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Washington, D.C. (06/09/2023) – The Washington Spirit will face Angel City FC on Saturday night in both sides’ 11th match of the regular season. The match kicks off at 7 p.m. EDT at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. and will broadcast nationally on Paramount+ for fans across the United States. International viewers can stream the match on NWSLSoccer.com as well.
Saturday night will mark the third of four consecutive matches played at Audi Field over a 17-day period for the Washington Spirit. Most recently, the Spirit drew, 1-1, against Racing Louisville FC last weekend. In her 50th career appearance, forward Trinity Rodman scored the lone Spirit goal in the third minute – both the fastest of her career (all competitions) and the fastest NWSL goal scored in Audi Field history. Ashley Hatch assisted on the goal, earning her an assist in consecutive matches for the first time in her career.
The Spirit sits in the third position on the NWSL table with a 4-1-5 record (17 points). The start is tied with the 2015 Spirit team’s start for the third-best in club history. The 2016 team holds the best start, with 20 points through ten matches.
May 13 marks the most recent meeting between Washington and Angel City. The highly competitive road game ended in a 1-0 victory for the Spirit. Hatch sealed the victory with a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second half stoppage time – the latest game-winning goal ever surrendered by Angel City FC. Marissa Sheva set up the penalty when her shot hit Angel City defender MA Vignola inside the box. Angel City earned five yellow cards in that match and Ashley Sanchez took five of the Spirit’s 12 total shots.
Audi Field has been one of the most successful home venues in the NWSL this season as the Spirit remains unbeaten at Audi Field in 2023. Only Portland – which resides at the top of the NWSL table – is also undefeated at home. The Spirit has given up three goals in five matches at Audi Field, an average of 0.6 goals conceded per game, a league low. In 25 total matches played at Audi Field in the team’s history, the Spirit has only lost three times, one of which came to Angel City last season.
The Spirit has faced 34 shots on target, the second-fewest in the NWSL. Conversely, with 13 shots on target each, Rodman and Hatch represent two of the NWSL’s top five shots on target leaders. Individually, Rodman leads the league in duels won (95) and is tied with 2022 NWSL MVP Sophia Smith for the most fast breaks (4).
Following Saturday’s match, the Spirit will face the North Carolina Courage in the team’s third 2023 UKG NWSL Challenge Cup game at Audi Field at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, June 14.
The last month marked turbulent times for Angel City FC. Entering tomorrow’s match off a 2-1 loss against the Chicago Red Stars, Angel City currently sits at 11th on the NWSL table. Against Chicago, Angel City surrendered a brace in an 11-minute span to Red Stars forward Ava Cook. Sydney Leroux, who has been recovering from an injury, scored in her first game action in months. The 88th minute goal was too little, too late and Angel City was defeated despite outshooting Chicago by nine shots and controlling 58% of possession.
Angel City will enter the June 10 battle against the Spirit having not won a match in over a month. The team is winless in its last five matches (all competitions) dating back to May 7, when Angel City defeated the Kansas City Current. Angel City has won in only one of its last 11 competitions and is tied for the fewest wins (2) in the NWSL. The Los Angeles-based side has also surrendered 19 goals, the second-most in the league.
On the road, Angel City has only won once this season. Its 41 shots in road games are second-fewest among NWSL teams, while its 11 shots on goal are the fewest. Despite this, Angel City has scored eight goals on the road, third-most in the NWSL and most among teams who have played five road games. The real Achilles heel for Angel City has been on the defensive side of the pitch: ACFC has allowed multiple goals in nine different matches in 2023 (all competitions), tied with the Red Stars for most such games this season.
Although Angel City ranks second in touches inside the opponent’s box (278), first in open play crosses (174) and first in corners (66), the side has a league-low 25 shots on target inside the opponent’s box. Notably, forward Claire Emslie creates many of Angel City’s chances, leading the NWSL in passes played into the box (93) and second in chances created (22).
Next up, Angel City continues its road trip, traveling back to the west coast to play San Diego Wave FC on Saturday, June 17 at 1 p.m. PDT.