The Eastern division matchup between the Washington Spirit and Racing Louisville will be streamed live on Paramount+ in the USA and on Twitch internationally. This will be the first time in NWSL history that these two sides face-off, as Racing Louisville joined as an expansion team this season.
Washington Spirit vs. Racing Louisville preview
The Spirit head into the second game of their 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup campaign, looking to avenge a well-fought 3-2 loss against the North Carolina Courage on Saturday.
The Spirit got off to a dream start at WakeMed Soccer Park, with forward Kumi Yokoyama burying a shot from the top of the 18-yard-box in the opening five minutes of the game. But forwards Kristen Hamilton and Jessica McDonald each scored a goal to give North Carolina the lead before halftime.
The Courage extended their lead with an exquisite Merritt Mathias chip early in the second half. In the 60th minute, rookie Trinity Rodman scored her first-career NWSL goal in her debut match to give the spirit hope for a late-game comeback. However, North Carolina's compact defense in the last 30 minutes of the game sealed the win.
Head Coach Richie Burke's Spirit were dominant in possession, holding the ball for 57% of the game. Moreover, the Spirit completed 80% of their passing, compared to North Carolina's 73%. The statistics in the shooting department were almost identical, with the Courage shooting 16 times – seven on target – and the Spirit 17 times – six – on target. All in all, Washington will look to replicate Saturday's performance, but be more effective in front of goal.
On the other side of the coin, Racing Louisville made their league debut on a rainy but memorable Saturday evening against the Orlando Pride at Lynn Family Stadium.
The match ended in a 2-2 draw, with former Spirit player Brooke Hendrix scoring an equalizer in added time to help Louisville to their first-ever NWSL point. The goal canceled out forward Abi Kim's 88th-minute goal. Also, forward Cece Kizer will go down in the history books as Racing Louisville's first goalscorer.
LATE DRAMA!— CBS Sports Soccer (@CBSSportsSoccer) April 11, 2021
Brooke Hendrix makes it 2-2 pic.twitter.com/5O786baeD0
Louisville will test their luck in its first away game against the Spirit on Wednesday. NWSL veterans Yuki Nagasato, Savannah McCaskill and captain Michelle Betos will lead the team and look to be as electric as they were against the Pride. Rookie and No. 1 overall draft pick Emily Fox and Hendrix will lead the team from the backline.
How to watch the Washington Spirit vs. Racing Louisville
Washington Spirit vs Racing Louisville FC Broadcast Information
Stadium: Audi Field (Washington, District of Columbia)