Soccer

Washington Spirit's head coach Richie Burke excited to take team to new heights

Washington Spirit's head coach Richie Burke excited to take team to new heights

First-year Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke is passionate about bringing the team to new heights. But, earlier this month, he took NBC Sports Washington to watch another team he's passionate about: Liverpool.

The Liverpool native was named the Spirit's head coach earlier this year, after working in the DC United's system and a number of youth programs in the area.

“I actually love my team, I love the group, I love being at the training ground,” Burke said. 

“You show up on a daily basis with a smile on your face because you like the people that you’re working with and the steps you’ve made so far.”   

Burke brings years of experience to the Washington Spirit. In addition to playing for American University, the Washington Diplomats and Washington Stars in the American Soccer League and the Washington Warthogs in the Continental Indoor Soccer League Burke also played professional soccer in England and Australia. 

At the Utah Royals’ home opener last Saturday Washington fell short 1-0, making their overall record 1-1. Utah Royals FC midfielder Lo’eau LaBonta scored the first goal of the season for Utah. In her NWSL debut, Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle missed her free kick in the 76th minute. 

The Spirit are returning home to the Maryland SoccerPlex to host the Seattle Reign on Saturday 7:00 p.m. 

With just a one point difference separating the teams, Washington and Seattle are both looking to secure three points. The Spirit are currently in 6th place on the NWSL ladder and the Reign is in 7th. Seattle’s record is 0-2-1 after losing to the Chicago Red Stars. 

Saturdays game will be action-packed as the Spirit will be celebrating the club’s Star Wars Night! Fans who dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters will be entered into a contest to win a special prize from the Spirit. 

MORE SPIRIT NEWS:

Spirit's first ever Pride Night ends in a draw

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Washington Spirit's Twitter

Spirit's first ever Pride Night ends in a draw

In the first ever Pride Night at the Maryland SoccerPlex Saturday, the Washington Spirit and Houston Dash battled each other to a 0-0 draw. 

With Tegan McGrady and Paige Nielsen out, McKenzie Berryhill and Bayley Feist made their first starts of the season. Dorian Bailey moved from the midfield to left back, and Fiest manned left mid-field. 

Ashley Hatch had a chance to take the lead for the Spirits to begin the second half when she made her way across the top box, but sent her shot right over the crossbar. 

Although no points were put on the board, the highlight of the night came when Spirit midfielder, Joanna Lohman had her no. 15 jersey retired.

The Spirit will be back in action next Saturday, June 29, as they take on the North Carolina Courage at 7:00 p.m. 

Women's World Cup 2019: Round of 16 bracket is set as USA soccer readies for knockout round

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USATSI

Women's World Cup 2019: Round of 16 bracket is set as USA soccer readies for knockout round

LE HAVRE, France (AP) -- The defending champion U.S. national team faced its toughest test of the Women's World Cup and remained dominant Thursday night, beating Sweden 2-0 to serve up a measure of revenge against the team that stunned the confident Americans in the last Olympics.

Lindsey Horan scored within the first three minutes, the fastest goal of this tournament. The United States went up 2-0 on an own goal by Jonna Andersson in the 50th minute that gave the Americans a tournament-record 18 goals in the group stage. The U.S. did not concede a goal in its first three matches.

Already assured a spot in the round of 16 before the game, the United States finished atop of group F and will head to Reims to face Spain on Monday, June 24th. Sweden will play Group E runners-up Canada in Paris. The U.S. currently has 9 points 

The meeting was the first tournament game between the two teams since the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympics. The Swedes bunkered in on defense and advanced on penalties after a 1-1 draw, handing the United States its earliest-ever exit from the Olympic tournament. Former U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo called the Swedes "cowards" for the defensive stand.

Round-of-16 Schedule

Saturday, June 22

Germany vs. Nigeria, 11:30 a.m. ET

Norway vs. Australia, 3:00 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 23

England vs. Cameroon, 11:30 a.m. ET

France vs. Brazil, 3:00 p.m. ET

Monday, June 24

Spain vs. United States, Noon ET

Sweden vs. Canada, 3:00 p.m. ET

Tuesday, June 25

Italy vs. China, Noon ET

Netherlands vs Japan, 3:00 p.m. ET

Quarterfinals 

Thursday, June 27 

TBD vs, TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Friday, June 28

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 29

TBD vs TBD, 9:00 a.m. ET

TBD vs TBD, 12:30 p.m. ET

Semifinals 

Tuesday, July 2

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET 

Wednesday, July 3

TBD vs TBD, 3:00 p.m. ET

Third-place game

Saturday, July 6 

TBD vs TBD, 11:00 a.m. ET

Final 

Sunday, July 7

TBD vs TBD, 11:00 a.m. ET