The Washington Spirit face off against the Western New York Flash tomorrow in the championship game of the fourth season of NWSL.
Both teams have faced some uphill battles to get here, perhaps the Flash moreso than the Spirit, but they both had to go into overtime in their respective semis in order to push their way into the finals. The Spirit have had two extra days of rest, but with the Flash getting almost a full week between games regardless, that may not tell for either team.
The Spirit had to skate on a bit of luck in order to get past Chicago while WNY made a definitive statement in beating Portland, with two goals in extra time after the Thorns chased the game and managed to force extra time after tying things 2-2 in regulation. The Spirit are probably more stable across the board and can play a patient possession game while WNY has a very pointed, direct attack. It’ll be interesting to see who can take control of the game in the first 30 minutes - and actually capitalize on that control.
WNT players to watch:
Lynn Williams: Perhaps it’s fudging it a bit to call Williams a WNT player when she hasn’t even actually set foot in camp yet, but she’s received the call-up for the Switzerland friendlies and that’s good enough for the purposes of this article, because Williams is certainly watchable. She’s a pacey forward with a good engine who can get in behind and keep fullbacks honest.
Ali Krieger: Once again the Spirit will have to keep a tight defense, especially with Williams and her strike partner Jess McDonald aimed at their goal. Krieger’s leadership will be vital, as will her ability to get forward without getting caught out on the counter.
Time: 5 PM ET
Date: Sunday, October 9
Broadcast: Fox Sports 1
Livestream: Fox Soccer 2 Go, sign up for a free trial using code U17WNT