Spirit Hope to End Skid as They Host The Houston Dash on Saturday
The Washington Spirit will host the Houston Dash for the second and final time in the 2017 NWSL regular season on Saturday night at the Maryland SoccerPlex’s Maureen Hendricks Field. Kickoff is set for 7:00 pm on Youth Soccer Night at the SoccerPlex.
The Spirit returns home this week following a narrow 3-2 road loss at FC Kansas City on May 27. Washington’s Kristie Mewis scored her second goal of the season and Havana Solaun netted her team-leading third goal, but Kansas City’s Sydney Leroux found the net twice and U.S. Women’s National Team captain Becky Sauerbrunn netted her first of the season in the win for the home side.
Houston fell 2-0 to the Seattle Reign in its most recent match on May 27, marking the team’s fourth loss in a row. Interim head coach Omar Morales will make his debut at the helm for the Dash on Saturday, after the club mutually parted way with former coach Randy Waldrum earlier this week.
The first meeting between the Spirit and Dash this season was a defensive battle, as a 28th minute strike by Dash captain Kealia Ohai proved to be the only goal in a 1-0 decision at the Maryland SoccerPlex on April 29. Washington heads into Saturday’s matchup with Houston having conceded just six goals in four home games so far in 2017.
Canada Women’s National Team and Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé enters the weekend with the second-most saves in the NWSL with 31, while her Canadian teammate Shelina Zadorsky leads the Spirit with 32 clearances and nine blocks from her center back position.
After making her historic professional debut for the Spirit on May 20 at home against FC Kansas City, 19-year-old U.S. Women’s National Team forward Mallory Pugh made her first career start and played the full 90 minutes last weekend on the road against FCKC.
Following this weekend’s full slate of games around the league, all 10 NWSL teams will be on bye next weekend for an international break as the U.S., Canada and multiple other nations take part in training camps and friendlies around the world.