Game: Washington Spirit
Where: Audi Field, Washington D.C.
When: Saturday, May 6, 2023
Time: 10:00 a.m. PST
The San Diego Wave will play its sixth game of the 2023 NWSL regular season this Saturday, May 6, against the Washington Spirit at Audi Field. Wave FC is coming off a disappointing 3-1 loss to the Orlando Pride at Snapdragon Stadium and will be looking to bounce back from this with a tough three-game road trip ahead that begins with this match.
Alex Morgan was not available for the match against Orlando but has been practicing with the team and is expected to be back from her minor injury. Taylor Kornieck and Emily van Egmond were also absent in the game against Orlando, and it is unclear if they will be available for this match against Washington.
With the key absences last week, Casey Stoney started Makenzy Doniak, Rachel Hill, and Isabella Briede. One of the highlights from the loss against the Pride for San Diego was the debut of 15-year-old Melanie Barcenas, who looked stunning with the ball at her feet. Barcenas showcased her talent, and it will be interesting to see if Coach Stoney gives the teenager more playing time in this long road trip.
— Francisco Velasco (@FranciscoEfV) May 5, 2023
The Washington Spirit are on an uninspiring three-game winless streak in all competitions, coming off a 1-1 draw against the Chicago Red Stars in regular season play. However, Washington was able to start the season with an impressive 1-0 win against OL Reign and is still undefeated in the NWSL regular season.
The other win for the capital city team came against North Carolina as they won 2-1 at Wakemed Soccer Park. Washington features a stellar front three in Trinity Rodman, Ashley Sanchez, and Ashley Hatch, who all play for the USWNT. The three have scored all goals for the Spirit this season and have the potential to be a tough task for Kailen Sheridan and the Wave backline.
With nine points each, San Diego and Washington are tied on points, and a win for either team in this match has the potential for that team to scale the league table.
Players to watch
Sheridan has been vital to the Wave’s success thus far, and she will most likely be required against a team with such a strong offense like Washington. The Canadian goalkeeper had her worst performance of the season against Orlando and, like the rest of the team, will be looking to bounce back. Sheridan still made three saves against the Pride, as she continues to contribute in every game.
Hatch is tied for the league-lead in goals this season with four and has been crucial to Washington so far. Trinity Rodman and Ashley Sanchez are also very talented, but Hatch has clearly been the best player for the capital city team in 2023.
Francisco, 26, Chula Vista/Tijuana. I have been a Padres fan all my life, did most of the series previews and recaps in the Padres’ 2016 season for EVT. Now I focus more on the local soccer scene. Tijuana Xolos, San Diego Loyal, San Diego Wave.