For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Spirit will travel to Utah to take on the newest NWSL franchise, the Utah Royals.
9:00 PM ET on Saturday, May 5, 2018
Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.
Projected Starting Lineup
Aubrey Bledsoe; Taylor Smith, Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson, Caprice Dydasco; Andi Sullivan, Tori Huster, Meggie Dougherty Howard; Mallory Pugh, Ashley Hatch, Francisca Ordega
Rebecca Quinn is no longer on the injury report. It is possible that she gets the start tonight against Utah. It is more likely however, that she come off the bench having not played since the Orlando match in week 2. Quinn will add much needed support for either the backline or the midfield. If she does slot into the midfield, expect Andi Sullivan to play more of an attacking style.
OUT: Rose Lavelle (left hamstring strain), Cheyna Matthews (pregnancy), Arielle Ship (right ACL recovery – D45)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None
Key to Victory
Keep the pressure off the back five. Over the first five weeks of the season, Aubrey Bledsoe and the backline have had to do a lot of work. This backline is decent, but is not going to be able to withstand this amount of pressure for long. The midfield needs to do a better job of keeping the ball and not forcing the defense to get caught in awkward spots. If the team plays like they did in the first half of Portland, it’ll be an easy day at the office. If not, Amy Rodriguez and Kelley O’Hara could make them pay.