The Portland Thorns’ playoff campaign may have come to an end last weekend, but there’s still a championship match to play. Making their third consecutive appearance in the NWSL final, the North Carolina Courage are vying to defend their 2018 title as they face off against the Chicago Red Stars.
The Courage are coming off a difficult — yet ultimately convincing — semifinal win over Reign FC, a match that closely mirrored their 2019 season as a whole. After a late goal for each side put the match at 1-1 after regulation time, North Carolina stepped it up in overtime, putting three goals past Tacoma’s Casey Murphy in less than ten minutes. With the attacking skill of Debinha, Crystal Dunn, Jessica McDonald, and Lynn Williams, the Red Stars will need to remain focused and organized to absorb the Courage’s pressure.
However, if there’s a team that can hold North Carolina at bay, it’s Chicago. The Red Stars are 2-0-1 against North Carolina this year, and impressive record against a team that’s only lost five games on the season. Headlined by league MVP Sam Kerr, Chicago’s roster boasts a number of world-class players — Casey Short, Julie Ertz, Morgan Brian, and Yuki Nagasato among them. Even with Tierna Davidson ruled out for this match, the Red Stars certainly have the talent to challenge North Carolina.
Will Chicago be able to pull out the win in their first ever championship appearance? Or will the Courage’s dominance be bolstered by back-to-back titles?
How to Watch
How to Watch: ESPN; Check out your country’s ESPN listing on NWSLSoccer.com for international viewers
Where: Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina
When: Sunday, October 27, 12:30 p.m (Pacific)
North Carolina Courage: 15-5-4, first place in NWSL regular season, won 4-1 vs Reign FC
Chicago Red Stars: 14-2-8, second place in NWSL regular season, won 1-0 vs Portland Thorns