Boyds, Md., (10/9/19) – Though Crystal Thomas could be considered one of many newcomers to the Spirit this season, her history with the club actually reaches back farther than most players on the roster.
Thomas’ life with the Spirit began in 2017 after the club signed the forward during the preseason. She made one appearance with Washington before leaving the United States to play for Valur in Iceland. Thomas returned to the Spirit on May 23.
Since rejoining the club, her impact in powering the Spirit offense has been immense.
Despite playing high up the field as a forward, Thomas has had notable success in the Spirit’s high press defense. In the 3-0 victory over Orlando this weekend, Thomas gave Pride defenders headaches handling the ball as she made two successful tackles and forced six turnovers. She also conceded zero fouls in her hunt for the ball against Orlando and was named Player of the Week for her high-energy shift.
In the engine room of the @WashSpirit victory.
— NWSL (@NWSL) October 8, 2019
More evidence of Thomas’ high work-rate off the ball again came against the Pride during the Spirit’s match at Audi Field on August 28. She pressured Orlando goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris within her own penalty area and was able to force a critical turnover and score after Harris hesitated with the ball at her feet.
— Washington Spirit (@WashSpirit) August 24, 2019
In 584 minutes this season, Thomas has scored three goals, earned one assist, and made 10 key passes. Additionally, Thomas has made six interceptions and is winning her tackles at a 60 percent rate. She has demonstrated throughout the season how valuable a defensive-minded forward can be.
Thomas and the Spirit will play their final match of the 2019 NWSL season away at the Portland Thorns this weekend on October 13 with hopes to lock up fifth place in the NWSL. The match can be viewed live on NBC Sports Washington and can be streamed online at Monumental Sports Network.