After beating the Boston Breakers in their season opener, the Washington Spirit head north today for their first of four games against Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue is coming off of a shocking 2-1 upset over the Seattle Reign, on Seattle's home turf, and will look to continue their success against the Spirit tonight. The Spirit hope to improve their record on the road. Last season the team went 2-5-3 (Win-Loss-Tie) for away games while posting a 6-1-3 record at home.
This is head coach Jim Gabarra's first game against Sky Blue since leaving the club to coach the Spirit. Last time the two teams met, the Spirit eked out a 1-0 win thanks to a stoppage time goal from Francisca Ordega and eight saves from Kelsey Wys.
The New Jersey side handed the Reign their first-ever loss at Memorial Stadium last Sunday. Sky Blue controlled the midfield and made the most of their attacking chances. Kelly Conheeney and Tasha Kai each scored for Sky Blue, both after long absences from soccer.
Last week, the Spirit did not capitalize on their opportunities and wasted some easy shots. To earn a win, the Spirit will need to put their shots on frame and control any Sky Blue counterattacks. An interesting matchup to watch will be Ali Krieger and Sky Blue's Kelley O'Hara. The two national team defenders are competing for a starting right back spot for the Rio Olympics. O'Hara can play a variety of positions for Sky Blue but will likely play left back. Both defenders tend to go forward for their teams and deliver dangerous crosses.
Location: Yurcak Field (Piscataway, NJ)
Kick-off time: 6:00pm Eastern
Available TV: None
Available streaming: NWSL Soccer, free and non geo-blocked
Treat this as the gamethread for tonight's match.