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BOYDS, Md. (July 17, 2015) – The Washington Spirit (5-4-2, 17 points) square off against second place Seattle Reign FC (6-2-3, 21 points) for redemption from their 3-1 defeat on May 2nd. The Washington Spirit look to re-group as a team, with World Cup players returning, and after a hard loss against FC Kansas City on July 3rd.
“After a bye week the team is looking forward to competing again and playing at home just adds more excitement. It has been great to welcome back Diana Matheson and everyone is looking very sharp,” said head coach Mark Parsons. “The intensity has been very high all week and I am looking forward to us exploding out the blocks on Saturday. Playing at home is very important to us and we never take it for granted. I look forward to seeing and hearing the fans this weekend. Lets go Spirit Family!”
On Saturday May 2nd, the Spirit played an even match against the Reign with both teams having 14 shots on goal. However, the Reign were more clinical with goals coming from Beverly Yanez, Merritt Mathias and Jessica Fishlock. The lone goal for the Spirit came from Joanna Lohman.
Seattle Reign FC has not suffered a loss since April 23rd when they played FC Kansas City. Yanez has six goals on the season, trailing league leading Spirit forward Crystal Dunn, who has seven. Yanez will look to push forward with runs behind the Spirit defense to create scoring opportunities. Kim Little has five assists on the season, second place in the standings. She will look to provide the attacking pressure in the midfield with through balls and diagonal runs.
Spirit goalkeeper Kelsey Wys and the Spirit defenders will look to be physical and apply high pressure throughout the defensive third to prevent scoring opportunities and keep the game level. Midfielders Christine Nairn and Joanna Lohman will look to connect out wide to attack the Reign defense with numbers while the changing point of attack and allowing for more runs into the box.
This week marked the return of Canadian World Cup player Diana Matheson to the training ground and she will be on the roster for Saturday’s game. This will also be the first home game for Australian Hayley Raso who was with Australia at the World Cup.
Meanwhile, US Women’s National Team members Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger arrived late in the week and will be ready for action next week as the Spirit play the Chicago Red Stars on July 25th. All three Nigerian national team members will also miss the match Saturday as they play in an Olympic qualifier for their national team. Francisca Ordega, Josephine Chukwunonye, and Ngozi Okobi will return to the Spirit early next week.
All Spirit players who participated in the World Cup will be honored before tomorrow’s match against Seattle.