U.S. Legend Briana Scurry to take first kick of NWSL season Saturday
Kickoff set for 7 p.m. between Washington Spirit and Boston
Breakers at the Maryland SoccerPlex
Scurry and New Spirit Head Coach Jim Gabarra Both Kicking Off New Era for Professional Women’s Soccer for Second Time
BOYDS, Md. – April 13, 2016 — Fifteen years and two days after Briana Scurry and Jim Gabarra helped launch the first professional women’s soccer league in U.S. history, both will take part in a new era of the sport as the Washington Spirit launch an unprecedented fourth season of professional women’s soccer this Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex (7 p.m. k/o).
Gabarra will once again preside over the home team on the sidelines, just he did in 2001 for WUSA’s Washington Freedom.
Scurry, a 2-time Olympic Gold Medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion, will perform the ceremonial kickoff immediately prior to the Spirit taking on the Boston Breakers in the first of five scheduled National Women’s Soccer League games on opening weekend. As one of the founding players of the first women’s professional soccer league, Briana’s involvement will commemorate the momentous advancement of both the NWSL and the game of soccer for women.
“While reaching a fourth season of professional women’s soccer is a milestone, it is only just the beginning,” said Spirit owner Bill Lynch. “The NWSL is healthier than ever, with all eight original teams, two expansion teams, involvement from MLS ownership in three markets and future expansion plans. All are very positive signs that we’ve found the right business model.”
The Spirit have made the playoffs each of the past two seasons and have a strong core of veteran players, including reigning NWSL League MVP and Golden Boot (most goals scored) winner Crystal Dunn. They play a 10 game home season in the 10-team league, playing each team at home and away once, and facing regional rivals Sky Blue FC (New Jersey) twice at home and away. Saturday night’s game with Boston is the second time in team history they have been honored as part of the first game of the league season, but the first they will host.
The team ended reserved seating season ticket sales earlier this week, but will continue to sell the popular 10-game General Admission “Flex” plans as well as individually assigned seats to games all season while supplies last. The 2015 season included two sold out matches with two others near capacity of the 5000 capacity venue.
Tickets remain for Saturday’s opener at Tickets.WashingtonSpirit.com