The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Washington Spirit to start 2024 season

Washington+Spirit+and+Portland+Thorns+set+up+a+throw+in+for+a+chance+to+score.+The+Spirit+welcomed+a+new+coach+and+new+management+this+season.+%28Courtesy+Ivanka+Weerasinghe%29
Washington Spirit and Portland Thorns set up a throw in for a chance to score. The Spirit welcomed a new coach and new management this season. (Courtesy Ivanka Weerasinghe)

With the sun shining and birds chirping it can only mean the start of spring sports season, specifically soccer. The NWSL, the national women’s soccer league, is a premier league full of players from around the world. The NWSL consists of Angel City (CA), Bay FC (CA), Chicago Red Stars (IL), Gotham FC (NY), Huston Dash (TX), KC Current (MO), NC Courage, Orlando Pride (FL), Portland Thorns (WA), Racing Louisville (KY) , Seattle (Ol) Regin (WA), Utah Royals (UT) and the DMV home team, Washington Spirit.

The Washington Spirit which was formerly the D.C. United Women was founded in November of 2012. Playing at Audi Field, The Spirit shares their home turf with men’s MLS (Major League Soccer) D.C. United. The Spirit has consisted of many USWNT (United States Women’s National Team) stars such as Ali Krieger, Kelly O’Hara, Emily Sonnet and recently Trinity Rodman, Aubrey Kingsbury, Ashley Sanchez and Andi Sullivan. The Spirit is to start with a new head coach Jonatan Giráldez Costas and new players Croix Bethune, Hal Hershfelt, Kate Weisner, Makenna Morris, Anna Podojil and Courtney Brown this season. The start of the season for The Spirit was Sunday, March 17 against Seattle Reign, which they lost 1-0.

“I’m excited for Washington Spirit versus Gotham FC because they were last year’s NWSL Champions,” junior Ivanka Weerasinghe said.

Costas finished his third season as coach of FC Barcelona Femení, who last year claimed the UEFA Champions League crown. After finishing the season with Barcelona, Costas is ready to take on the Spirit and lead them to win the championship, as he was hired due to former head coach Mark Parsons’ failure to bring The Spirit to the championships. Last year The Spirit went 7-6-9 and finished in eighth place last season.

Story continues below advertisement

“I think it’s exciting. The new head coach is going to bring a lot of technical ability since he was the former coach of the Barcelona team. I think he is going to bring the Spanish emphasis on technique, touches, and possession which will be interesting. It will be exciting to see the new utilization of the rookies this season.” senior Adena Nielsen said.

As well as under a new head coach The Spirit is also under new management. Michelle Kang, an entrepreneur and founder of health information technology company Cognosante, aims to push the boundaries of women’s professional soccer.

“Our Players are the best of the best on and off the field. They deserve nothing less than a club that sets and achieves the high standard benefitting these elite professional athletes. We dream big dreams here. Our ambition is to not only be the best women’s soccer team in the world but the best sports team, period,” Kang said to The Spirit’s social media team.

With the addition of Kang and the new management The Spirit also has Ashley Hatch under a new contract. Hatch’s contract was set to expire after the 2024 season. The club announced on March 5th of this year that Hatch will be under a new three-year contract until 2027.

Also, this season NWSL teams received new game kits partnering with Nike. The Spirit’s new “Blackout” veers away from the classic red, white and blue to mark the start of a new era under Michele Kang. The kit is inspired by the architecture that can be seen around D.C. Contrasting their “Blackout” kit the vibrant “Spotlight” kit is a bright neon yellow to represent the energy and spirit of the club and its fans.

The Spirit next play against Bay FC on Saturday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.

0
0
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Pitch
$775
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Walter Johnson High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Emma Matalia, Staff Writer
Senior Emma Matalia is excited to participate in her first year on the Pitch as a Staff Writer. In addition to writing for the Pitch, Emma enjoys spending time on the wrestling mat and catching up with her friends, and playing with her dog Scout.
Donate to The Pitch
$775
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Pitch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *