First and foremost, nothing but love for everyone in Houston and surrounding towns/communities around them. I don’t have any stories from time spent in Houston, say for last year’s NWSL Championship, because I wasn’t able to make the trip down there. But the NWSL media colleagues I’ve talked to who were able to make it all said they enjoyed their time and met wonderful people. I am optimistic everyone there will recover as best as they can. The outpouring of support has been inspirational because it’s the right thing to do. Stay strong, Houston.
For the rest of the season and beyond, this series will be called Soccer Takes From Jake. Why the change? Well we’re simply honoring a request from a soccer podcast called The Unused Sub to avoid confusion. Easy enough right?
WEEK 19 PREDICTIONS
Four games left and the playoff picture still isn’t completely set in stone. Oy.
PORTLAND THORNS OVER WASHINGTON SPIRIT
Having witnessed how important it was – from player to supporter – to finally win at Memorial Stadium last weekend against their rivals, Seattle Reign FC, the Thorns keep it rolling and stay right on North Carolina’s heels for the NWSL Shield.
ORLANDO PRIDE OVER BOSTON BREAKERS
Speaking of another solidifying their position, Pride are looking safe-ish for that third playoff spot.
FC KANSAS CITY AND SKY BLUE FC PLAY TO A DRAW
A game that Sam Kerr & The Pips should handle just fine is going to frustrate them. FC Kansas City has virtually nothing left to play for (apart from making judgments about 2018), but if they can be a nuisance to a playoff hopeful, why not?
NORTH CAROLINA COURAGE OVER CHICAGO RED STARS
After the Courage went into Memorial Stadium and beat the Seattle Reign FC, head coach Paul Riley said in his post-match conference that they don’t pay attention to their position on the table. Just go about their business in the match in front of them; don’t give any thought to what happens everywhere else in the league. And it certainly is easy to see it from their point of view when they’ve been sitting at the top of the table for most of the season. That will continue against the Red Stars. Chicago may have stopped their skid, but North Carolina will kindly start up another one for them, making the race for the fourth and final spot between them, Sky Blue FC, and Seattle Reign FC incredibly dramatic. And frustrating.
SEATTLE REIGN FC OVER HOUSTON DASH
The Reign FC need to win out and get a little bit of help to make it to the playoffs, and will need to do some scoreboard watching to measure their chances. The Dash will certainly be inspired to play for their city and its people, even if the match itself has been relocated to Frisco, Texas. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a draw, but after losing back to back home matches for the first time since they moved to Memorial Stadium, this is gut-check for Seattle. Time to step up and show they still have it in them and haven’t raised the white flag.
And here is your music video break to get you started for Labor Day Weekend.
Song: “Houston Is Hot Tonite” | Artist: Iggy Pop