Leesburg, VA., (07/23/21) – The Washington Spirit will play their eleventh league fixture of the 2021 regular season against Racing Louisville on Sunday, July 25, at 7:30 pm ET at Lynn Family Stadium. The game will air on Paramount+ in the U.S. and on Twitch internationally.
We broke down some interesting stats you’ll want to know ahead of the match.
23.9 – Average Age of Last Weekend’s Starting XI
It has been well-documented that Washington is the youngest team in the NWSL. With an average age of 25 years and eight months, the Spirit are five months the junior of the next youngest squad, Louisville. Against NJ/NY Gotham last weekend, with players like Kelley O’Hara (32), Emily Sonnett (27) and Julia Roddar (29) at the Olympics, Head Coach Richie Burke had to shuffle his lineup to stay competitive. With several high-profile starters missing, including Tori Huster (31), the average age of Sunday’s team was 23 years and nine months, while the five substitutes averaged 24 years and four months.
2 – Number of Red Cards the Spirit Have Accumulated in 2021
Even though Sam Stabb’s straight red against Gotham has been rescinded by the NWSL Disciplinary Board, Washington still is tied for the most red cards in the league with two in 2021, although both have been through yellow-card accumulation and not the result of a straight red. Interestingly enough, despite topping the red-card chart, the Spirit have the fewest yellow cards with nine. In other words, while two reds may seem to reflect an undisciplined team, the low amount of yellows indicates a squad that perhaps has been unlucky when it comes to being sent off.
90 – Minutes Played by Paige Nielsen Against Gotham
After missing the opening part of the season from an injury sustained in the first fixture against Orlando, Washington incumbent center-back Paige Nielsen completed her first full match since returning. It was the ever-present defender’s fourth outing since stepping back onto the pitch, with Burke increasing her minutes each time; Nielsen has played 21 minutes, 79, 80 and 90. As one of the smartest defenders in the league, Nielsen will be vital to the current period of the season when national team players are away on international duty.
1 – Games Played Against Louisville
The league’s two youngest sides will meet for the second time during the regular season, with Racing taking the first meeting, 2–0. Much like the May 21 battle, Sunday’s affair will be contested at Lynn Family Starium in Kentucky. Despite outshooting Louisville 10:3, and holding a lopsided advantage on corner kicks 13:3, the Spirit conceded two late goals to drop three points in a winnable match. In the eight games since then, the Spirit have cleaned up their chances in front of goal and will look to continue that against the eighth-ranked team on Sunday.