Maddie Huster (left) warms up while Rachel Moore (right) awaits her turn. (Washington Spirit photo)
For me, the 2018 NWSL draft was the culmination of the last four years (and more) of covering the elite amateur teams in the Washington, DC, area, as half-a-dozen of the players I’d been covering were picked for a shot at going professional. I stopped by the Washington Spirit’s third day of practice, on Wednesday, February 21st, to talk with as many of them as I could.
Head coach Jim Gabarra talked about picking “homegrown” talent. “We’re fortunate to bring that quality of players in who have an attachment to the area or the Reserve team or teams past. It’s always good to give future generations the real true carrot, the pathway to the professional team by showing that we’ll at least give a chance to those we’ve had in as Reserves.”
I asked did he think it made it easier for those with experience with the organization to make the transition. “Yes, I think it does. The psychological part of coming into a pro team or into a national team, if you haven’t ever been there, the first couple of days, the first phase is always difficult. And this way we’ve got players in our DA or on our reserve teams that have been in training sessions with the pro team, so it’s something they’ve gone through. So they get to know you, and the comfort level is a lot higher.” Continue reading →
2015 USL W-League Champion Washington Spirit Reserves
One year ago today – well, besides a certain team winning a world championship – the Washington Spirit Reserves and the Braddock Road Stars Elite (now the Washington Spirit Academy) faced each other close to full-strength. There were numerous players to watch on both rosters, so I made a record of the names and vowed to come back once a year to review where the players are now. So here’s the first entry:
Playing professionally in the NWSL: Caroline Casey (Sky Blue), Carson Pickett* (Seattle Reign).
Playing professionally overseas: Kara Wilson (Speranza FC Osaka Takatsuki, Japan), Sarah Zadrazil (Turbine Potsdam, Germany), Amber Stobbs (Reading FC, England). Continue reading →
The Washington Spirit Reserves approached the Fourth of July weekend at the top of the Southeastern Conference but with the knowledge that any slip could leave them without control of their outcome. Three games later and with one game to go they’re still in the same situation: in control but only barely. Continue reading →
First off, congratulations to the Maryland Capitols for earning a home playoff game as the #3 seed in the Northeast Atlantic Conference of the WPSL. That will take place this Sunday at 3 pm at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Center as they take on the #6 seed Syracuse Lady Knights.
Also kudos to the DC United Women, who earned the #1 seed in the W-League’s Eastern Conference and the right to host the conference playoffs. Those will take place on Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22, with the #2 team playing #3 Saturday at 3:30, and DC playing the #4 seed – which will be either the Fredericksburg Impact or the Virginia Beach Piranhas – at 6. Then the final is Sunday at 4 pm. All games will take place at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium.
Becky Sauerbrunn plays for the Black-And-Red in her last match before the Olympics
On one of the hottest evenings in DC history, a season-record 703 fans showed up at the Maryland Soccerplex Stadium to watch the DC United Women play the Dayton Dutch Lions, the last match Becky Sauerbrunn would play on domestic soil before joining the United States Women’s National Team for the upcoming Olympics in London. They would not be disappointed, as the Black-and-Red cruised to a 4-1 victory keyed by a Sauerbrunn goal early in the second half.
Since their conference rivals the Atlanta Silverbacks had played to a tie right as the match started, the win gave the United Women the W-League regular-season Eastern Conference Championship and the right to host the conference playoffs at the Soccerplex on July 21 and 22. Continue reading →