The North Carolina Courage will look to get to the top of the National Women’s Soccer League this weekend when they welcome Reign FC to Cary, North Carolina. The Reign currently sit in first place, having played one game more than the second-placed Courage and have shown to be a difficult team to beat.
The goals need to continue for the Courage
Against the Houston Dash, North Carolina put in one of their best offensive performances so far this season. Although Lynn Williams is still short of her very best form, Kristen Hamilton stepped up and scored four goals, all of which were taken with the confidence you would find in a seasoned international player. Hamilton will need to be just as prolific inf front of goal again against a Reign defense that has the second-best defense in the league and a goalkeeper in Casey Murphy who is in sensational form.
The Courage offense was undoubtedly helped by the return of Debinha who had been away at the Women’s World Cup with Brazil and the better Debinha reintegrates herself back with the team, the better the front line for North Carolina will be. At some point, Debinha and Williams will rediscover the form that saw them help the Courage to a NWSL Championship last season and fans will be hoping that that happens tomorrow evening.
A injury-riddled Reign roster could help get the three points for the Courage
Reign FC come into this match with a lot of injuries to key players. With the likes of Jasmyne Spencer, Darian Jenkins, Morgan Andrews and Rumi Utsugi all out for the season or unavailable to play still, the Reign are down to bare bones especially in attack. Losing Jessica Fishlock recently to an ACL injury has not helped matters and made all the more difficult for the Reign offense to really get going. Megan Rapinoe, Jodi Taylor and Allie Long are also still unavailable due to international duty which leaves the Reign looking at slim pickings for their starting lineup.
This will help the Courage push forward more as there will be less dangerous players to worry about from the opposition this time around. They will need to push forward as well as the Reign backline continues to hold strong even with all of these injuries, as shown in their win against rivals Portland Thorns FC. Not only will Hamilton and Debinha need to be at their best but Williams and the likes of Denise O’Sullivan and McCall Zerboni will need to pressure the Reign defense as much as possible throughout the match. That will be the key to getting all three points this weekend for the North Carolina Courage.