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NWSL Match Preview: Washington Spirit (4-0-3) at Orlando Pride (2-4-1)

Exploria Stadium | Orlando, Florida – Saturday, May 20 at 7:00 PM ET

Players to watch:

Orlando midfielder Erika Tymrak made her 100th start in NWSL regular season play in the Pride’s scoreless draw over the weekend. Of the 56 players with 100+ starts in league history, Tymrak is the only one who has also made more than 40 appearances as a substitute (61). From an attacking standpoint, only forward Messiah Bright (2) has scored more than one goal on the year, though it is teammate Adriana who leads the league in chances created (17). The Brazilian is the only player in the side with at least one goal and one assist through seven games as well. 

Washington forward Ashley Hatch has scored nine career goals against Orlando in all NWSL competitions, including scoring in each of her last six regular season matches against the Pride. That’s the longest streak of appearances with a goal against a single opponent in NWSL history. Hatch leads the Spirit attack with five goals on the year, with teammate Trinity Rodman just behind her with three goals over her own. 

Match facts: The Orlando Pride welcome the Washington Spirit to Exploria Stadium on Saturday night as one of two games to kick off a six-game slate across the league this weekend. The Pride, who are tied for the lowest-scoring team in the league (5), have not lost in three straights and managed to pick up two wins those games, scoring four of their five then. On the other side, the Spirit have won two straight and are still without a loss in their first seven in total.

A 0-0 draw with Gotham moved Orlando’s unbeaten streak in league play to three consecutive matches (W2 D1), conceding just once in that span. It is the first time since May 2018 that the Pride have allowed one goal or fewer in a three-game span. Commendably, after four straight losses, Orlando’s seven points are among the best in the league in the last three games as well. 

The Spirit lead the NWSL with 15 points (W4 D3) as they are the lone remaining unbeaten team in league play. Washington is the sixth team in league history to have zero losses through the first seven games of a season but only three teams have made it to eight games unbeaten – North Carolina in 2018, Portland in 2016, and OL Reign in 2014.

Washington is unbeaten in its last eight games against Orlando across all NWSL competitions (W3 D5), including a 4-2 win in the Challenge Cup on May 10. All four goals in that game came from outside the box, the only time in NWSL history (all comps) a team has scored more than two such goals in a single game.

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