Photo: Tony Quinn/ISI Photos
BOYDS, MD (July 7, 2016) – The Washington Spirit (6-2-2, 20 points, 3rd place) will take on the Chicago Red Stars (5-3-3, 18 points, 4th place) this Saturday July 9, at 7 p.m. on Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex. Having concluded the first half of its 4th NWSL season with a 2-0 win last week, the Spirit currently sits in third place despite playing one fewer game than most of the 10-team league, and two fewer games than first place Portland Thorns (7-0-5, 26 pts). This is the first meeting with Chicago of the season, and a win would put some distance between the two teams in what is shaping up to be a tightly contested playoff race overall, as well as keep pace with the Thorns for the top spot overall.
Last weekend the Spirit earned a 2-0 win against reigning NWSL champions FC Kansas City with both tallies coming late. A low driven shot by Francisca Ordega in the 79th minute and a short range volley by Tori Huster in the 85th allowed the Spirit to solidify the three points and get back to winning ways after dropping a home result the week prior to Sky Blue FC.
“We are looking forward to a challenging match against the Red Stars,” said Spirit general manager and head coach Jim Gabarra. “We need to continue to improve every match as well as be prepared for a very organized and hard working opponent.”
Last game, several players from the Spirit’s roster had the opportunity to show their skills on the field. Defenders Estelle Johnson and Caprice Dydasco proved a seamless addition to the defensive line, helping the Spirit earn a shutout against FCKC. Goalkeeper Kelsey Wys earned her second start of the season and first clean sheet against FCKC. In two games this season, Wys has only let in a penalty kick goal. She should get the start again against the Red Stars.
The Spirit has called up the same three amateur players from the Washington Spirit Reserves as last week in goalkeeper DiDi Haracic, midfielder Alli Murphy, and forward Haley Rosen. While none saw any playing time last week, they could be called upon by Gabarra.
Several young players on the roster for the Chicago Red Stars are making their mark. Midfielder Danielle Colaprico was voted 2015 NWSL Rookie of the Year and in November of last year was called up to train with the U.S. Women’s National Team. Teammate Sofia Huerta was also a finalist for the Rookie of the Year honor last year and earned NWSL player of the week honors in Week 9, the third of her career. The Red Stars have only lost three games this season, but two of those came in their last two games.
The game will be live streamed on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8JLJwjaLGdQ
Next weekend, the Spirit will play FC Kansas City away at Swope Soccer Village at 7 p.m. The Spirit will be back at the Maryland SoccerPlex on July 30th to take on Sky Blue FC at 7 p.m. Fans can be part of the NWSL soccer experience at perfectly manicured natural grass Maureen Hendricks Field by calling 301-337-8579 or visiting our website.