If you’ve got ESPN+ (or can sign up for their free trial), tonight is the W-League semifinals, with two teams, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC, featuring Thorns players facing off against each other for a place in the W-League finals. As Portland is hunkering down to get through the unfortunate weather, it seems like a good night to sit down for some playoff Australian soccer.
Melbourne Victory vs Perth Glory, Saturday, 7:00pm PST, ESPN+
Victory have ridden the league’s best defense all the way to the top spot in the playoffs where they’re taking on the Perth Glory. Perth looked like they finally had put all their pieces together at the start of the season but have fallen off a bit since then, and ended up scraping into the playoffs ahead of Melbourne City. It would be a bit mistake, however, to count out Perth’s Sam Kerr.
Brisbane Roar vs Sydney FC, Sunday, 12:15am PST, ESPN+
Hayley Raso is back, completing games, and has a goal under her belt too. She only has 3 games under her belt since recovering from the back injury she picked up away at the Washington Spirit back in August, but has added an important new dimension to a defense-first Brisbane Roar team who often look more comfortable letting their opponents have their way. Celeste Boureille is an important part of that in the midfield, breaking up play effectively and covering a lot of defensive ground. Brisbane won’t have to worry about having the ball against Sydney FC, a hugely exciting team going forward with Caitlin Foord trailing only Sam Kerr in the Golden Boot race, supported up top by Lisa De Vanna and Savannah McCaskill.