The Washington Spirit return to the Maryland SoccerPlex on Saturday, June 15 to host the Western New York Flash for their first home match since May 11, a 1-1 draw against the Boston Breakers.
The Spirit (1-4-3), have played three straight road matches since hosting Boston, going 1-2 in that span. The team earned its first win in franchise history by defeating Seattle Reign FC 4-2 on May 16, and have since lost two straight matches to Portland Thorns FC and Boston.
However, since its last match three weeks ago, Washington has brought in three high profile reinforcements, two of whom will be making their NWSL debuts against Western New York.
One of those will be Mexican Women’s National Team veteran Teresa “Lupita” Worbis, who recently signed with the Spirit and began training with the team back on May 30. Worbis, 29, is an extremely quick and fundamentally-sound midfielder with a decade of experience with the Mexican National Team.
U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team defender Toni Pressley has also joined the squad, and is set to make her debut on the Spirit back line Saturday night. Pressley signed with club on June 3, coming from Russian club Ryazan VDV.
“Toni is a very talented, athletic center back who reads the game well and has a great deal of international experience,” Jorden said. “We think she’ll have an immediate impact.”
Western New York (4-2-2) enters Saturday’s match having not lost since the first month of the season. After beginning the NWSL’s inaugural season 0-2-1 in April, the Flash have won four of five matches and drawn just once against the Breakers on June 5. Western New York is in third place with 14 points, eight back of Sky Blue FC and Portland. The Flash are eight points ahead of the seventh place Spirit.
National team players from both sides will be missing from Saturday’s match. The league’s top scorer, Abby Wambach, will be absent for Western New York along with Spirit defender Ali Krieger. Wambach, Krieger and the rest of the U.S. Women’s National Team are hosting South Korea at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. Saturday at 7 p.m., the first of a two-game set between the sides which concludes on June 20 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
The Spirit have called up Reserves defender Danielle Hubka to fill Krieger’s spot on the roster for Saturday’s match. Hubka recently completed an illustrious career at the University of Maryland, and has also spent time in the U.S. National Team system. She has been dominant on the Spirit Reserves back line, a unit that has posted three straight shutouts.
Canadian Women’s National Team players Robyn Gayle and Diana Matheson will miss Saturday’s NWSL match as well, as they train for their international friendly match against Germany on June 19 at Benteler Arena in Paderborn, Ger.
Saturday night will be a matchup of two of the league’s better goalkeepers, with Ashlyn Harris squaring off against Adrianna Franch. Despite having only played in six matches, Harris’ 25 saves ranks seventh in the NWSL, while Franch’s 34 in eight starts is good for third.
For fans unable to attend, the Spirit will stream Saturday’s match live from the Maryland SoccerPlex. You can watch and listen to Michael Minnich call the game at washingtonspirit.com.
NWSL STANDINGS (June 14)
Sky Blue FC | (7-2-1, 22 pts)
Portland Thorns | (7-2-1, 22 pts)
FC Kansas City | (5-3-1, 16 pts)
Western NY Flash | (4-2-2, 14 pts)
Boston Breakers | (3-3-3, 12 pts)
Chicago Red Stars | (2-5-2, 8 pts)
Washington Spirit | (1-4-3, 6 pts)
Seattle Reign | (0-8-1, 1 pt)