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Utah Royals FC clean the pitch with the Spirit

Washington Spirit vs. Utah Royals FCThe Washington Spirit (1-3-2) fell to the first-year team of the Utah Royals FC (1-1-4) this past Saturday, 2-0, at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. It was the first-ever win for the Royals and both goals came from players previously coached by Spirit Head Coach Jim Gabarra.
Using a Spirit tactic of scoring early, Utah forward Kelly O’Hara took a pass from fellow teammate Amy Rodriguez and slipped the ball into the back of the net past the Spirit’s defense, her first goal as a Utah Royals player. Before joining the Royals, O’Hara played for Sky Blue FC during Gabarra’s tenure as head coach of that National Women’s Soccer League team.
When halftime arrived, the score had not changed; it was still 1-0 in favor of the Royals.

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Will Pugh be the shot in the arm the Spirit need?

xSpirit vs FCKC 1b 20170520 Cheyna Williams follows the ball to the keepers box but is prevented from scoring by Becky Sauerbrunn and FCKC keeper Nicole Narnhart. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE   FC Kansas City (2-2-2), who had never defeated the Spirit on their home field, ended that streak this past weekend with a 1-0 win over the Spirit. It was FCKC’s second win of the season which puts them in sixth place in the National Women’s Soccer League.

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Washington Spirit continues to improve with another win

x20170325 Spirit vs UNC soccer-Cheyna Williams-5Cheyna Williams had a standout game for the Spirit. PHOTO BY DAVID WOLFE  

LEESBURG, VA. -- The Washington Spirit, playing their first-ever preseason game in Northern Virginia, outplayed the University of North Carolina women’s soccer team 5 to nil at the Evergreen Sportsplex.

Late spectators who managed to get tickets to the sellout event found themselves parking in a field instead of one of the already-filled paved lots. The official capacity of the location is 2,000 people. It was standing room only by the start of the match.

Missed connections and poor ball movement dominated the first 30 minutes of the match. The Spirit’s passes were off target, and the movement of the ball was not well coordinated. The team was playing a system using three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards.  It was the same system used at the end of last season. It needs improvement to fit with the team. Head coach Jim Gabarra said, “That was a system we went to at the end. It’s been pretty good. We need to work on it.” 

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