In their infinite wisdoms, the NWSL schedulers determined that the most important rivalry in the league — the only matchup that's been a reliable sellout from the first moments of the league's existence — would only happen twice this year (while Seattle faces the likes of Boston and Washington three times). And with even infiniter wisdom, they scheduled both of those games within five days of each other.
So behold Cascadia Week, in which Seattle looks to recover from their worst result in years and Portland looks to undo whatever transformation has them in 7th place in the standings before it's too late to make the playoffs. The first tie is tonight at 7 Pacific in Portland. It is the first match of the new Fox broadcasting deal for the league, so it won't be on YouTube. Nor will it be on TV, like in your quaint broadcast deals of yore. Instead it'll be on Fox Sports Go, their streaming service. And even better, the service's usual requirement that you need to prove you get a Fox channel through a TV provider seems to be suspended. So it should have the same reach as Youtube and better production value.
The Thorns will be frantically reassembling their team after losing half of it to the World Cup. A total of eight Portland players were in Canada for the tournament — which no doubt contributed to their poor run of league form — and they get nearly all of them back. They do not, notably, get back Alex Morgan, who is recovering from 'minor' knee surgery. But nevertheless they should be a much stronger side than we've seen over the last month.
Seattle is much less affected. Hope Solo also remains out due to injury, but Megan Rapinoe is back, as is Kendall Fletcher, who missed last week with a lingering concussion. This will be close to the best team the Reign can put on a field and they'll have every motivation to do well against their regional rivals and coming off of a rough weekend game.
How to Watch
Fox Sports Go: Link