A look at the 2018 NWSL Champs ahead of the season opener

CHICAGO – After absolutely crushing the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League season by winning the Supporter’s Shield and the NWSL Championship, the Courage look to return in 2019 just as strong.

Last season, the Courage won 17 games, while scoring 54 goals and only conceding 17 for a goal differential of +36. Along with the NWSL titles, the Courage went on to win the inaugural International Champion’s Cup Women’s Tournament where they beat Lyon in the final match. However, that was last season so what should we expect in their return? Honestly, the same.

If you were expecting the Courage to get weaker, you’d be wrong. The Courage instead added Canadian Women’s National Team starting goalkeeper, Stephanie Labbé to put in goal and everything else stays the same.

The roster is dominated by U.S. Women’s National Team members, including Abby Dahlkemper, Sam Mewis, Crystal Dunn, McCall Zerboni and Jessica McDonald, and adds international leadership with Abby Erceg, Debinha, Heather O’Reilly, Denise O’Sullivan, and Julie Spetsmark. From the starting eleven that head coach Paul Riley chooses to put out to the 18th player on the game day roster, North Carolina is filled with talent and can no longer be considered “underdogs.

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