Washington Spirit 2016 Schedule Released
The National Women’s Soccer League announced the schedule for the 2016 NWSL season. The Washington Spirit, Germantown’s hometown professional team, will play ten home games at Maureen Hendricks Field at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Germantown.
The Spirit will play each of the 10 NWSL teams twice, with the exception of Sky Blue FC, which the Spirit will play four times.
The 2016 NWSL regular season runs from the third weekend in April until late September. There will be no league play in the regular season during all FIFA dates. In addition, the NWSL will take a 25-day break from August 1 through August 25 for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil, to allow all of the league’s international players, including the Spirit’s own Ali Krieger and Crystal Dunn — who are both expected to be on the US Women’s team in the Olympics — to focus on winning gold medals.
The League will play approximately 74 matches prior to the Olympic break and 26 matches following it. The NWSL consists of 10 teams, including the new expansion club of Orlando Pride. Each team will play 20 regular season games in 2016 – 10 home and 10 away.
The Spirit’s home opener will be on Saturday, April 16 against the Boston Breakers. The Spirit will open road play on the following Sunday, April 24 at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ against Sky Blue FC. The Spirit will play all but one home game on Saturday evenings, with one game coming on a Wednesday night — September 7 versus the Seattle Reign FC.
Schedule highlights include; Saturday, May 7, when the Portland Thorns FC and former Spirit general manager and head coach Mark Parsons returns to the Maryland SoccerPlex. Saturday, June 18 marks the return of former Spirit starting goalkeeper and member of the US Women’s team that won the World Cup last year, Ashlyn Harris to The Plex with her new team the expansion Orlando Pride.
Reigning back-to-back NWSL champions FC Kansas City will come to Germantown to face the Spirit on Saturday, July 2.
Earlier this month the Spirit acquired defender Alyssa Kleiner from the Portland Thorns in trade for defender Katherine Reynolds.
Alyssa Kleiner made her NWSL debut in 2015 against the Spirit and played in eight matches, including four starts, for Portland. She attended college at Santa Clara University and helped her team to an NCAA Tournament berth as well as the program’s 10th West Coast Confere