Soccer

United determined not to leave points on the board against Orlando City

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United determined not to leave points on the board against Orlando City

DC United’s unbeaten streak of seven games is impressive and has allowed the Black and Red to maintain a share of first place in the Eastern Conference with New England. Of concern for United are points lost at home with three draws in its last four home matches.

United concludes its three-game home stand against Orlando City Wednesday at RFK Stadium and is anxious to secure all three points from a victory. The three recent home draws, including Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Sporting Kansas City, are frustrating not only because of six lost points in the standings, but in each of the three matches United scored the first goal.

For Orlando it was a dream start to the season for an expansion side with a tie and a win in its first two games. Since grabbing three points from the opening two weeks Orlando has only won once, but is energized after fighting back to force a 2-2 tie with New England on a stoppage time goals from Auerlin Collin.

The challenge:

  1.     Disrupt Kaka. In the middle of the park Kaka has the ability to influence a game and his freedom to roam will present multiple challenges for United’s defense. United cannot sleep on Kaka. He only needs a moment to make magic happen as evidenced when he scored the tying goal in the 90th minute against NYFC to open the season. Kaka has three goals, including one on a penalty kick, and one assist so far. There is also a developing story in Orlando’s attack with Cyle Larin who now has two goals from four appearances. The rookie from the University of Connecticut gives Kaka someone to link up with. Larin is a physical forward with size at 6’2” and athleticism to pose a serious threat.
  2.      Defend and attack the flank. Brek Shea, who has played on the left side of midfield and at left back, and right back Rafael Ramos are particularly dangerous going forward. United has its own quality and depth on the flank and will look to mute the effectiveness of Shea and Ramos while trying to exploit their forward progress.
  3.      Make a statement. After Wednesday’s match United is away for three straight games and it would be nice to hit the road with a surge of confidence. Fabian Espindola missed the Sporting Kansas City game with a knee injury and whether he plays Wednesday or not should not matter. United has the quality in attack to be more threatening and finish more often. There is no such thing as a must win in May, but more lost points at home could haunt United later in the season.

 

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Australian Taste Test: Washington Spirit Aussies serve up Vegemite

Washington Spirit Aussies Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison have NBC Sports Washington’s Anna Witte try Australian staples Vegemite and Bundaberg ginger beer.

According to Logarzo, before each game with the Australian National team, all of the players would eat vegemite on toast with poached eggs and avocado. 

Witte rated the Vegemite a four out of ten, her immediate response was that it tastes "Super salty."

"Not awful, but I don't think I would buy it for myself....it's awful."

Both Logarzo and Harrison joined the Spirit this season. Harrison has appeared in ten games for the Australian national team and Logarzo has appeared in 37. 

After two straight wins the Washington Spirit are looking to continue their winning streak this weekend against the Chicago Red Stars.

Washington will face off against Chicago at the SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois on Sunday, March 26 at 6 p.m.

In the NWSL standings, the Red Stars are in first place with a 3-1-2 record and the Spirit are in fourth with a 3-1-1 record. In 2018, Chicago took the series over Washington with two wins and a draw.

Despite missing U.S. National players Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, the Spirit defeated Portland Thorns FC last weekend 3-1. 

Amy Harrison scored the first goal during the 16th minute followed by Portland scoring on their own goal in the 47th minute to put Washington ahead 2-0. Finally, in the 71st minute, Jordan Diabasi scored an olimpico. 

Spirit Midfielder Jordan DiBiasi won the NWSL Goal of the Week for her goal against the Portland Thorns last weekend. 

Spirit Goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe continues to lead the NWSL with 19 saves. 

 

 

 

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players try American treats for first time

Washington Spirit and Australian national players Chloe Logarzo and Amy Harrison sat down with NBC Sports Washington to taste test a few American favorites and rate the treats. For the first time ever, Aussies Logarzo and Harrison each tried a Twinkie and took a sip of Coke.  

For Harrison, the initial comment after taking a bite was disgust, "Ew."  

However, Logarzo gave the twinkie a 10 out of 10, "if I was seven years old." 

Both players enjoyed the Coke and had tasted it before. 

The Washington Spirit are returning home to their stomping grounds to host Portland Thorns FC at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, May 17.

Both the Spirit and Thorns are coming off wins from last weekend, with the Spirit defeating Sky Blue FC 3-2 and the Thorns beating the Orlando Pride 3-1. This weekend is a chance for both teams to move up in the NWSL standings. The Spirit currently sits in 6th place (2-1-1), just one spot behind the Thorns in 5th place (2-0-2).

If the Spirit secure a win against the Thorns they could move up as high as second place in the NWSL table, their highest ranking since 2016.

Both the Spirit and the Thorns will be missing a few contributors to their rosters who are currently preparing with the U.S. Women’s National team for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Spirit forward Mallory Pugh and midfielder Rose Lavelle will be absent and Thorns goalkeeper Adrianna Franch, midfielders Tobin Heath and Lindsey Horan, forward Christine Sinclair and defender Emily Sonnett will be absent as well.

This has been a big week for the Spirit. Both defender Cheyna Matthews and goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe received accolades for their contributions in the league.

During the 22nd and 68th minutes of last weeks game against Sky Blue FC, Matthews scored to put Washington ahead. Matthews was nominated for the NWSL’s week five Goal of the Week.

In addition, Bledsoe was named the Westfield W-League’s goalkeeper of the year after helping Sydney FC claim the 2019 W-League title. Bledsoe is only the third American goalkeeper to receive this award.

Spirit vs. Thorns FC takes place at the Maryland SoccerPlex, on the team's first annual Armed Forces Night. The Spirit will show appreciation to veterans and active duty service members at halftime and provide discounted priced tickets to the game.