The Western New York Flash were less than impressive last weekend in their loss to Sky Blue FC. Much of the attention was placed on striker Abby Wambach, who struggled to get scoring chances. The Flash will need to do more to find Wambach, surely hungry for a goal, against the Washington Spirit.
Stephanie Ochs and Tiffany McCarty had excellent preseasons and were effective last week against the Boston Breakers. The likes of Alexandra Sahlen, and Brittany Taylor will attempt to slow them down, but the biggest reason the Spirit will struggle to score is Adrianna Franch. She was a brick wall in goal last week and only conceded because of a very unlucky own goal.
Lori Lindsey will be a key in midfield for the Spirit, along with the aggressive Diana Matheson. Ali Krieger will push up and join the midfield on most Spirit attacks, and she's likely to be shadowed on the wing by Western New York's McCall Zerboni.
Western New York have the talent to beat anyone, but they're yet to put it all together. Wambach was pulling a lot of weight during last Sunday's game because her midfield was non-existent during the second half. Zerboni was the only player who regularly broke through Sky Blue's defense and created scoring opportunities. The Flash needs to devise a way to find Adriana and Wambach more often or they will fall victim to a loss or a draw.
Washington Spirit Injuries
OUT: Candace Chapman
Western New York Flash Injuries
OUT: Carli Lloyd (left shoulder), Sarah Huffman (sprained MCL)
Date/Time: Saturday, 7 pm ET
Venue: Maryland Soccerplex Stadium, Boyds, Maryland
TV: NWSL Soccer YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/NWSLsoccer