Nuts & Bolts
Date: May 28, 2023
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Venue: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.
Competition: NWSL Regular Season
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Head Coach: Mark Parsons (1st season)
Record: 5-3-2 All Competitions (4-3-1, 5th in NWSL Standings)
Last Time Out: Lost to Orlando 2-1 in NWSL Regular Season on 5/20
Player to Watch: Ashley Hatch
Just five weeks ago, the Spirit fell to Gotham 1-0 in Matchday 1 of the NWSL Challenge Cup. Tonight, they host Gotham for the first time this season in what is shaping up to be a pivotal early season match between teams that sit in 4th and 5th.
Eight days ago, Washington lost its first NWSL regular season match in 2023, a disappointing 2-1 loss to Orlando in a game that was tied 1-1 most of the way before the Pride secured the winner with just over 10 minutes to play.
The Spirit will be out Sunday night looking to get back on track and back in the win column, coming off the first loss of the regular season while taking on an opponent that beat them just over a month ago.
Gotham FC finished in last place in the NWSL last year, the only team that finished behind Washington. Both teams now find themselves near the top of the table early in 2023 and will want to stay there.
The Spirit are led by a prolific goal-scorer in Ashley Hatch, who has netted five goals in eight matches for Washington, which is tied for the league-lead in goals scored.
Gotham has its own striker in Lynn Williams who has also put away five goals this season, making up for what could be a firework show of goals at Audi Field on Sunday night.
Head Coach: Juan Carlos Amoros (1st season)
Record: 6-2-2 All Competitions (5-1-2, 4th in NWSL Standings)
Last Time Out: Def. OL Reign 4-0 in NWSL Regular Season on 5/21
Player to Watch: Lynn Williams
Gotham FC was the only team that finished behind Washington in the 2022 NWSL standings, finishing in last place.
Obviously, an overhaul was needed and they’ve certainly done that. Juan Carlos Amoros is in his first year as manager and has his squid firing on all cylinders early on. The long-time manager of the Tottenham Hotspur women’s team in England’s Premier League, he now has Gotham FC from dead last a season ago up to fourth place early on in 2023.
A big reason why? The acquisition of star player and USWNT regular, Lynn Williams. Williams came over to Gotham in January and has proven to be one of the best players in NWSL.
She has already scored five goals in just eight games, which is tied for the most goals scored by any player across the league.
The team has not lost in the month of May and is coming off a season-high 4 goal performance against OL Reign last weekend.
The Spirit sit one position behind Gotham in the standings, making for a critical Sunday evening match at Audi Field.