Sky Blue FC vs Washington Spirit preview: Last meeting of an East Coast Rivalry

The two teams will meet on Sunday for the third time this year. Washington took the first two matches, but after a series of injuries, it's anyone's game

Sky Blue FC vs Washington Spirit preview: Last meeting of an East Coast Rivalry
Sky Blue starting lineup poses before playing the Seattle Reign | Source: Jenny Chuang - VAVEL USA

The Washington Spirit will take on Sky Blue FC this Sunday as the NWSL season draws closer to a close and these teams meet for the last time. The east coast rivals have both had drastically different seasons; Sky Blue in constant contention for the playoffs while the Spirit scrape the bottom of the table. Despite this, the last two meetings have gone in favor of the Spirit, first a narrow 4-3 victory, then a convincing 4-1 triumph. Tomorrow's match will mean a whole lot more points wise for Sky Blue, as the most the Spirit can do is aim for a less embarrassing finish, but the ability to pull out one more upset is enough to motivate any player. By far one of the seasons more confusing matchups, the game will no doubt be exciting and nail-biting for fans of both teams, and fans of the many teams whose fates may lie on the success or failure of Sky Blue. 

Washington continues to battle through injury plagued season

The Washington Spirit has not had the ideal 2017 season; falling from first to last place in the span of a few months and having to respond to many an injury this year, the team is just hoping to battle through the last few weeks and regroup in the offseason. While there is no chance for them to make another shot at the playoffs, they can send their east coast rivals even more out of it by putting them down another three points. Sky Blue currently sits in sixth place, but they are well within reach of the Seattle Reign, who would be the next people they need to surpass to get close to the cutoff. A loss this week, though, would put them at the mercy of F.C. Kansas City who would then have the ability to send them further into the bottom end of the table. If Mallory Pugh and Stephanie Labbe can organize each end of the field, then Sky Blue may have to mark another loss to the Spirit on this season’s record. 

Stephanie Labbe takes a goal kick | Source: Washington Spirit Twitter - @WashSpirit

Sky Blue looking for final push to the playoffs

On the opposite end of the Spirit, Sky Blue have had one of their best seasons ever. Regularly coming back to win in exciting fashion, the team was securely in the playoffs for much of the season, until all of a sudden, they weren’t. Now, desperate to not let all of that midseason excitement go to waste, the team will be working together to pull off a win against a team who has always provided tough competition and exciting contests. Sam Kerr, who has been the team’s life line in early game deficits all season, has the potential to be the first ever NWSL player to score 17 goals in one season. Known for her fiery attitude and constant determination, she will be a player that will be hard for Washington to control. Along with Kelley O’Hara in the back line, the team’s youthful attitude may finally get the best of the Spirit, making for an exciting game for the home crowd.

Game Details

The match will kick off at 6 pm EST on Sunday, September 10, 2017, and will be played at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey. The game will be streamed on the go90 app and website.