The US Women’s National Soccer Team will play China on Friday night in Canada as part of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, and on Saturday some players from teams which have already been eliminated from the World Cup will play in Germantown, as the Washington Spirit take on the Houston Dash.
One of the most exciting players in the Women’s World Cup, Francisca Ordega, will be tearing up the pitch for the Washington Spirit. It was Ordega’s late goal last week that gave Nigeria a tie over Sweden. Ordega’s speed and scoring power first wowed Spirit fans earlier in the season when she scored a stoppage time goal to give the Spirit a home win over Sky Blue FC back in May.
The Spirit (4-3-2, 14 points) hope to avenge the season opening 2-0 loss and remain unbeaten at home this season as they play the Houston Dash (3-2,-3, 13 points) on Saturday, June 27 at 7:00 pm at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown.
Houston is unbeaten in their last four games, tying twice and winning twice. The partnership between forwards Jessica McDonald and Kealia Ohai have comprised the majority of the Dash’s goals. These two will look to combine once more against the Spirit, allowing the Dash to continue climbing in the standings.
“We have a special opportunity to play at home again in front of the best fans in the league,” said head coach Mark Parsons. “The team is focused on putting on a strong performance and continue the progress we have made in the last few weeks.”
The Washington Spirit will have their full strength front line of Ordega, Crystal Dunn, and Laura del Rio. Houston Dash’s goalkeeper Bianca Henninger currently has the most shutouts of any goalkeeper in the NWSL. The Spirit’s high producing offensive will have to break through a solid Dash back line and beyond Henniger to come away with three points.
On June 11, the Spirit signed two more international players, who were playing for their national teams in the Women’s World Cup. The Spirit signed Hayley Raso, who plays for Australia, and Josephine Chukwunonye, who plays for Nigeria. She will join fellow Nigerian Francisca Ordega.
“I am excited to join the Washington Spirit family; it’s a thing of joy and a dream come true for me,” said Chukwunonye. “I love playing with great players like Crystal Dunn, who I faced in the U20 World Cup in 2012. I am excited to work with coach Parsons because I know he will bring out the best in me.”
Earlier this week, the Spirit announced that they had signed a third member of the Nigerian national team, forward Ngozi Okobi, pending receipt of her P-1 Visa and International Transfer Certificate.
Last week the Spirit were on the road in Chicago for a game against the Red Stars which was cancelled due to inclement weather. The Spirit were winning on rookie defender Megan Oyster’s goal, however, severe weather caused two significant delays during the match before the game was called off in the 38th minute. The score will not stand and the full match will be re-played at a date to be determined.
Washington Spirit single game tickets and group packages are now available. Check out all of the NWSL soccer at the Maryland SoccerPlex by calling 301-337-8579.
Captions: Francisca Ordega (14) in action for the Washington Spirit during the Spirit's win against Sky Blue FC in May.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.