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By Owen Krucoff
Boyds, Md., (7/23/19) – The Washington Spirit will play their first midweek game of the season on Wednesday night when they visit Sky Blue FC in Piscataway, New Jersey, for the teams’ third and final meeting of the year.
After holding a special open practice at FedEx Field in Landover on Monday, the Spirit will look to sweep the season set against their closest geographic rivals. Washington defeated Sky Blue 2-0 at home in the season opener on April 13 and won 3-2 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway on May 11.
The Spirit have not lost a match to Sky Blue since 2016, picking up seven wins and two draws in their nine most recent meetings. A Spirit victory will be as important as ever this week, with Washington currently just below the cutoff for the NWSL playoffs. Sky Blue is ninth in the league with eight points from 12 games.
The Spirit and Sky Blue are both coming off of Saturday night matches, and will face a quick turnaround to get ready for Wednesday. The Spirit, however, are expecting a key pair of fresh legs to return to the lineup. Midfielder and recent World Cup hero Rose Lavelle is primed to play her first NWSL minutes since helping the U.S. national team win its fourth world title earlier this month.
Costa Rican midfielder Raquel Rodriguez has been Sky Blue’s top offensive threat, playing in all 12 matches this season and scoring three of the team’s 10 goals. The club also boasts U.S. international forward Carli Lloyd, who scored three goals at the World Cup and has struck twice in the NWSL this year.
Lavelle’s return completes Washington’s set of six World Cup players, including American forward Mallory Pugh, Australian midfielders Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison, Australian defender Elise Kellond-Knight and Jamaican forward Cheyna Matthews. All are healthy and available for Wednesday’s match.
Kickoff from Yurcak Field in Piscataway is set for 7:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Spirit fans can catch the action on Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.