Coming off two straight victories, the Washington Spirit travel west to face off against the sixth place Seattle Reign tonight.
Since the NWSL’s inception, the two teams have faced off seven times. Seattle leads the series with four wins (Washington has two and the teams drew once).The last time the two teams faced off was on August 24, during last season’s playoffs. Second half goals came from Veronica Perez and Kim Little, but Diana Matheson’s missed penalty followed by Megan Rapinoe’s late goal solidifed the win for Seattle.
Tonight’s match will be a bit different, though. Matheson is still recovering from both an ACL injury and a broken foot (and is facing a race against the clock to be healthy before the Women’s World Cup next month) and Rapinoe and Perez are with their respective national teams.
The Spirit failed to earn a single win in the four matches the two teams battled each other last season, with Seattle scoring eight goals to Washington’s four.
The Reign currently sit in sixth place (1-2-0) with three points while the Spirit are in second place (2-1-0) with six points. After a 5-1 thrashing over the Western New York Flash, the Reign have suffered two consecutive away losses to the Chicago Red Stars and FC Kansas City.
Washington has been on more of an upswing since being shut out in its first match against the Houston Dash. The team has since had two 3-1 victories over both FC Kansas City and Sky Blue FC.
One player who has been in great form for the Spirit is Crystal Dunn. After being cut from Jill Ellis’ United States Women’s World Cup squad, Dunn has proven she’s indispensable for Washington, scoring three goals in her last two matches.
Between Dunn’s red-hot form, the Reign having lost just once match to the Spirit at home and not a single previous match between the two teams ending in a 0-0 draw, tonight’s match could be another thriller in this series.