After falling to the North Carolina Courage by a 1-0 scoreline of their closing sport of the season, the Washington Spirit have formally missed the playoffs for the second yr in a row. They haven’t had a postseason run since they lifted the NWSL championship in 2021, and so they have solely received 10 regular-season video games in that stretch.
Heading into the regular-season finale, Washington was answerable for its future and would have made the playoffs with a win. But issues began wanting bleak early on, when Trinity Rodman was proven a purple card within the twenty third minute. Shortly after, North Carolina’s Tyler Lussi put the Courage on the board, and Washington by no means discovered the equalizer.
Without Rodman on the pitch, the Spirit’s assault struggled. That’s not shocking given how closely the Spirit’s system relied on Rodman this season. Their go-to ways concerned a lot of direct play, lengthy balls and nearly no progressive build-up. Many of these progressive passes had Rodman because the goal, and she or he made a team-leading 186 progressive receptions on the yr. When you additionally contemplate that Rodman averaged probably the most touches within the attacking third per 90 minutes of all Spirit gamers in 2023 and scored the second-most objectives, it’s apparent that the purple card eradicated a lot of Washington’s attacking technique.
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