April is coming to an end, my friends. And the first full month of NWSL action has not disappointed. We had some unlikely draws, a few sparks of magic, and an excessive amount of PKs in my opinion. Yes, April was a fine month, but looking ahead to May should get us all very excited as well. So this week I have outlined five matches coming up next month that you should tune in and watch. I challenged all you lovely NWSL fans earlier in the season to watch a game that you had no stake in. Most likely, one of these will fit that bill. So sit back, relax, and let’s see what we have to look forward to in the upcoming month.
- May 5: Seattle Reign FC at Portland Thorns
Who doesn’t like to celebrate their Cinco de Mayo with a rivalry game? This match, held at Providence Park, is the Lifetime game of the week, being played at 3:30 ET. Seattle and Portland have a long history of confrontation, and probably the most well known rivalry in the league. Because of their close proximity, it is almost impossible for the two teams to not form a bit of gamesmanship between each other. And the fans? Oh, they love to talk a little smack to the opposing side. So get ready to see a packed house that may get a little loud and unruly. Also, this will be the first time Allie Long will be back in Providence Park since being traded to Seattle for the rights of Australian international, Caitlin Foord. How will her welcome back be? Tune in to see.
- May 5: Houston Dash at Sky Blue FC
Once you are done with the Seattle/Portland match on the 5th, take another shot of tequila and turn your attention to go90 to watch what I am affectionately calling ‘The Battle at the Bottom.’ The Houston Dash travel to New Jersey to see if they can get the win over their former teammate, Carli Lloyd, and the women of Sky Blue. These two teams are currently camped out at the bottom of the table and definitely still have some kinks to work out. Both will undoubtedly be looking to have this game change their momentum and get them back to their winning ways.
- May 9: Orlando Pride at Utah Royals FC
One thing is probably certain in this world. Utah, and Becky Sauerbrunn’s face, cannot wait to have a rematch against Orlando on May 9. After their season opener, which ended in a draw, and a very controversial hand ball call, Utah is looking to set the record straight and take their three points from the Pride. Orlando, on the other hand, is looking to gain some momentum with a full roster, including the Brazilian and Australian internationals they have been missing as of late.
- May 19: Chicago Red Stars at Seattle Reign FC
Seattle has been looking good lately as a team. They look solid. And with the assistance of Megan Rapinoe, they are extremely creative with the ball. But what happens when that creativity is up against the likes of a dynamic offense that is looking to show what their offseason acquisition, Sam Kerr, can do? Well, the result could be exhilarating to behold. I am recommending this game as one to watch for the month of May because it will potentially give the viewers some great things to cheer for—fantastic midfield work, quick transitional attacks, and two of the greatest finishers currently playing the game. What wouldn’t a soccer fan like about this match?
- May 30: North Carolina Courage at Portland Thorns
Rounding out the month we have a fantastic grudge match. A redo of week one, and of the 2017 NWSL Championship. The Thorns got to hang the banner after the final, but the Courage took the first match between the two this season. So what happens when the Courage travel to Providence Park? Does the momentum swing back in Portland’s favor? We can’t know for sure, but one thing we can probably bank on is that there is going to be a lot of heated physical play from the two teams, and a lot of world-class soccer on display. Is there a better way to end the month? I don’t think so.
So there you have it, my friends—five matches you should check out next month. No matter who you cheer for, these matches should be entertaining to watch. And who knows, you may just find yourself on the edge of your seat, shouting at your television over a couple teams that aren’t necessarily your favorite. But don’t worry, it doesn’t make you any less of a fan for your own team.