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Washington Spirit to Open the 2018 Season With New Faces & New Look

The Washington Spirit will open the 2018 National Women’s Soccer League regular season on Saturday night with a road game against Seattle Reign FC. Kickoff from UW Medicine Pitch at Memorial Stadium is set for 10:00 pm with a live stream available on the go90 app or website.

Washington is set to debut a new-look roster, which includes the additions of four U.S. Women’s National Team players and several other key offseason acquisitions.

In a trade with the North Carolina Courage announced on January 16, Washington acquired U.S. Women’s National Team defender Taylor Smith and U.S. international forward Ashley Hatch, who was named the 2017 NWSL Rookie of the Year after scoring seven goals in her debut season.

Just days later, the Spirit selected U.S. international midfielder Andi Sullivan with the top overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. Sullivan is an alumni of Bethesda Soccer Club. The Spirit also selected Canadian international defender/midfielder Rebecca Quinn with the third overall pick.

On January 30, Washington selected U.S. international midfielder Rose Lavelle with the No. 1 pick in the NWSL Dispersal Draft. It was the fifth acquisition of a U.S. or Canadian international player under the age of 25 by the Spirit in a two-week span.

With Quinn, five total U.S. internationals including forward Mallory Pugh — who led the Spirit with six goals as a rookie in 2017 — as well as returning midfielders Yanara Aedo (Chile) and Estefania Banini (Argentina), and forward Francisca Ordega (Nigeria), the Spirit roster feature nine total players who are members of their respective national teams.

Just a few of the team’s additional key returning players include: defender Estelle Johnson, who was named to the NWSL Team of the Month twice in 2017; midfielder Havana Solaun, who scored five goals and led the team with four assists in her first season with the club; and midfielder Meggie Dougherty Howard, who led the team in passing as a rookie.

Midfielder Tori Huster, the longest-tenured Spirit player, enters her sixth season with the club after joining in 2013 ahead of the inaugural NWSL season. Six other players: Johnson, Ordega, goalkeeper Kelsey Wys, defenders Whitney Church and Caprice Dydasco, and midfielder Joanna Lohman are each entering their fourth seasons in Washington.