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5 of the Most Heated Rivalries in Women’s Soccer

February 21, 2024, by Kayleigh Toney | Courtesy of www.girlssoccernetwork.com



Rivalries are a big part of any sport, and women’s soccer is no exception. There are tons of big rivalries around the world at the U.S. college level, the club level, and the international stage. From the U.S. to Europe to Central America, we’ll look at some of the most heated rivalries throughout the sport at the club level.

 

Portland Thorns vs. Seattle Reign


When you think of rivalry in the NWSL, the first teams that come to mind are the Thorns and the Seattle Reign (formerly OL Reign), otherwise known as the Cascadia Rivalry. This rivalry was born in the MLS with the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers, but it carried over to the teams in the NWSL, and it’s a battle every time the two clubs meet.

It’s the oldest rivalry in the league, and it brings an exciting matchup between two clubs that don’t like each other. Last season, Portland won both regular season matches against the Seattle Reign 2-0. However, the Seattle Reign won and tied the Thorns in the Challenge Cup.

 

Chelsea vs. Arsenal


One of the biggest rivalries in England is the North West London Derby. This is another rivalry that began early on in the men’s game. It’s an intense rivalry that’s brought a lot of terrific games, especially in recent years. Chelsea and Arsenal have been the leaders of the pack in the WSL, so many of the recent matchups have come with trophy implications.

It’s a fairly even matchup, with Chelsea at 11-1-1 and Arsenal at 9-1-3 in the series. Their upcoming regular season match is on March 15, 2024.

 

Olympique Lyon vs. Paris Saint-Germain


These two clubs are heavyweights regarding women’s soccer in France. Lyon has been the powerhouse club for so long, but PSG has made this a competitive matchup, especially in recent years.


The rivalry grew even bigger in 2021 when PSG won the Division 1 Feminine for the first time and snapped Lyon’s 14-year title-winning streak in the process. In the same season, they also eliminated Lyon from the Champions League competition.


However, Lyon got their revenge, knocking PSG out of the Champions League in 2022.

The most recent meeting between the two clubs was on February 11, 2023, with the two teams tying because of a stoppage-time own goal against Lyon.

 

Club América vs. Chivas de Guadalajara


The rivalry between these two clubs is legendary in both women’s and men’s soccer in Mexico. Both teams have a strong history in Mexican soccer. They are based in different regions of the country, Club América out of Mexico City and Chivas out of; you guessed it, Guadalajara.


Matches between the two teams are always intense and closely contested. Currently, the teams are neck-a-neck in the Liga MX Femenil standings. América is second, and Chivas is fifth, with a difference of only two points.


Most recently, Club América beat Guadalajara in the semifinals of the Apertura. Guadalajara will definitely looking for some revenge in the Clausura.

 

Melbourne City vs. Melbourne Victory


This is a natural rivalry in Australian women’s soccer, featuring two of the biggest clubs in the country. Both teams are based in Melbourne, and their matches always draw a lot of attention from fans. Moreover, since the two teams share a city, they compete for the same pool of fans and players, leading to an even more heated rivalry.


Plus Melbourne Victory women’s team was established in 2008, while the Melbourne City women’s team came later in 2015, leading to even more dislike toward each other.


Melbourne City won more matches against the Victory, but the Victory has come away with some important wins in recent seasons and is only one point behind their rivals in the league standings.

 


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