Spirit, Reign play a legitimately entertaining soccer game

Things didn’t bode well Saturday. Traffic heading up the Beltway to Maryland was worse than usual. The SoccerPlex didn’t have its usual Ben & Jerry’s cart — Yom Kippur apparently kept the proprietor away. And Seattle’s Jess Fishlock, simultaneously one of the most inspirational and infuriating players in women’s soccer, started the game by clattering into Washington’s Mallory Pugh, the type of foul that does nothing other than send an early message. Then a funny thing happened. An actual soccer game broke out. Free-flowing. Long strings of passes. Good runs. For Spirit fans, it looked a bit like 2016 all … Continue reading Spirit, Reign play a legitimately entertaining soccer game

Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex

There’s just a lot of anger in the world right now. Our president took a break from Twitter ranting to issue the most controversial presidential pardon since Gerald Ford fell on his sword for Richard Nixon, paving the way for a peanut farmer from Georgia to become president and then a truly outstanding ex-president. North Korea, apparently angry about being pushed off the front page by U.S. domestic shenanigans and a hurricane (and a preposterous fight), flung a few more missiles into the sea, which raises the question of how many North Koreans live in dangerous poverty while Kim Jong … Continue reading Spirit-Red Stars: A mad night at the SoccerPlex

State of the Spirit, Mewis trade edition

You can’t fault the Washington Spirit for trading Kristie Mewis. She’s a strong attacking player who hasn’t been a full-time starter in recent weeks as the Spirit fully embrace their non-contender status and continue to develop a gaggle of young attackers who have been better than expected. She has trade value, and yet it’s reasonable to omit her from the current starting XI. The question: What are they getting for her, and what does it say about the Spirit’s awareness of where this team really stands? The early indication from coach Jim Gabarra on Lifetime’s broadcast is that they’re going … Continue reading State of the Spirit, Mewis trade edition

Spirit-Breakers, before the deluge

Concentrating on soccer was rather difficult this afternoon. When we weren’t checking updates on Charlottesville, we were checking the weather. A couple of minutes after the final whistle, the SoccerPlex lightning-detection system kicked into gear, and we all had a wet drive home. But the game deserves some mention, even if it was basically a showdown between two teams battling for eighth place in a 10-team league. It ended 2-2, which won’t propel either team to seventh place, let alone a playoff berth that’s surely unattainable by this point. Even with only one team below them in the standings, I’d … Continue reading Spirit-Breakers, before the deluge

Spirit, Pride still works in progress

Marta is here. Alex Morgan is back. Mallory Pugh is here. Estefania Banini is back. But the chemistry isn’t quite there. And neither is the service from midfield. Yes, the Washington Spirit and Orlando Pride each scored twice in a 2-2 draw before a crowd of 5,200 that filled the seats, the hill and the concession lines Saturday at the Maryland SoccerPlex. And yes, we had a couple of moments like this: Some jogo bonito at the Plex courtesy of @ORLPride's @alexmorgan13 and Marta. #WASvORL #NWSLonLIFETIME pic.twitter.com/BReISnXEnp — NWSL (@NWSL) July 8, 2017 (Incidentally, I have no idea how I’m … Continue reading Spirit, Pride still works in progress