The NWSL has revealed the home openers for the 2018 season, with the Washington Spirit opening the year with a a challenging road game against Seattle Reign FC. The Spirit will play their first home game the following weekend, hosting the Orlando Pride at the Maryland Soccerplex. The home opener will also be the NWSL Game of the Week, with a national broadcast on Lifetime and a 3:30pm kickoff.
Trips to Seattle have historically troubled the Spirit. Last season, Washington was handed their worst loss of a tough campaign, falling 6-2 thanks in part to a rampant Nahomi Kawasumi. Washington’s all-time record at Seattle is 1W-1D-7L, with 11 goals for and a whopping 23 goals conceded. Their lone road win against the Reign came in their first-ever visit, a 4-2 victory on May 16, 2013. Their last non-loss came late in 2014, and Seattle has knocked the Spirit out of the playoffs twice.
Things have gone better against the Pride. The Spirit hold a slight edge on Orlando, posting a 2W-2D-1L record against the Floridian side. However, both wins came in the Pride’s expansion season; in 2017, the two clubs battled to draws in their first two meetings before Orlando won in a 3-0 rout in August.
The NWSL says that the full regular season schedule, including the date and time of all nationally televised games on Lifetime, will be released Tuesday, February 20th.