Leading the Charge
Forward Chioma Ubogagu scored her fourth goal of 2019 in Chicago on Wednesday, now sitting tied for the team lead with Marta. Ubogagu also sits tied for the team lead in assists with midfielder Joanna Boyles with two after recording an assist on Hill’s finish in the 33rd minute of Wednesday’s match. The finish served as her 12th as a member of the Pride and the 13th of her NWSL career, trailing only forwards Alex Morgan and Marta in goals scored in Club history.
Over the Hill
Rachel Hill scored her second goal of the season on Wednesday in Chicago, getting her head on the end of a lofted ball into the box from Chioma Ubogagu. Hill now has nine finishes to her name in her NWSL career and trails only Marta and Ubogagu on the team in goals scored this season. In her near three seasons with the Pride, she has 53 matches across all competitions.
No More Missing Marty
After serving a red card suspension, Marta is expected to be back in the mix for the Pride against Washington on Saturday. The Brazlian international has scored six times against the Spirit in her NWSL career, the most by any Pride player against a single opponent. In their last match, she found the back of the net in 48th and 78th minutes respectively, with the latter serving as the eventual game-winner for the Pride.
Her Favorite Foe
The return of Marta could provide a big boost for the Pride’s offensive attack, as Marta has historically had impressive outings against the Spirit. Marta leads the Pride in all-time goals against the Spirit with six goals scored in six career games against the Boyds, Md.-based team. No other Pride player has scored multiple goals against Washington, with eight players with one goal in the all-time series.
Last Time Against the Spirit…
In their last match against Washington, the Pride earned a 4-3 victory at Exploria Stadium on July 6 over Saturday’s opposition. Marta recorded a brace in that match, with Wednesday’s goal scorers in Rachel Hill and Chioma Ubogagu each finding the back of the net as well. With that victory, the Pride now sit unbeaten against the Spirit in their last three matches against them dating back to the beginning of the 2018 season.
The last time the Pride visited the nation’s capital came in a 1-0 victory on June 23 of last season. The game-winner in that match came from a midfield strike from off the foot of defender Alanna Kennedy. Kennedy’s finish received numerous attention across the sporting landscape, being featured as the No. 5 play on Sportscenter’s Top 10 plays the next day. The finish served as the first against the Spirit in her career and her seventh in NWSL.
A Trip to the City
Saturday’s match will mark the second-ever NWSL match to be played at Audi Field, home of the Major League Soccer’s D.C. United. The Spirit moved two matches to the newly-built stadium following the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, with over 15,000 fans expected to attend the historic match. Washington will also play at Audi Field on September 14, and previously played at the venue in 2018 against Portland.