After a strong start to the season, the Washington Spirit has slid into a downward spiral. The Spirit has only won one game out of its past four and hasn't had a shutout since May 14. By contrast, FC Kansas City had an abysmal start to the season and after dropping to the bottom of the table, the Blues are in eighth place now and are unbeaten in their past four games.
It's not unusual for the Spirit to be inconsistent. Arguably it's synonymous with the team by now. But if the Spirit give a similar performance to last week, the run of bad games becomes an indicator of where this team is going to go. The Spirit need to get better at bouncing back, both during games and over the course of the season.
This is the first game for both teams without their American and Canadian national team players and both the Blues and Spirit face similar challenges. Both teams will need to adjust a solid defense after losing a center back (Becky Sauebrunn for FCKC, Shelina Zadorsky for Washington). Neither team has a particularly strong attack, a problem emphasized by the absence of Heather O'Reilly for Kansas City and Crystal Dunn for Washington. That side of the ball will be important for the Spirit since the Blues have held their opponents scoreless in three of their past four games.
Location: Maryland Soccerplex (Boyds, MD)
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.