NWSL Challenge Cup 2021: Week 3 schedule, live stream, TV channel as Gotham and Courage battle for top spot
The National Women’s Soccer League 2021 Challenge Cup continues on Tuesday. Four games are on the docket over the week, including the a big matchup between Gotham FC and North Carolina Courage. Chicago Red Stars and Kansas City has been rescheduled from April 20 to April 21 due to inclement weather. Matches are available live and on demand on Paramount+.
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Here’s how to watch and what to know about the games this weekend:
Tuesday, April 20
Gotham FC vs. North Carolina Courage, 6 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Wednesday, April 21
Chicago Red Stars vs. Kansas City NWSL, 6:30 p.m. ET (Paramount+) Orlando Pride vs. Washington Spirit, 7 p.m. ET (Paramount+)
Portland Thorns FC vs. OL Reign, 10 p.m. ET (Paramount+) East division battle
Gotham FC will host their first Challenge Cup match against 2019 NWSL champions North Carolina Courage. Gotham FC, NC Courage, and Washington Spirit sit level on three points in the East division table, with the Courage holding the head-to-head tiebreaker against the Spirit. This week’s matches have top seeding implications for the three teams. Pressure is on Gotham, who need need a win to claim top spot in the division against a lethal Courage side coming off a bye week.
A soundtrack for the Cascadia rivalry
Portland Thorns FC will host OL Reign at Providence Park in front of fans for the first time since 2019. The Cascadia rivalry dates back to the NWSL’s inaugural season as Portland would square off against the team formerly known as Seattle Reign FC. The event will also mark the first meeting in front of fans under OL Reign’s new rebrand as part of the Olympique Lyonnais’ group.
This has all the makings of top billing showdown as many national team players are returning from international duty ahead of the big match.
Chicago and Kansas City reschedule
Due to inclement weather in the Chicagoland area, the match between the Chicago Red Stars and Kansas City NWSL has been rescheduled to April 21. Both teams are still searching for the their first win in the tournament, while Kansas City is still searching for its first points of the competition.
Chicago is also on the hunt for its first goals of the Challenge Cup, and will welcome the return of its international players in Alyssa Naeher, Julie Ertz and Tierna Davidson. As the Red Stars continue to develop their attack, Naeher’s distribution, Davidson’s passing ability and Ertz navigating the midfield could help the offense finally click in front of goal.
Pride on the hunt for a win
Orlando Pride have struggled defensively over their last two matches. This week they’ll be challenged once again as they host a Washington Spirit side with a dynamic top line that features Ashley Hatch and Ashley Sanchez. Rookie Trinity Rodman also earned herself a start in her previous match and recorded the assist on Sanchez’s late game stoppage time winner.
Orlando is coming off a narrow 1-0 loss against Gotham FC, and the back line will have to do a better job of limiting the Spirit’s attack if it plans to secure its first Challenge Cup win.