Washington rookies continue to play a key part in Spirit success

Washington Spirit  |   September 17, 2019
Washington rookies continue to play a key part in Spirit success Featured Image

Boyds, MD. – Saturday, June 22, 2019: The Washington Spirit and the Houston Dash played to a 0-0 draw in a NWSL match at the Maryland Soccerplex.

TJ Davis

Boyds, Md., (9/17/19) – It is well known that the Washington Spirit is one of the youngest teams in the NWSL. After making five picks in the 2019 NWSL collegiate draft, the Spirit have called upon young talent to produce early, and so far, they have delivered.

After winning just two games during the 2018 season, the Washington Spirit front office made significant moves to rebuild the Washington roster and create a strong foundation of young talent for years to come. 

In the 2019 NWSL draft the Spirit selected four players in the first round: Jordan DiBiasi (3rd), Sam Staab (4th), Tegan McGrady (7th) and Dorian Bailey (8th). Additionally, the Spirit also selected Bayley Feist with the 17th overall pick in the second round of the draft.  

The Spirit’s 2019 draft class has been one of the strongest ever in the history of the NWSL, as they’ve each played a large role in the Spirit’s resurgent season statistically and culturally.

The Spirit rookies have collectively played 4,805 minutes this season and they have played in a total of 66 games. The talented group of players has also accounted for 7 goals and one assist this season. DiBiasi has also taken 53 percent of the Spirit’s corner kicks this season, even scoring an Olimpico goal and winning an NWSL Goal of the Week award.

The Spirit’s top two picks, DiBiasi and Staab, are both strong contenders for NWSL Rookie of the Year. DiBiasi has been a key part of a Spirit offense that has already doubled its goals scored from 2018, scoring 24 goals with five games still remaining this season. Staab has been a large part of a revamped Spirit defense that has recorded 7 clean sheets thus far this year, compared to only two last year. 

Staab and DiBiasi were also part of a United States Under-23 Women’s National Team that won the 2019 Nordic Tournament, where DiBiasi was the team’s leading scorer. 

Spirit head coach Richie Burke is excited to see what’s next for his young and talented roster, saying: “We’re building to next year, we’re building for a team that’s going to compete in the championships.”

The potential for this Spirit squad can be felt among other players in the league as well, as Reign FC and USWNT star Megan Rapinoe had this to say after the 2-2 draw on Saturday: “They have a bright young team and a lot of talent.”

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