Angel City FC in need of points with just six games left – Press Enterprise



Just like last season, the Angel City Football Club is within striking distance of a NWSL playoff berth.

Its inaugural season ended with Angel City on the outside looking in at the playoffs. Heading into Sunday’s home game against OL Reign (Bally Sports SoCal, 5 p.m.), the same ending is possible.

Angel City (4-6-6) enters this week with 18 points, currently in 10th place in the NWSL. The top six teams in the league qualify for the playoffs. The current sixth-place team is OL Reign, a team that Angel City trails by six points and has yet to defeat in its short history.

Angel City has an eight-game unbeaten (4-0-4) streak since Becki Tweed was promoted to interim coach. OL Reign, which is 6-0-1 all-time against ACFC, has lost consecutive games and hasn’t lost three consecutive games under Laura Harvey since 2013.

“I think we’re going to need everybody and it’s one of those things that are easier said than done, because we all want to play,” Angel City defender and captain Ali Riley said. “There’s so much competition now with everyone healthy and everyone coming back and the team did really well during the kind of World Cup break and in the Challenge Cup …

“Players have really stepped up, so now when Becki calls upon the player she does and to play different roles …So I think it’s going to be this balance of, ‘Can the team really buy into that? Can the coaches help push that and everyone have this mentality?’ We can’t look too far ahead.”

Last season, the playoff cutline was 33 points, so heading into the final six-game stretch, Angel City is aware that there is a lot of work to be done, but points are out there.

Jun Endo has returned to training after her World Cup run with Japan and will be available, Tweed said. Also, Amandine Henry, who has yet to make her debut after not making the French national team, will be available.

“Are the players who don’t start, are they ready? Are the players who do start ready to give everything they have and then come off the field to have someone else finish the game?” Riley said. “I just think that it’s something that we’ve wanted to have as an identity for this club, but we haven’t had so many players available.

“So now that we’re in this position, it’s a great problem to have, but you have to have total buy-in. I think we’re going to see that this weekend and then again with the game five days later.”

Julie Ertz still away

Ertz will not be available for Sunday’s game, Tweed confirmed.

“I think she just needs another week,” Tweed said. “Again, she has a 1-year-old son and you know her husband is in the NFL, so she just needs a little bit more time and we have to respect that. Coming back from a World Cup is difficult, especially when you also have a world full of other things, so we’re respecting that time that she needs.”

Notes

Angel City will hold a retirement appreciation ceremony for OL Reign’s Megan Rapinoe before the game. Rapinoe is retiring at the end of the season. … USC quarterback Caleb Williams and the Trojans’ offensive line are scheduled to attend the game.

OL Reign at Angel City FC

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Where: BMO Stadium

How to watch: Bally SoCal, Paramount+



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