Who: Kansas City NWSL at Washington Spirit
When: Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m. CT
Where: Segra Field | Leesburg, Virginia
Watch: Paramount+ or KSMO-TV
Kansas City NWSL are in Leesburg, Virginia to face the Washington Spirit this afternoon. Both teams have not played in a while but for different reasons. Kansas City last played on September 5th and had the international break off. The Spirit have not played since August 29th but they were forced to forfeit their last two games because of COVID related issues (violating league medical protocols).
The Spirit are in seventh place (6-7-5, 23 pts) and will be looking to climb back into playoff contention at the expense of the visiting Kansas City squad. Tenth place Kansas City (2-11-5, 11 pts) will be looking to get their third win and first on the road.
Manager Huw Williams gave his players that were not called up in the international break a little time off. “We started with three or four days off for the players. Since then we’ve been going hard working on some of our weaknesses and then this week we worked specifically on the needs for this game,” Williams explained.
With six games left in the season, Williams has a very clear mission for his team. “Our goal, we have six games left and we want to finish with a winning record in these last six games.”
Washington can be a little hit or miss in their play, scoring either two or zero goals in nine of their last ten matches actually played.
“They’re pacey, dangerous up top,” Williams explained. “They’ve got (Ashley) Hatch. One of the best players in this league I think, Trinity (Rodman) and (Ashley) Sanchez wide for them, two young up and coming players that will be part of Vlatko’s (Andonovski) plans in the future I’m sure. Midfield Andi Sullivan who just played two games for Vlatko. Dorian Bailey, someone I coached since she was eight years old, Dorian is a great player.”
“A very good team, a team that will be fighting for a high playoff spot,” Williams added. “We look forward to that challenge, we look forward to playing against quality teams like that and testing our development, testing how far we’ve come.”
OUT: Chloe Logarzo (right knee), Arielle Ship (right lower leg-SEI)
Logarzo injured her ACL while with Australian National Team and it is undetermined when she will be able to return.
Chloe Logarzo has confirmed she tore her ACL in the #IREAUS friendly last week pic.twitter.com/krip5OoanJ— Samantha Lewis (@battledinosaur) September 24, 2021
OUT: Averie Collins (ACL-SEI), Bayley Feist (ACL-SEI), Ashley Hatch (excused absence)
Hatch out for the Spirit is a big loss for them, she leads their goal scoring with seven.
Without Hatch, Washington will be without their leading scorer but Rodman and Sanchez both have four goals which is more than any Kansas City player has for the season so they will still be dangerous. The question is how will the Spirit react to the long period without games and the surrounding off field issues as well.
For Kansas City, as much as Williams wants to finish strong and on a winning note, do not be surprised if he experiments with players in different positions/roles to further prepare for next season.
While Washington has to be given the edge in probably winning, expect a hard-fought game from Kansas City. This is winnable game for Kansas City if they put everything together and can find a oouple goals.