By Jordan Viener
Boyds, Md., (8/15/19) – Forward Cheyna Matthews has been one of the Spirit’s best players since she was selected by Washington with the 7th overall pick in the 2016 NWSL College Draft.
This year, Matthews was part of history on the international stage with the Jamaican national team. The 25-year-old started two matches as part of the first Caribbean nation ever to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Matthews spoke on the Reggae Girlz qualifying and getting a chance to represent her home nation earlier this year “When I found out I had the chance [to represent Jamaica] it was like, honestly a dream come true. One for them to qualify and be the first Caribbean team ever to do so, but also to have an opportunity to play after having my son, it was just so exciting.”
Now in her fourth season with the Spirit, Matthews has emerged as one of the clubs most consistent players and one of the Spirit’s best goal scorers. Since joining the team in 2016 Matthews has scored a team-high eleven goals despite missing the entire 2018 season due to maternity leave.
Despite Matthews missing four games due to World Cup absences, it is revealed that Matthews is having perhaps her best season yet with the Spirit.
The Jamaican forward has continued to be one of the best scorers on the team. Matthews has scored three goals this season, good for third on the team and only one goal behind team leaders Jordan DiBaisi and Ashley Hatch. However, Matthews has played just over half the total minutes of DiBaisi and less than half of Hatch’s. Matthews leads the team in several “per minute categories” including goals per minute, shots per minute and touches per minute.
In addition to her offensive talent, Matthews has also shown exceptional versatility this season. As her August 3rd heatmap against the North Carolina Courage shows, Matthews can play all over the offensive zone and has started in two of the three forward positions.
Matthews will need to continue her high-level play as the Spirit look to make a playoff push in the final third of the season.
The Spirit will take the field again this Saturday as they travel to face the Portland Thorns. Spirit fans can watch on NBC Sports Washington, or online on Monumental Sports.
Washington will then return home to the SoccerPlex on August 21 hosting the Utah Royals. [TICKETS]