This weekend, USWNT players Christen Press and Tobin Heath (Manchester United) will go head-to-head against Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis (Manchester City). Here’s a preview of what to expect in the second Manchester Derby in WSL history.
In the Premier League, matches between rival teams – typically those from the same geographic area – are referred to as “derbies” (pronounced like “darbies”). On the men’s side, the first Manchester Derby between Manchester United and Manchester City was contested in 1881.
In comparison, in the Women’s Super League (WSL), the Manchester Derby is still in its early years. While Manchester City first fielded a women’s team in 1988, Manchester United’s women’s team was launched in 2018 (a delay that USWNT star Megan Rapinoe recently called “disgraceful”).
[NEW TO THE WSL? Learn all about the league here.]
Last year, the two sides met in the first Manchester Derby in Women’s Super League history. Playing in front of a WSL-record 31,213 fans, Manchester City eeked out the 1-0 win.
Tomorrow, the two teams will meet again, this time with a very American twist.
Since the start of the 2020-21 season, five American USWNT players have joined the WSL. Christen Press and Tobin Heath play for Manchester United, while their American teammates Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis are members of Manchester City. (The fifth American in the WSL – Alex Morgan – is expected to play in Tottenham’s match against Bristol City on Saturday after making her long awaited WSL debut last weekend.)
Since the start of the WSL season, all five Americans have become more integral members of their teams. Both Press and Heath scored their first WSL goals in United’s 4-2 win over West Ham last month, while Mewis is the top American scorer overall with two goals on the season so far.
[RELATED READING: Mewis and Lavelle “bring something extra” to Manchester City]
Manchester City won last year’s WSL Derby, but Manchester United is the favorite heading into tomorrow’s match. Last weekend, United defeated previously unbeaten Arsenal to gain the top spot on the table, while Manchester City is currently ranked fifth.
[Read more WSL stories at ProSoccerTalk]
HOW TO WATCH THE WSL THIS WEEKEND:
|Sat., Nov. 14||7:30 a.m.||Manchester United v. Manchester City||NBCSN (LIVE)|
|Sat., Nov. 14||11:30 a.m.||Everton v. Reading||NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app (LIVE)|
|Sun., Nov. 15||7:30 a.m.||West Ham v. Brighton||NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app (LIVE)|
|Sun., Nov. 15||9:30 a.m.||Arsenal v. Chelsea||NBCSN (LIVE)|