After two hard-fought wins in as many games, the Washington Spirit challenge the Western New York Flash tonight at Sahlen's Stadium in Rochester, NY. Last Sunday, the Spirit beat Sky Blue FC 2-1 on the road. The Spirit performed well at the start of the game but trailed off in the last half hour. Nonetheless, Ali Krieger scored towards the end of the first half and Matheson scored in the 55th minute before the Spirit conceded a goal ten minutes later.
In both games, the Spirit struggled to take advantage of their opportunities on offense. In the attack, the Spirit relied mainly on crosses from Krieger and occasional combinations in the center. Defensively, the back line tried to build from the back instead of mostly playing direct.
The Spirit successfully contained Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodriguez in the first half last week and the team will need to continue that this week and contain second-year Flash midfielder Abby Dahlkemper. The Flash won on the road against defending champions FC Kansas City before falling 1-0 to the Chicago Red Stars last week. Two other players to watch for Western New York are young midfielder Samantha Mewis and Colombian attacker Lady Andrade. The Spirit go into this game the favorite but the team will need to put away its chances tonight to secure a win.
Location: Sahlen's Stadium (Rochester, NY)
Kick-off time: 7:00pm Eastern
Available TV: None
Available streaming: NWSL Soccer, free and non geo-blocked
Treat this as the gamethread for tonight's match.