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Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit 2018: Time, TV schedule and how to watch NWSL online

Can the Spirit break their scoring drought?

Nikita Taparia

It’s a pretty good bet that this edition of Chicago Red Stars vs. Washington Spirit won’t be as crazy as the last one. On June 2, the Red Stars visited the Maryland SoccerPlex but kickoff was pushed five hours late because of lightning. Half of the game took place in a total downpour, and it was difficult to glean much out of the Spirit’s 2-0 loss.

Tonight is the first of three in a row away from home for the Spirit, who did not score a single goal in June. They’ll need to break that slump in order to get anything from what figures to be a hot day in Illinois.

Key player: Aubrey Bledsoe

Somehow the Spirit still managed to take two points from four games without scoring any goals. Bledsoe is a huge factor in that, and even in losses like last week’s 1-0 defeat against the Orlando Pride, she had several highlight-reel worthy saves.

It’s unclear what will fix the attack, but what’s keeping the Spirit’s games in non-blowout territory is the defense. Last week Bledsoe and her backline held a star-studded Orlando attack to one goal, a completely unlikely shot from Alanna Kennedy from midfield. In the second half, Bledsoe made several key saves to keep the score 1-0. Against an attack that features Sam Kerr, a similar level of performance might be needed.

Location: Toyota Park (Bridgeview, IL)

Kickoff time: 6:00pm Eastern

Projected Spirit starting 11: (4-3-3) - Aubrey Bledsoe; Taylor Smith, Estelle Johnson, Whitney Church, Caprice Dydasco; Tori Huster, Rebecca Quinn, Andi Sullivan; Joanna Lohman, Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega

Bench: Kelsey Wys, Maddie Huster, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Havana Solaun, Estefania Banini, Rose Lavelle, Tiffany Weimer

Rose Lavelle and Estefania Banini are both questionable due to hamstring issues, while Mallory Eubanks (ankle) and Havana Solaun (knee) join them as players upgraded to questionable this week. Mallory Pugh is still out for a little while longer with a PCL sprain.

Projected Chicago starting 11: (4-2-3-1) - Alyssa Naeher; Arin Gilliland, Katie Naughton, Julie Ertz, Casey Short; Nikki Stanton, Danielle Colaprico; Michele Vasconcelos, Yuki Nagasato, Alyssa Mautz; Sam Kerr

Morgan Brian is questionable because of a left groin strain, as is Rosie White (hamstring).

Referee: Sergii Demianchuk

Available TV: None

Available streaming: go90.com and the go90 app for American viewers, NWSLsoccer.com for international fans.

What are you drinking?: I’ll be in Chicago, so Chicago water!

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