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Following a ten-day stint in the NWSL with the professional Washington side, Spirit Reserves teammates Kelsey Pardue and Jennifer Skogerboe return to the W-League squad this Wednesday with additional career experience. Highlighting the USL team as the direct path to the pros, the prolific duo both saw action in full professional matches over the span of their call-up to the Washington Spirit.
With ten minutes remaining in last Wednesday’s match at the Boston Breakers, Longwood University graduate Pardue was sent in to replace US National Team veteran Lori Lindsey in the Spirit midfield. Pardue’s tenaciousness and speed had impressed Head Coach Mark Parsons in training camp, and his decision to send her in has not a hard one.
Four days later, former University of Connecticut defender Skogerboe got her chance as the Spirit traveled to Portland to face off against the talented Thorns side. Skogerboe entered in the 75th minute to replace forward Renae Cuellar and was slotted back into a defensive role to allow the Spirit to push other midfielders forward in hopes of an equalizer.
“We are very proud of both Jen and Kelsey for stepping up to the first team and making it look like they had been there all season,” said Head Coach Mark Parsons. “A huge credit to both of them and to our club structure that allows for a smooth transition.”
“Both players received a standing ovation from the pro team players after their debuts,” continued Parsons. “Its a huge testament to how well they represented the club and to their great futures.”
“I think it speaks very highly of the W-League itself that our teams can provide match-fit players on a moment’s notice to fill in at the professional level,” commented Spirit Reserves General Manager Tim Schweitzer. “Certainly Kelsey and Jen earned this opportunity themselves, but the USL continually provides the platform for these players to make this jump instantaneously.”
“We are excited to have them back, but more importantly Mark knows he has top-notch players readily available to step up as needed,” concluded Schweitzer.
Pardue, Skogerboa, and the rest of the Spirit Reserves return home this Wednesday to face local rival Braddock Road Stars Elite. The match is scheduled for June 18th at 7:30PM at Howison Soccer Complex in Woodbridge, Virginia.
The action continues on June 21st for a rematch against the New York Magic. Match time is set for 3:00PM at the Maryland SoccerPlex and is the first in a special doubleheader. The NWSL Washington Spirit face the Portland Thorns in the second match of the evening.