Most of the international competitions are over, all teams had a minimum twelve day break, many Spirit players went on an assortment of vacations, and now the NWSL is back! For the Spirit it’s right into the fire as well. Shockingly, frustratingly and annoyingly, Washington are second bottom on the table, eight points from a playoff spot, with just nine games left to play.
Last season’s champions are in very serious danger of not being able to defend their crown in the playoffs and need to string together a run of bagging three points. In their way this week will be the North Carolina Courage, who currently sit bottom of the table.
North Carolina’s struggles are a tad different, as they’ve only played nine games due to multiple COVID-19 postponements. However, it’s backloaded their schedule, so picking up points before their September run of five games in fourteen days is will be crucial.
The Spirit will receive a slight boost from not having to face Kerolin and Debinha (still with Brazil for the Copa America Femenina final), but they’ll be missing Julia Roddar and Emily Sonnett. Ashley Hatch, who returned to the Spirit early from USWNT camp during the CONCACAF W Championship, is listed as questionable with a leg injury.
If the Spirit are to replicate their late season run to the playoffs it needs to happen soon. Like right now. Like tomorrow at 7:30pm in Cary, NC. Lets go Spirits.
Location: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, NC
Kickoff time: 7:30pm ET
Referee: JC Griggs
Available TV: None
Available streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.) & Twitch (int’l)
Spirit team news: OUT - Tori Huster (SEI – left lower leg), Julia Roddar (knee), Emily Sonnett (foot); QUESTIONABLE - Ashley Hatch (leg); INTERNATIONAL DUTY - None
Courage team news: OUT - Merritt Mathias (Covid protocol), Havana Solaun (left thigh); QUESTIONABLE - None; INTERNATIONAL DUTY - Debinha (BRA), Kerolin (BRA)
Previously: A gutting 3-2 loss with the winning goal coming from Kaleigh Kurtz in the 92nd minute. -99/10, would not recommend.