Boyds, MD (July 21, 2017) – Saturday will mark the second of four straight road games for the Washington Spirit (3-7-3, 12 pts), as the team heads to Providence Park for a matchup with Portland Thorns FC (6-4-4, 22 pts). The live stream will be available on the go90 mobile app and website, starting at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Washington won the first meeting of 2017 between the sides 1-0 on June 24 at the Maryland SoccerPlex, as goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and the Spirit back line earned the clean sheet at home. This Saturday will be the first of two visits by the Spirit this season to Portland, where Thorns FC is 5-1-1 in front of its home fans.
“Trips to Portland are truly a special experience for all of us,” said Spirit head coach and general manager Jim Gabarra. “I’m happy with the way the team is playing, and we’re confident coming out of our last result against Portland that we can continue our development and work for a result on the road.”
Two of the league leaders in saves will be in net for their respective sides, as Labbé enters the game tied for second with 58, and Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch is fifth in the NWSL with 54. Labbé is coming off a six-save performance last weekend against the Houston Dash, while Franch earned her seventh clean sheet in a 1-0 win over North Carolina Courage.
On the attacking side, both Washington and Portland will be without one of their leading scorers. The Spirit’s Francisca Ordega (4 goals) will miss her second game due to a knee injury and Thorns FC’s Nadia Nadim (4 goals) is on international duty at the UEFA Women’s EURO with the Denmark national team, along with Spirit midfielder Line Sigvardsen Jensen.
However, neither side will be short on offensive weapons. U.S. Women’s National Team 19-year-old forward Mallory Pugh became the youngest NWSL player to record a brace on July 8, scoring both goals for the Spirit in a 2-2 draw against the Orlando Pride. Pugh and Havana Solaun are tied for second on the team with three goals each, and Solaun notched her second assist last weekend, setting up defender Estelle Johnson’s first career NWSL goal in the 75th minute against Houston.
Canadian international forward Christine Sinclair is tied with Nadim to lead Portland in goals with four, and U.S. international midfielder Lindsey Horan is third on the team with three scores.
Defensively, Washington’s Whitney Church, Johnson and Canadian international Shelina Zadorsky have played every minute of action on the back line this season. Zadorksy leads the team with 61 clearances and 15 blocked shots, while Johnson’s 46 interceptions and 33 tackles attempted are good for team highs.
Spirit midfielder Tori Huster continued her facilitating role last week in Houston, recording a team-high 45 passes. In her rookie season out of the University of Florida, Meggie Dougherty Howard has made 272 passes on the attacking side of the field for Washington.
U.S. international defender Meghan Klingenberg and forward Hayley Raso have served as key playmakers for Thorns FC, leading the team with three and two assists respectively. Emily Menges and U.S. international Emily Sonnett have each played every minute of the season on the Thorns back line.
Following Saturday’s game, the Spirit will continue its road swing against Sky Blue FC on August 4 and the Orlando Pride on August 8, before returning to the Maryland SoccerPlex on August 12 to host the Boston Breakers. [TICKETS]
|All-time||11||5||2||4||23||12||+ 11 PTFC|
|At PTFC||5||3||0||2||13||6||+ 7 PTFC|
|2017||1||0||1||0||0||1||+ 1 WAS|