After a strong win against Orlando, the Washington Spirit (5-1-2, 17 points) face Sky Blue FC (2-3-4, 10 points) at the Maryland Soccerplex in the second of four games with Sky Blue this season. This is the last match for American and Canadian internationals before the players depart for pre-Olympic training camp and the Olympics in August. For the Spirit, that means Crystal Dunn, Ali Krieger, Stephanie Labbe, Diana Matheson, and Shelina Zadorsky (or nearly half of the starting lineup).
In their last matchup, the Spirit beat Sky Blue in New Jersey with goals from Krieger and Matheson. Maya Hayes scored the only goal for Sky Blue in a 2-1 Spirit win back in April. Sky Blue has struggled against current playoff teams, going 0-3-1 against teams currently in the top four places. Since playing the Spirit, the teams has only managed five goals in seven matches.
Sky Blue's former coach, Jim Gabarra, has led the Spirit to a successful season so far. The Spirit lead the league in points per game (2.125) and the team is in fourth place despite having played two fewer games than the three teams above them. A win tonight would see them join the Portland Thorns, who currently have 20 points, at the top of the NWSL table.
This is the Spirit's second game of a four-week homestand. The Spirit tend to play better at home so this stretch is crucial to picking up points for a playoff run. Washington is 3-0-1 at home, and have not conceded a goal yet at Maureen Hendricks Field.
Location: Maryland Soccerplex (Boyds, Maryland)
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.