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Washington Spirit vs. Sky Blue FC 2017: Time, TV schedule and how to watch NWSL online

Can the Spirit’s offense rebound against a Christie Pearce-less Sky Blue backline?

Caitlin Buckley

After picking up one point from their first three games of the season, the Washington Spirit have an opportunity to change the tone of their season with a win against Sky Blue FC. Sky Blue was expected to be a mid-table finisher this season but the team is missing several key players for tonight’s match, which makes it a great chance for the Spirit to pick up points. To win, the Spirit will need to find a clear playmaker and vary up their offensive strategies.

Key player: Francisca Ordega

Along with Havana Solaun, Francisca Ordega was one of the best options the Spirit had up top last week against the Houston Dash. Ordega’s unpredictable nature makes her incredibly challenging to defend and her speed adds to her danger. After limited minutes earlier this season due to injury, she played a full game last Saturday and helped play make when Solaun was shut down by the Dash.

Christie Pearce is out for Sky Blue due to a concussion and last week the Sky Blue backline looked pretty shaky. The Spirit’s offense has been hard hit by injury and in recent games has lacked movement. With Katie Stengel and Kristie Mewis still out, it will fall to Ordega to jump start the Spirit’s attack.

Location: Maryland Soccerplex (Boyds, Maryland)

Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern

Projected Spirit starting 11: (3-4-1-2) - Stephanie Labbe; Estelle Johnson, Whitney Church, Shelina Zadorsky; Alyssa Kleiner, Line Sigvardsen Jensen, Tori Huster, Kassey Kallman; Havana Solaun; Cheyna Williams/Lindsay Agnew, Francisca Ordega

Bench: DiDi Haracic, Cameron Castleberry, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Crystal Thomas, Arielle Ship, Agnew/Williams

The Spirit’s lengthy injury list got shorter this week, as Williams is now listed as probable, but they’re still going to be one player short of a full squad. The Spirit really need her dribbling ability on the field, but they may consider only using her as a sub this week just to make sure they’re not pushing her into another injury.

Projected Sky Blue starting 11: (4-1-4-1) - Kailen Sheridan; Kayla Mills, Mandy Freeman, Erika Skroski, Erin Simon; Sarah Killion; Maya Hayes, Kim DeCesare, Taylor Lytle, Leah Galton; Kelley O’Hara

This was tough to put together because Sky Blue is also missing a bunch of starters. We already mentioned Pearce, who is joined by midfielders Raquel Rodriguez and Daphne Corboz (who both started last week). Tasha Kai is still on the disabled list due to offseason ankle surgery.

Referee: Danielle Chesky

Available TV: None

Available streaming: Go90, both as an app and online at go90.com.

What are you drinking?: As always, water.

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