The Fighting Spirits are back at it again for the last away game of the season. Washington Spirit will visit Children’s Mercy Park to face Kansas City Current, potential NWSL Shield, home playoff game and first round bye hopefuls. Just like Angel City midweek, there’s a lot more on the line for the opposition than for the Spirit.
However, the Spirit are in their best run of form all season, and will be eager to build on that by playing spoiler in their next two matches.
When and where
Location: Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, KS)
Kickoff time: Sunday, 10:30pm ET
Referee: Elton Garcia
Available TV: CBS Sports Network
Available streaming: Paramount+ (U.S.) & Twitch (int’l)
Who all gon’ be there
Current team news: OUT - Sam Mewis (SEI- right leg), Mallory Weber (SEI- right leg), Lynn Williams (SEI- right leg), Jaycie Johnson (right leg); QUESTIONABLE - None
Spirit team news: OUT - Tori Huster (SEI - left lower leg), Emily Sonnett (SEI - foot); Kelley O’Hara (hip); QUESTIONABLE - None
3 things to watch
- Spirits in their Grinch era - The Washington Spirit have been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs for a week or so, but their remaining opponents are right in the thick of it. Kansas City currently sit 5th, with 33 points. Three points would shoot them up to second, with a chance to stay there if Chicago take any points from Portland. The Spirit weren’t able to derail Angel City’s charge, but have a chance to rebound and fling Kansas City into a playoff fight on the final weekend.
- AD Franch is a problem - If the Spirit are to get a result they’ll have to do it against one of the best keepers in the league, whose performances should land her on the MVP shortlist. Franch’s shot-stopping in Kansas City’s last game turned a 2.46xG performance from Portland into a single goal, which put her team in position to equalize late and steal a point. Interim head coach Albertin Montoya noted that the Spirit will have to create a lot of quality chances to get the ball beyond Franch, stating that “half chances are not going to be good enough against this team.”
- First opportunity to bounce back under Montoya - Unfortunately, the midweek 2-1 loss to Angel City ruined Montoya’s perfect record in the NWSL, but now we get a chance to see how the team responds with him at the helm. Despite this having been a brutal season for the Spirit, they’ve only lost back-to-back games once. Extremely unfortunately, the Current were the team to tack on a second consecutive loss in early July. The good news is that Montoya reports that spirits are high (also that the pun wasn’t intended), and that the team is focused and determined to end the season in their best form this year.