It’s do or die time for the Washington Spirit. After losing two straight matches, the Spirit are running out of time to secure a spot in this year’s NWSL playoffs, and tonight’s game against Kansas City Current may be their last chance to stop a slide.
With several players out of practice for international duty over the past two weeks, the Spirit have not had as much time as they might like to prepare for this match. Still, head coach Mark Parsons wasn’t ready to give up hope. “We’re in a place where we’re building our team and our culture and our club to be the best that it can be, but we’re fighting for trophies every year,” he said. “We absolutely want to be fighting for trophies right now. There’s no doubt.”
The Spirit are encouraging fans to wear all black to blackout their home stadium at Buzzard Point. Fans can also prepare themselves for the game with defender Dorian Bailey’s pregame playlist, which she provided to Hey Spirits this week:
After a rocky start to their season, the Current have started to gel a bit more in the back half. They’re still low on the table – second from the bottom at present – but it’s not too late for them to make a playoff run, especially with a game against last-place Chicago Red Stars still to play. A long list of injured and unavailable players means they’re not back to their best, though.
Key Player: Trinity Rodman
Trinity Rodman comes back from an international break on a high note, having scored a goal in each of the USWNT’s games against South Africa. Rodman is always an asset to the team, both in goal creation and running back to defend, but the Spirit can move closer to unlocking her full potential, if they can find a way to put the ball at her feet in the box like the U.S. did.
Watch Out For: Debinha
Brazilian midfielder Debinha is the Current’s leading goalscorer, with 7 goals including 3 in her last 5 matches. A skilled and creative ballhandler, Debinha is equally talented at putting her teammates in positions to score: she leads her team with 52 shot-creating actions and is second in goal-creating actions with 6.
Challenges: Scoreless in the past two matches despite high xGs, the Spirit need to improve their on-field coordination to take more dangerous shots and create more paths to the goal.
Previously: The Spirit defeated the Current 3-2 in Kansas City after going down by 2 goals in the first 23 minutes.
Kansas City Current Availability:
Out: Vanessa DiBernardo (concussion); Hanna Glas (D45 – knee); Morgan Gautrat (concussion); Kristen Hamilton (excused absence); Sam Mewis (SEI – knee); Desiree Scott (D45 – knee); Jordan Silkowitz (D45 – hand); Mallory Weber (SEI – knee)
Washington Spirit Availability:
Out: Anna Heilferty (SEI – knee); Civana Kuhlmann (SEI – knee); Inès Jaurena (foot)
Location: Audi Field, Washington, DC
Kickoff time: 7 p.m.
Referee: Eric Tattersall
Available streaming: Paramount+