The Washington Spirit are hitting the road as they prepare to face off against the Utah Royals FC on Saturday at 9 p.m.
Utah is hosting Washington in their home opener of the season at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
The Spirit are coming off of a victory over Sky Blue FC 2-0. The win moving the Spirit to the top of the NWSL rankings.
It was a big night for the Spirit’s new additions.
During Saturday’s game against Sky Blue FC Spirit rookie defender Sam Staab scored a corner kick during the 59th minute giving the Spirit a 1-0 lead. Washington’s Megan Crosson also scored her first goal two minutes into the second half-stoppage time, sealing the win.
This will be the first game of the season for Utah. Utah finished the 2018 season with a record of 9-7-8, falling two points short of the playoffs.
New Utah Royals FC midfielder Veronica “Vero" Boquete is expected to be a major contribution to Utah this season. Boquete is a Spanish Women’s National Team veteran midfielder who was captain of Spain’s first-ever World Cup in 2015. Bouquet was named NWSL Best XI after winning league Player of the Week three times.
The last time the Washington played Utah, Washington lost 0-1.
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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
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