Two teams in dire need of a win square off tonight at the Maryland Soccerplex, with the Washington Spirit looking to end a six-game winless streak against the defending NWSL champion Portland Thorns FC, who themselves have gone five without a victory. At the end of April, the Spirit pulled out a hard-fought 1-1 tie at Providence Park, with Aubrey Bledsoe coming up with a penalty kick save in the 87th minute to deny the Thorns the win.
Key player: Francisca Ordega
Ordega scored the lone goal for the Spirit in that game, and her energy, pace, and unpredictability will be key against the Thorns again tonight. Before being shut out in each of their last two games, the Spirit were leaning on Ordega, who had goals in three straight games, to finish off their attacks. Washington needs to stop the bad run before they drop too many more points, and a home game is a good opportunity to turn it around.
Location: Maureen Hendricks Field at Maryland Soccerplex (Boyds, Maryland)
Kickoff time: 7:00pm Eastern
Projected Spirit starting 11: (4-3-3) - Aubrey Bledsoe; Taylor Smith, Rebecca Quinn, Whitney Church, Caprice Dydasco; Tori Huster, Andi Sullivan, Estefania Banini; Mallory Pugh, Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega
Bench: Kelsey Wys, Estelle Johnson, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Joanna Lohman, Havana Solaun, Tiffany Weimer, Mallory Eubanks
Estelle Johnson is questionable due to a right hamstring injury. Rose Lavelle remains out, though she appears to be getting close to a return. Cali Farquharson (tibial stress injury) joined Arielle Ship on the 45 day disabled list earlier this week, allowing Washington to sign Eubanks.
Projected Thorns starting 11: (3-4-2-1) - Britt Eckerstrom; Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett, Emily Menges; Midge Purce, Andressinha, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg; Emily Carpenter, Tobin Heath; Christine Sinclair
Starting goalkeeper Adriana Franch and former Spirit attacker Hayley Raso are notable absentees, while Klingenberg is expected to return from a personal absence.
Referee: Guido Gonzales Jr.
Available TV: None
What are you drinking?: Water, what a shocker.
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