The Courage will play tonight against the Seattle Reign at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 tonight, their second game against the team in a month. Last time the Courage defense was able to completely shut down the Reign attack on a rainy night in a brilliant 2-0 victory. This time could feature a different line up, as four Courage players were featured – three of them heavily – in the Tournament of Nations the players will just be returning home after their game on Thursday. Lynn Williams will almost certainly play after she was almost completely ignored by Jill Ellis, and Sam Mewis and Abby Dahlkemper are consummate professionals and will likely start, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor Smith is given the night off.
That brings us to our two new players, both internationals that will hopefully be able to make an immediate impact on the team. The first is Denise O’Sullivan, an Irish midfielder who was just released by the Houston Dash. Paul Riley likely brought her in as a potential replacement for Doniak after her disappointing last few weeks. The other is Nora Holstad, an excellent Norwegian defender who can hopefully replace the injured Yuri Kawamura in the original 3-back system that worked so well at the beginning of the year. It is always hard to bring new international players into the country, so I’m not sure if she will be ready to go this week.
I’ll have a full write up after the game, so try to come out tonight. Tickets are cheap and the venue is excellent.