Soccer

United have depth but need to bring it all together

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United have depth but need to bring it all together

Bill Hamid made sure DC united had a chance. Fielding a starting eleven of mostly reserves United grew in confidence as the match went on, received a stellar effort in goal and two spectacular saves from Hamid, but failed to break through in a 1-0 loss to the Timbers Wednesday in Portland. 

The Timbers started the night at the bottom of the Western Conference and as expected tried to set the tone early and did with a goal form Maximiliano Urruti in the 5th minute. Pressure from Gaston Fernandez forced United defender Taylor Kemp into a turnover and then Fernandez streaking into the box found Urruti for the easy tap-in.

United weathered an early storm from the Timbers and crafted a strong finish to the first half. Starting forwards Conor Doyle and Jairo Arrieta started to link up more before the break and Steve Birnbaum had a clear chance on a corner. Despite the surge United failed to get a shot on target.

United had a bright start to the second half and there was a sense the Black and Red would find the equalizer. Newcomer Facundo Coria came on as a substitute for the second straight game and helped United continue to force the issue. Despite United’s effort Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasay did not have to make a save.

Conclusions:

  1.      Halsti and Coria will make a difference.  Markus Halsti has now made two appearances in midfield for United and he has demonstrated an ability to maintain possessions and ignite attacks. Under pressure Halsti does not get rattled and he played a big role in helping United establish its presence in the game after chasing the Timbers early in the match. Like Halsti, Coria has only made two appearances, but it is clear he has the skill and invention to help United going forward.
  2.     Need to put it all together. In addition to Halsti and Coria, Miguel Aguilar threatened on the left flank and in his second start of the season showed some of the attacking qualities that earned him a first round selection by United in the SuperDraft. Fellow rookie Luke Mishu did not shy away from his first MLS appearance and was solid in his 72 minutes. United has depth it needs with several players dealing with injuries, but needs to be better. In three games United has scored just one goal and in short has to be better in the final third.

 

Washington Spirit vs NC Courage: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

Washington Spirit vs NC Courage: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

With playoffs on the line, the Washington Spirit hosts the NC Courage in a must-win regular-season home finale Saturday night.

NC Courage sits high atop their first-place throne with an icy six-win streak, 14-4--4 record overall leading the NWSL with 46 points, 31 goal differential, 50 goals for and 19 goals against. The struggling Spirit, with one win, one loss and three draws in their past five matches, need to find a way to crack the Courage and tack on another win to keep postseason hopes alive.

Mallory Pugh has made strong moves for the Spirit since returning from injury and will be a key player to breakthrough the Courage defense with nine clean sheets (just one more than Washington) and averaging 0.9 goals allowed per game.

The Spirit cannot afford to lose this game if they want to snag a playoff spot, and that chase continues in Maryland.

SPIRIT-COURAGE GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Spirit vs. NC Courage

Where: Maureen Hendricks Field Maryland SoccerPlex, Boyds, MD

When: Saturday, September 28 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington 

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Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

Washington Spirit vs Houston Dash: Time, TV Channel, How to watch

The Washington Spirit will make their way to Houston in hopes to secure three points against the Houston Dash on Wednesday night.  

The Spirit are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Chicago Red Stars, dropping them to 7W-8L-5D. 

For the first time in quite a while, both midfielder Rose Lavelle and forward Mallory Pugh took the field against the Red Stars. Lavelle returned to the lineup after suffering a head injury a few months ago and played 45 minutes in her first game since August 17. 

During the 80th minute, Pugh scored her first goal of the season but it wasn’t enough to take the lead over the Dash. 

Wednesday nights game will be Washington’s first time as a part of the NWSL’s new broadcast deal with ESPN. 

Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2. 

SPIRIT-DASH GAME: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash 

Where: BBVA Stadium, Houston, TX

When: Wednesday, September 25 at 9:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: ESPN2 

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