Kansas City NWSL Finishes Busy Week Hosting Washington Spirit on Pride Night NWSL KC

The Latest | Jun 25, 2021

Kansas City NWSL Finishes Busy Week Hosting Washington Spirit on Pride Night

KANSAS CITY (June 25, 2021) — Kansas City NWSL concludes a hectic stretch of three games in six days on Saturday night at Legends Field, welcoming the Washington Spirit in the inaugural matchup between both sides. Washington enters Saturday in fourth place in the NWSL table and on a full week of rest. The Spirit’s last match came on June 19, a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Red Stars. 

Kansas City, meanwhile, started its match against the Orlando Pride on Wednesday afternoon with a bang. Forward Mariana Larroquette poked in an assist from fellow forward Jéssica Silva off a corner kick in the eighth minute of first-half stoppage time, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Orlando was able to score three times following Larro’s goal to hand Kansas City the loss.

PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mariana Larroquette (Kansas City) - 
Larroquette made history on Wednesday against Orlando, scoring the first regular season goal at Legends Field. Her finish was much needed for a Kansas City side that entered the match having not scored in four matches. Larroquette made her presence felt against Orlando, with three total shots in 73 minutes of action, including a strike that skimmed the top of the crossbar early in the first half. On a Kansas City side looking for a consistent attacking threat, Larroquette could thrive as the squad moves further along in the regular season.

Trinity Rodman (Washington) - The 19-year-old rookie forward has already made history in her brief NWSL career, becoming the youngest player to ever be drafted and the youngest player to ever score in an NWSL match. Rodman has started five of the Spirit’s six regular season games thus far and has been a staple of Washington’s attack, tallying one goal and one assist. Rodman has the third most shots in the NWSL with 18, so it’s safe to assume that Rodman will play a significant attacking role on Saturday.

GET TO KNOW THE SPIRIT
For the first time since Kansas City NWSL’s regular season opening match against Louisville on May 15, Head Coach Huw Williams’ team is facing a side they haven’t seen either previously in the regular season, 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup or preseason. Despite being an unfamiliar opponent to Kansas City, the Spirit boast plenty of familiar faces and enter Saturday’s match on a solid run of form — unbeaten in their last four matches.

Long-time USWNT defender and two-time World Cup Champion Kelly O’Hara anchors a Washington defense that has conceded six goals in six regular season matches. O’Hara, along with fellow Washington defender and 2019 World Cup Champion Emily Sonnett, were selected to the 2021 USWNT Olympic team by head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

Leading Washinton’s attack is forward Ashley Hatch, who has scored three of the Spirit’s six goals in the regular season. Hatch’s tally of three goals is second in the NWSL, behind Sydney Leroux and fellow Orlando forward Alex Morgan, both of whom have four goals. In addition to O’Hara and Sonnett, Washington has a solid goalkeeper in Aubrey Bledsoe. The 2019 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year has played every minute for Washington this season and is fifth in the league with 17 saves. 

Additionally, Saturday evening will be a homecoming for Washington midfielder Dorian Bailey, a Kansas City native and graduate of Saint Teresa’s Academy. Bailey has appeared in five games for Washington in the regular season, starting two matches and amassing 229 minutes played.

OLYMPIC FEVER
Kansas City will be without the services of midfielders Desiree Scott and Chloe Logarzo in Saturday’s match. 

Scott was named to her third straight Olympic Roster for Canada Soccer on Wednesday. Canada opens their tournament play on July 21 against Japan.

Logarzo is in camp with the Australian National Team, the Westfield Matildas, as they enter their final preparations for the Olympic Tournament. 

Defender Katie Bowen was also named to the Olympic Roster for her home country of New Zealand. She remains available for selection however for Kansas City’s matches on June 26 and Friday, July 2 at NJ/NY Gotham.

A CELEBRATION OF PRIDE AT LEGENDS FIELD
Kansas City NWSL is celebrating Pride Night at Saturday’s match. Fans were offered a Pride Pack bundle that included a ticket to the game and a custom KC NWSL Pride scarf that can be picked up at the stadium. In addition, the first 1,000 fans to the match receive Rainbow Pride sunglasses.

On the field, the team will wear a Pride version of its red home kit, featuring rainbow numbers. The signed, game-worn jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of the month with proceeds benefitting Kansas City Pride Community Alliance, a local non-profit providing educational opportunities, support, social activities, and advocacy to enrich the lives of LGBTQ+ people in an inclusive environment.

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG 
Saturday’s match will be streamed nationally on Twitch. In addition, the game will be broadcast on ESPN Kansas City 1510AM / 94.5 FM with Brad Porter and Aly Trost on the call.

 

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