After Four Road Games, the Spirit Return Home Riding a Two-Game Win-Streak

Washington Spirit  |   June 5, 2021
After Four Road Games, the Spirit Return Home Riding a Two-Game Win-Streak Featured Image

ORLANDO, FL – MAY 16: Julia Roddar #16 of the Washington Spirit dribbles away from Chelsee Washington #27 of the Orlando Pride during a game between Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride at Exploria Stadium on May 16, 2021 in Orlando, Florida.

Ian Decker

Leesburg, VA., (06/05/2021) – The Washington Spirit face the Orlando Pride on Sunday, June 6 at 2:00 p.m. ET at Audi Field. The match will be broadcast on Paramount+ in the U.S and Twitch for international viewers. 

The East Coast rivals last met on May 16 in the opening match of the 2021 season, with the teams tying, 1–1. Washington held the advantage but conceded late to split the points. 

The Opposition

Orlando’s 2020 woes have been well-documented, but the Florida team has impressed so far after playing just four times last year. The Pride concluded the 2021 Challenge Cup presented by Secret with a 1–2–1 record and finished in third place in the East Division. They drew, 2–2, with expansion franchise Racing Louisville and, 0–0, versus the Courage, fell to NJ/NY Gotham FC, 1–0, and defeated the Spirit, 1–0. 

In the regular season, Orlando is 3–1–0 with commanding wins against the Courage, Portland Thorns and Kansas City. The Pride are led by Ashlyn Harris in net, Ali Krieger and Ali Riley on defense and play through England international Jade Moore, Marisa Viggiano and former Spirit player Meggie Dougherty Howard in the center of the field. Up top, Brazilian legend Marta, NWSL Player-of-the-Month Alex Morgan and former USWNT forward Sydney Leroux form one of the most dangerous attacking units in the NWSL. 

The Spirit 

Despite drawing with Orlando, 1–1, and losing against Louisville, 2–0, to begin the season, an important victory in Takoma, WA versus OL Reign has Washington riding a two-game winning streak into the weekend. After out-playing Orlando and falling short in Louisville, Washington managed to eke out a hard-fought 2–1 win against the Houston Dash, despite playing with 10 players due to captain Andi Sullivan picking up a red — through yellow-card accumulation — in the second half. They ended their road-trip with a 1–0 victory over OL Reign last Sunday. 

After playing four away games in 14 days, the Spirit finally return home to the confines of Audi Field. With 21 different players featuring for the Spirit through four regular season games, Head Coach Richie Burke has rotated his lineup to limit potential injuries. With defender Paige Nielsen the only player on the injury report, Burke has a deep pool of players to choose from on Sunday in the nation’s capital. 

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