 / 28
Last 5 games: W W W W (W)
How they got here: 1-0 win vs Portland Thorns FC
Players to watch: The partnership between MVP candidates Sam Kerr and Yuki Nagasato has been paying dividends all season, most recently in the game-winning goal against Portland in the semifinals. They are definitely worth keeping an eye on. But the game may well turn on Chicago’s fullback tandem— Casey Short and Sarah Gorden, who have both been key players in the run up to the postseason.