The Courage have four players heading to the Tokyo Olympics, including Sam Mewis, Debinha and team captain Abby Erceg, with Lynn Williams also being named as an alternate for the U.S. WNT. With those players being temporarily unavailable for the Courage, the club signed Kendall Fletcher, an experienced defender who has played in the WPSL, NWSL, Swedish league and most recently the Australian W-League.
The Courage currently have a record of 4-2-1 and sit in second place in the league table right behind the first-place Pride. The Courage are coming off a 2-0 win against the Portland Thorns this past weekend, where Lynn Williams bagged her second brace in as many games. With the four goals in two games, and an earlier goal against Louisville, Williams leads the league in goals, followed closely by Sydney Leroux and Alex Morgan, who sit with four apiece.
North Carolina goalkeeper Casey Murphy is coming off her third clean sheet of the season. Murphy recorded four saves and handed Portland it’s first shutout this season this past Saturday. Former Orlando Pride defender Carson Pickett has provided Williams two assists in the last two games, her three assists tying her with Marta for the league-lead on the season.
The Pride are unbeaten against the Courage in their last four matchups across all competitions, the last match resulting in a 2-1 victory for Orlando on May 22 in Cary. Sydney Leroux got the Pride on the board first when she capitalized on an error in the NC backline in the 36th minute, with the lead doubling in the 79th after Taylor Kornieck flicked on a long ball to Alex Morgan who netted the eventual game-winner. Orlando’s 2-1 victory at WakeMed Soccer Park was the Courage’s first loss at home since June 16, 2018, a span of 23 unbeaten games over 1,071 days.
Rasmussen Fun Fact
Since the start of the NWSL in 2013, there has only been three matches ever played on July 4th, with Saturday’s meeting between the Pride and Courage serving as the fourth all-time. The first Independence Day match was in 2013, then again a year later in 2014. The most recent came a few years back when the Chicago Red Stars took on North Carolina in 2018. Of those three games, the home team has an unbeaten record of 2-0-1.
Know Your Opponent | North Carolina Courage