Washington, D.C. (04/03/22) – The Washington Spirit will take on the Orlando Pride on Sunday afternoon in each club’s fourth game of the 2022 Challenge Cup at 4:00 p.m. EST at Audi Field. The match will be broadcast on Paramount+ for fans in the United States and on Twitch for international viewers. Washington is coming off a thrilling, comeback 2-2 draw against North Carolina while Orlando is looking to rebound from its second consecutive loss.
Since the club’s inception, the Orlando Pride is just 1-4-1 when playing the Spirit on the road. So far this season, the Pride are hurting on the attacking third as Brazilian star Marta was revealed to likely be out for the season last week. After the defensive showing put on by both sides in the first meeting between the Spirit and Pride, the loss of Marta points to another defensive battle. Through three Challenge Cup matches, Orlando has only managed to accumulate five shots on goal and has yet to find the back of the net.
With the loss of Marta, Orlando opted to start Sydney Leroux and Meggie Howard at attack last week at North Carolina. Look for a similar starting formation this week as the Pride continues to search for its first goal of 2022.
After three straight draws to open 2022, Washington will look to make the most of a home match against the struggling Pride. Another draw would make the Spirit’s road to a Challenge Cup title that much more difficult.
With various injuries to the Spirit’s opening day starting lineup, look for more minutes from defenders Karina Rodriguez and Camryn Biegalski along the back line. In last month’s match in Orlando, both squads combined for only six shots on goal while also combining for 28 fouls and six yellow cards. Last year’s Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch will look to score in her third consecutive home match while recent USWNT standout Ashley Sanchez hopes to finally connect after leading the side in shots on goal so far this year.
Following the Pride match, the Spirit will go on a two-week hiatus as players leave for international duty before finishing up the Challenge Cup slate on the road against NJ/NY Gotham FC and the North Carolina Courage.