NWSL TV schedule, live stream: What to know from Fourth of July weekend slate as Olympians leave for Tokyo

The National Women’s Soccer League returns on Friday as the 2021 regular season rolls on. The 24-game regular season enters Week 7 as several clubs embrace the Olympic portion of the schedule. Several teams will be without international players moving forward as the Summer Games in Tokyo kick off on July 21 and U.S. and Canadian allocated players will not be with their respective NWSL clubs starting this weekend. Fans can catch NWSL action this weekend on Paramount+

Five games are on the docket over the weekend, starting with a tripleheader on July 2 between NJ/JY Gotham FC and Kansas City NWSL. The Washington Spirit will host the Chicago Red Stars, and the Houston Dash will welcome OL Reign to Texas. Saturday features Racing Louisville FC as they host Portland Thorns FC and Fourth of July Sunday will close out NWSL action as the Orlando Pride and North Carolina Courage meet in the Sunshine State.

Here’s how to watch and what to know about the games this weekend:

How to watch NWSL games this weekend

Friday, July 2

  • NJ/NY Gotham FC vs. Kansas City NWSL, 7:00 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
  • Washington Spirit vs. Chicago Red Stars, 7:30 p.m. ET (Twitch)
  • Houston Dash vs. OL Reign, 8:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Saturday, July 3

  • Racing Louisville FC vs. Portland Thorns FC, 7:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Sunday, July 4

  • Orlando Pride vs. North Carolina Courage, 6:00 p.m. ET (Paramount+)

Gotham FC prep for Olympic stretch

Fifth-place Gotham FC will host bottom-dwellers Kansas City NWSL in their first match without their starting goalkeeper Kalien Sheridan, who’s out on Olympic duty for Canada. The team has been stellar on defense, leading the league with the fewest goals conceded (two). Midge Purce narrowly missed out on the USWNT Olympic roster and could kick off a strong summer for Gotham getting more regular starts up top with the attackers.

Spirit growing attacking duo

Washington and Chicago played to a narrow 1-1 draw the last time out, with Spirit forward Trinity Rodman connecting on goal in the 85th minute. The 19-year-old attacker has built a strong rapport with forward Ashley Sanchez, and the two been involved in each of the Spirit’s goals over their last two matches. Chicago is tied with OL Reign for second-most losses in the league to date and will need a win to kick off its Olympic stretch and boost confidence moving forward.

Groom, Dash try to manage absences

The Houston Dash will be without several starters over the Olympics, including key players in Kristie Mewis, Nichelle Prince, and Rachel Daly. Bri Visalli has been absent from the starting lineup in recent weeks and could slot back in. Shea Groom, meanwhile, has helped the team navigate through some bumps over this summer stretch.

Reign without Rapinoe  

OL Reign have added big pieces to their lineup in Sarah Bouhaddi, Dzsenifer Marozsán, Eugenie Le Sommer, but have struggled to pick up significant results. The team will be without Megan Rapinoe for the Olympics, but the attacking core is capable of producing positive results with Sofia Huerta, Bethany Balcer, and Leah Pruitt. Tziarra King has been absent as a starter but that could change during this portion of the schedule.

Thorns seek bounce-back game in Louisville

Portland is another team that will be without significant players during the Olympics, and will be on the road this week against Racing Louisville FC. The match could be a midfield battle with Rocky Rodriguez and Angela Salem going head to head with Savanna McCaskill and Lauren Milliet.

Pride without Morgan, Marta

Orlando will try to bounce back against North Carolina after having their seven-game unbeaten streak snapped last week against Houston. Pride forward Sydney Leroux has been in top form for the club, scoring four goals over their unbeaten streak. The team will rely on her during Alex Morgan and Marta’s absence for the Olympics. North Carolina will try to keep their momentum going after an impressive month in June where they picked up three wins over four games. 

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