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Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji

Only two match weekends remain before the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) regular season pauses for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with teams hoping to get the most out of their stars before they head off to international competition.

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This weekend, league leaders Kansas City and Orlando will have a chance to continue their season-long unbeaten streaks against Houston and Angel City, respectively.

Next week, Golden Boot-race frontrunners Barbra Banda and Sophia Smith will then go head-to-head in their clubs’ final match before the break.

The NWSL does have some programming planned over the Olympic break by way of the inaugural NWSL x Liga MX Femenil Summer Cup, but teams currently in playoff contention will want to finish these final two weeks strong.

While separation is beginning to spread near the top of the table, four teams still sit within two points of eighth place — and they’re all fighting to make it over the playoff line.

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Two of those teams — San Diego and Bay FC — will be going into the weekend seeking to bounce back after significant personnel shifts.

The Wave take on Chicago, playing their first game under interim manager Paul Buckle following the surprise dismissal of head coach Casey Stoney.

Bay FC will battle Louisville after accepting the resignation of first-ever general manager Lucy Rushton last week.

Meanwhile…

With Olympic rosters set, individual Paris-bound players will be looking to continue rounding into elite form.

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Zambia's Barbra Banda and the USWNT's Sophia Smith lead the league in goals scored with 10 each.

Eyes will also be on longtime USWNT veteran Alex Morgan, who will be playing her first NWSL match after not making this year's Olympic roster.

Other noteworthy matchups:
In the weekend's only game between two teams above the playoff line, third-place Washington will take on sixth-place North Carolina in a battle to climb the table.

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