The 13th match weekend is fast approaching in the NWSL, with two season-long unbeaten streaks on the line.

League-leaders Kansas City and Orlando will attempt to survive the weekend with their unbeaten runs intact, as the Current host Chicago on Friday and the Pride travel to North Carolina for Saturday's match.

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But while Kansas City and Orlando have been the gold standard this year, they're still a number of wins away from tying Washington's record for longest unbeaten streak in a single NWSL season. In 2021, the Spirit went 20 games without a loss en route to the club's first NWSL championship.

Both Gotham and Louisville are carrying momentum into their matchup on Saturday. Louisville is unbeaten in three games, and they’re looking to finally leapfrog Chicago and claim sixth place in the league standings. Gotham, on a seven-game unbeaten run, is into fifth place.

Portland and Seattle will face off in the Cascadia Clash this weekend, with Golden Boot contender Sophia Smith absent, as the decorated forward was shown a red card last weekend for time-wasting on the bench.

The Reign could use a win against their long-time rivals, as a difficult start has 13th-place Seattle registering only two wins amid nine losses so far this season.

Elsewhere in the league, 2024 expansion teams Bay FC and Utah meet for the first time this weekend, as both look to rise from the bottom half of the standings. And Washington will ride a four-game winning streak into Saturday's game against a San Diego side that's earned two hard-fought draws in recent weeks.

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The San Diego Wave introduced Camille Ashton as their new general manager and sporting director yesterday, three weeks after Ashton resigned from her position as GM of the Kansas City Current.

The 34-year-old former NWSL pro will manage San Diego’s coaching staff and on-field budget, as well as lead player scouting and acquisitions. Ashton joins Wave FC president Jill Ellis and head coach Casey Stoney in an effort to lead the team back to their 2023 NWSL Shield-winning success.

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"I’ve known Cami from back in her playing days, and her impressive track record and deep understanding as both a General Manager and former player, combined with her passion and energy make her an exceptional fit with this club," Ellis said in a team statement.

Ashton left a Kansas City team that remains undefeated this season — a significant leap from last year’s 11th-place finish. While at the Current, Ashton inked top offseason free agent Debinha followed by international forwards Temwa Chawinga (Malawi) and Bia Zaneratto (Brazil).

However, not all of Ashton’s roster moves were as well received. High-profile players like Lynn WilliamsCece Kizer, and Alex Loera posted about the mishandling of their abrupt trades, while the parent of a waived 2023 NWSL draftee claimed her daughter was mistreated by Ashton and the club (a subsequent investigation did not result in any public consequences).

When asked about the criticism surrounding the trades, Ashton commented, "There could be a lot of debate… but at the end of the day, that’s the mechanism that we work with right now in the league." 

A Southern California native, Ashton will make the transition to the Wave in the coming weeks.

Kansas City Current general manager Camille Ashton has resigned, the club announced Wednesday.

The staffing shakeup comes as somewhat of a surprise after the Current started off the season undefeated under new head coach Vlatko Andonovski, sitting second in the NWSL standings through 10 games.

No further details were given about her departure, other than that the club "wishes her the best in her future endeavors."

"I am thankful for my time in Kansas City," Ashton said in a team statement. "It was important to me to dedicate my time and efforts to ensure a successful 2024 season by building the championship-caliber roster that's currently near the top of the table. I am proud of what we have accomplished here. I look forward to the next step in my personal and professional journey."

Ashton, who played in the league from 2014-17, helped rebuild the Current roster, including picking up then-free agent Debinha in 2023 — the biggest free agency signing of that offseason. This past offseason, she brought in international players Temwa Chawinga and Bia Zaneratto

But the club has also encountered some rough patches throughout Ashton's tenure. Following her daughter's dismissal from the Current last year, mother of 2023 draft pick Mykiaa Minniss also accused the club of mistreatment during the preseason. While both the league and NWSL Players Association looked into the comments, no formal reprimand or consequences were publicly issued.

Players like Lynn Williams, Alex Loera, and Cece Kizer voiced concerns over what they described as unexpected trades, with Kizer adding that there was "no conversation this could happen." Williams, meanwhile, was informed of her trade moments prior to its execution while she was in New Zealand with the USWNT.

"There could be a lot of debate about that on its own, but at the end of the day, that’s the mechanism that we work with right now in the league," Ashton told reporters earlier this year when quested about the Current's player trade procedures.

While the club made an NWSL championship appearance in 2022 — the year Ashton came on as general manager — the 2023 season kicked off with the team firing head coach Matt Potter just three games into the season and hours before a road game. 

At the time, the club cited "issues around his leadership and employment responsibilities" as the reasoning, though players were reportedly confused with the decision making.

Last October, the Current hired former UWSNT coach Vlatko Andonovski as head coach, in addition to giving him the title of "sporting director." Whether or not that role overlapped with Ashton’s responsibilities as general manager was cause for some speculation.

As the WNBA plans to implement league-wide charter flights, the NWSL is struggling with some travel issues of its own. 

Missed flights, inclement weather, and a stretch of midweek games have spurred workload and logistical concerns for a number of NWSL teams. Last week, three games were played Wednesday night, while another three games are set to be played tonight. 

"You can't play your best XI right now because of the amount of games you have," said Red Stars head coach Lorne Donaldson after last Wednesday's 4-2 loss to Washington. Donaldson emphasized the importance of rotating through the team’s depth so as to avoid injury.

"You have to get to about 16 deep where you can," he continued. "Or else your best XI is going to be injured or walk off the field and they can’t finish the season."

Kansas City has faced some of the league's most extreme turnaround times this season. On Sunday, the Current missed an evening flight to Seattle due to a multi-hour rain delay in Houston, throwing off their training schedule ahead of their midweek match against the Reign. The NWSL eventually gave them the green light to charter a plane, but not before frustration spread throughout the team.

"We lost the whole day of the opportunity to recover," said Current head coach Vlatko Andonovski after the Current's weekend draw against the Dash. "So the schedule, it's already challenging to begin with. We have by far the worst schedule in the league, and this just made it even worse.

"We don't have a hotel, we got to figure out a hotel. We don't have flights for tomorrow, we got to figure out flights. We had trainings for some players that we believe needed training time to be able to perform on Wednesday.”

While the team was given permission to charter a plane, navigating such approvals has proven difficult in the past. This past July, the NWSL fined Kansas City $55,000 over the unauthorized use of a charter flight.

Kansas City Current goalkeeper AD Franch allowed an own goal in her first time back in the lineup in a month.

The goal resulted from a fluky turn of events, which saw San Diego Wave striker Alex Morgan’s shot bounce off the post and then off Franch’s back and into the net. But it also marked the 11th allowed by Franch in just four appearances this season, and it contributed to her team’s 2-0 loss Sunday against the Wave.

Before Sunday, she had not played since April 15, when she allowed four goals against the Chicago Red Stars.

Since coach Matt Potter got fired, Franch has struggled to crack interim head coach Caroline Sjöblom’s lineup for the struggling Current. Instead, Cassie Miller has started in her place, recording a clean sheet in three straight games for Kansas City.

But Miller allowed three goals in a loss to Angel City last week, opening the door for Franch to return.

Before Franch was benched, she had started the season by allowing just one goal in a 1-0 loss to the North Carolina Courage. But she allowed four goals in each of her next two games, including that game against the Red Stars, before being benched for a month. She made her return Sunday but once again was not up to the form that nearly earned her NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year last season and did earn her a spot on the U.S. women’s national team roster starting in November.

“We knew that we could give them problems with that front three and our front three were unbelievable tonight,” San Diego coach Casey Stoney said. “I have to say the game plan was to defend and I thought they defended very, very well and we created and scored. Did they have more chances in terms of shots? Yeah, but we’ve had really clear openings, so that’s pleasing for us.”

In addition to Franch’s own goal Sunday – her second of the season – Franch ran into the goalpost and had to be checked out by trainers. While she did get back to her feet, her recent run of play raises some concern for both Kanas City and USWNT fans alike.

The Kansas City Current fired head coach Matt Potter just three matches into the season due to “issues around his leadership and employment responsibilities,” the team announced Wednesday.

In his first season as head coach in 2022, Potter led the Current to the NWSL championship match. But after a winless start to the 2023 season, Potter has been relieved of his duties.

The Current did not provide any details related to the leadership issues cited in Wednesday’s announcement.

“We watch the play on the pitch, we keep a pulse on the locker room, and we are constantly evaluating ways to improve our club,” general manager Camille Ashton said in the news release. “Through our ongoing process of continuous improvement, we believe now is the right time for this change.”

Potter brought previous experience at the college level (as the head coach at Washington State and Oklahoma) and at the U.S. national level (as the U-23 coach) with him to Kansas City when he was hired in January 2022.

Kansas City finished with a 10-6-6 record in the 2022 regular season. After entering the playoffs as the No. 5 seed, the team made a run to the NWSL final against the Portland Thorns.

In the offseason, the Current signed top free agent Debinha along with other standout NWSL veterans, but they have not clicked on the pitch. They also have generated some controversy off it, as third-round draft pick Mykiaa Minniss claims to have received “less than professional” treatment from the club before she was cut from the preseason roster.

Caroline Sjöblom, who served as an assistant coach under Potter, will take over as interim head coach effective immediately. She will lead the Current into Wednesday night’s Challenge Cup opener, a road contest against the Houston Dash.