The Washington Spirit’s final game at Segra Field this season will be against the league leading Portland Thorns. While Portland’s performances have placed them firmly at the top of the table — level on points with San Diego Wave but with a game in hand — the Spirit, for a multitude of reasons, have struggled to find their stride all season. Portland have scored the most goals in the league (34) and allowed the second fewest (13), and golden boot leader Sophia Smith has scored in her last five NWSL starts, including a brace in three of her last four. Finding any semblance of a stride versus this opposition is a daunting task.

However a few things are working in the Spirit’s favor. Portland played Friday, as did Washington, but had a cross country flight and multiple time zones to contend with. Also, since the Spirit’s players on USWNT duty returned they have scored four goals in two matches. Most impressively has been the connection between Ashley Sanchez and Trinity Rodman, who appear to be back to their thrilling and unpredictable best. Continue reading ”             WASHINGTON SPIRIT VS PORTLAND THORNS: PREVIEW, TIME, AND TEAM NEWS”