Preview: Spirit seeks road win over Louisville to get back in the win column

Washington Spirit  |   May 9, 2024
Preview: Spirit seeks road win over Louisville to get back in the win column Featured Image

Louisville, Ky. (05/09/2024) – The Washington Spirit will face Racing Louisville FC on Matchday Nine of the 2024 NWSL regular season. The match kicks off at 8 p.m. EDT at Lynn Family Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky and will be broadcast nationally on Prime.


The Spirit

The Spirit looks to return to its winning ways on Friday, following a 1-2 defeat to Portland Thorns FC last Saturday. Portland goals in the fourth and 22nd minute proved too much for the Spirit to erase despite a dominant second half performance.


The Spirit set a two-year high with 19 shots in the game, 11 of which came in the second half.  Oddly, the Spirit has attempted at least 19 shots in seven different matches in all competitions but none of those were wins (0-3-4). Additionally, the Spirit possessed the ball 67% of the time in the final half.


The winning formula for the Spirit is no secret: start matches out strong. In the last 22 matches when leading at halftime, the Spirit is unbeaten (15-0-7), dating back to October 2017. Look for the Spirit to strike first in order to return to DC with three points.


Lena Silano scored her first career regular season goal last week with a header in the 86th minute. Silano’s goal came as a substitute, marking the sixth Spirit goal by a substitute this season, the most such goals in the NWSL in 2024. Additionally, the goal marked the sixth occurrence of the Spirit scoring in the final 15 minutes of the game, also the most in the NWSL this season.


Trinity Rodman assisted Silano’s goal, marking her 14th regular season assist (19th in all competitions) since debuting with the Spirit in 2021. Coming into this weekend’s matches, no other NWSL player has more than 12 assists in the regular season or 16 assists in all NWSL competitions in that span.


Washington has lost just one of its eight all-time meetings with Louisville, but each of the last four meetings have been draws. That is the longest streak of draws against a single opponent in Spirit history and one shy of Louisville’s longest such streak (five straight vs. Seattle).


Finally, the Spirit has won twice in five matches (all competitions) at Lynn Family Stadium. Both victories came in 2021, however, the most notable being the Spirit’s 2021 NWSL Championship victory over the Chicago Red Stars after extra time.


The Spirit earns a much-deserved return to Audi Field for its next match when the team faces off against Angel City FC on Saturday, May 18 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. You can purchase tickets to see this East v. West Coast showdown on a special Salute to Service night HERE.


The Opposition

Racing Louisville FC enters the match similarly hungry for a win following a tough, 0-1 decision to the Orlando Pride. Barbra Banda, who scored or created all three Pride goals against the Spirit, put away the game-winning goal after otherwise being stifled by the Louisville defense.


The loss accounted for Racing’s first loss of the season after a club-best six-match unbeaten run to open the season. It was also the first time this season Racing trailed in a match. Coincidentally, the home team in the Louisville-Orlando all-time series has not lost yet in nine meetings between the teams.


Much like the Spirit, Racing showcased a lot of positive qualities despite leaving Orlando pointless. In the match, Louisville completed 415 of its 501 passes (82.8%). It was the fourth time in club history that Louisville attempted 500+ passes or completed 400+ passes in a single match in all competitions and the first time losing when doing either of those.


The Spirit enters the match with Louisville to conclude a three-game, 12-day road trip, while Friday’s match is Racing Louisville’s only home fixture in the month of May. Louisville will endure four road matches over the next five weeks, all of which are slated to come against currently playoff-eligible opponents.


Racing Louisville earned its first win of the season in its most recent home match, a 5-1 beatdown of Utah. The team has lost just twice at Lynn Family Stadium in all competitions since the beginning of last season (9-2-6). These two losses are tied with the Courage for the fewest home defeats by any NWSL team in that time.


Next up, Racing Louisville will challenge the red-hot Kansas City Current on Saturday, May 18 at 9:30 p.m. EDT.



• The Washington Spirit owns a 2-1-4 regular season record against Racing Louisville FC. The two sides have drawn in each of the last four meetings. The only Spirit regular season loss against Racing Louisville came in the first-ever regular season matchup between the teams. Through seven matches, the Spirit holds a +3 goal differential (11-8).

• With two saves in the last match, Spirit keeper Aubrey Kingsbury surpassed 400 career regular season saves with the Spirit. She becomes only the second keeper in NWSL history to reach this milestone with a single club.

Ashley Hatch has scored the most goals in the all-time series between the Spirit and Racing Louisville with six.

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