This will be the second game between the Spirit and Reign during the 2018 NWSL regular season. The two teams last played during the season opener on March 24 in Seattle, with Reign FC taking the game in a 2-1 result. Spirit midfielder Joanna Lohman netted the club’s first goal of the season in the 68th minute, playing in her first game back since recovering from a torn ACL in the 2017 NWSL season opener.
Washington and Seattle will meet against this weekend in their only matchup of the season played at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Spirit returns home after earning a point on the road last Friday in New Jersey, playing to a scoreless draw against Sky Blue FC.
Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe and defenders Whitney Church, Caprice Dydasco, Taylor Smith and Estelle Johnson combined for their third clean sheet of the season, including two in the last four games. Bledsoe stopped all seven shots on goal for the shutout against Sky Blue FC, bringing her league-leading save total to 57.
Washington will benefit from a bolstered roster heading into Saturday’s match, as four players - Francisca Ordega (NGA), Rebecca Quinn (CND), Rose Lavelle (USA) and Yanara Aedo (CHI) - return after representing their respective countries during the FIFA Window.
Ordega and Ashley Hatch, who have recorded three goals each, will lead the Spirit’s offensive push to end the team’s two-game scoreless streak as they face Reign goalkeeper Lydia Williams. The Reign goalkeeper and her back line have held opponents to only one goal during her four starts this season.
After holding opponents to two goals halfway through the month of June, Washington’s defense will look to slow down a Reign attack highlighted by Megan Rapinoe. The U.S. National Team player has tallied five goals and one assist in six games this season, with two of those goals coming on the road. Seattle also has multi-goal scorers in U.S. international Allie Long (2 goals), English international Jodie Taylor (3 goals, 1 assist) and Beverly Yanez (2 goals).
Washington goes into Saturday’s game against Reign FC trying to snap a three-game winless streak. Meanwhile, Seattle will look to hold on to second place in the NWSL table.