2017 has been a rough season for both the Washington Spirit and the Boston Breakers, who sit 9th and 10th in the NWSL standings at the moment. Injuries have hit both teams, as has a tendency to not turn good performances into actual results. With nothing to play for but pride (Boston, for example, is trying to avoid a third straight last place finish), look for both sides to rotate some younger players in while trying to formulate a plan to move up the table in 2018.
Location: Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland Soccerplex (Boyds, MD)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected Spirit starting 11: (433) - DiDi Haracic; Caprice Dydasco, Whitney Church, Shelina Zadorsky, Kassey Kallman; Meggie Dougherty Howard, Tori Huster, Havana Solaun; Mallory Pugh, Lindsay Agnew, Cali Farquharson
Bench: Kelsey Wys, Alyssa Kleiner, Morgan Proffitt, Cheyna Williams
Williams is listed as doubtful on the injury report with a hamstring strain, but the Spirit have had players suit up while doubtful before. Given that there are only 14 other players on the roster that are actually available, I suspect Williams will be in uniform, but probably won’t play.
Pugh likely returns to the starting lineup after being able to start twice for the USWNT during the international break, while Farquharson should replace Williams. Further back, Huster likely steps back into the defensive midfield role, and I’m guessing that Kallman maintains her spot over Kleiner after Gabarra praised the former Breaker for her play against Sky Blue.
Projected Boston starting 11: (4231) - Abby Smith; Midge Purce, Megan Oyster, Amanda Frisbie, Allysha Chapman; Brooke Elby, Angela Salem; Adriana Leon, Rosie White, Ifeona Onumonu; Katie Stengel
Matt Beard has been doing a lot of rotating, and is without four injured starters (Julie King, Christen Westphal, Morgan Andrews, and Rose Lavelle), so this is tough to call. Tiffany Weimer could start over Onumonu, Natasha Dowie could be the lone forward instead of Stengel, Elby could move to her more typical fullback role, Purce could play further up as a winger...there are a lot of possibilities.
Referee: Luis Guardia
Available TV: None
Available streaming: Go90.com and the Go90 app for US-based viewers, and NWSLsoccer.com internationally.
What are you drinking?: A potion that would allow me to attend both this game and United’s game that kicks off at the same time. But in lieu of that, water. It’s hot out!
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