With the season winding to a close, the Washington Spirit face Sky Blue FC tonight, a team fighting to stay in playoff contention. Playoffs aren’t a possibility for the Spirit and Washington, hard-hit by injuries, only has 15 players available this evening. The Spirit are basically playing for pride, while Sky Blue essentially must win to give themelves any chance of claiming the final NWSL playoff spot.
Key player: Shelina Zadorsky
Last week the Spirit fell 4-0 on the road against Portland, conceding three goals in the first half. Earlier this summer, against Sky Blue the Spirit struggled heavily on defense in the first half but managed to only concede a goal before bouncing back to win. MVP candidate Sam Kerr can threaten any backline in the league so the Spirit need to be especially solid in the back.
Shelina Zadorsky suffered a right knee bone bruise three weeks ago against North Carolina and still looked off against Portland before she exited after the end of the first half. With Estelle Johnson out and Stephanie Labbe on medical leave, a strong performance from Zadorsky would be a significant help to the Spirit’s backline.
Location: Yurcak Field (Piscataway, NJ)
Kickoff time: 6:00pm Eastern
Projected Spirit starting 11: (4-3-3) - DiDi Haracic; Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Shelina Zadorsky, Alyssa Kleiner; Meggie Dougherty Howard, Tori Huster, Havana Solaun; Cali Farquharson, Cheyna Williams, Mallory Pugh
Bench: Kelsey Wys, Kassey Kallman, Morgan Proffitt, Lindsay Agnew
Labbe is on a medical leave of absence, while Francisca Ordega (left hamstring strain) and Estefania Banini (right hamstring strain) are both out. Mallory Pugh sustained a right hip flexor strain and is probable for tonight’s game. The Spirit’s injury crisis means they’ll have just four players on the bench tonight.
Projected Sky Blue FC starting 11: (4-4-2) - Kailen Sheridan; Kayla Mills, Domi Richardson, Mandy Freeman, Erica Skroski; Daphne Corboz, Sarah Killion, Kelley O’Hara, Taylor Lytle; Maya Hayes, Sam Kerr
Referee: Rebecca Pagan
Available TV: None
Available streaming: NWSLsoccer.com for all viewers since Go90 is based in Florida.
What are you drinking?: I’ll be in Sky Blue’s press box with Jason so water!
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