An estimated 14.3 million US viewers of the Women’s World Cup match against Netherlands watched Rose Lavelle score a much-needed insurance goal in the 69th minute. Driving past a cautious line of Dutch defenders, Lavelle’s left-footed tally put the Americans up 2-0 and ultimately sealed their second straight title at the Women’s World Cup.
What Washingtonians may not know is that the 24-year-old midfielder will be returning to the DC area, where she plays for the Washington Spirit. While you’ll have to get in line to purchase a customized Spirit jersey, there are plenty of ways to watch Lavelle and her USWNT teammates locally.
Where can I watch the Lavelle and the Spirit play?
The Spirit are a National Women’s Soccer League based out of the Maryland SoccerPlex and play most of their home games at the arena in Boyds, Maryland. The club returns to action on July 20 against the Houston Dash.
If you still can’t get enough of the USWNT, the Spirit’s August 24th match against the Orlando Pride is another highlight of the team’s regular season schedule. The game, to be played at Audi Field, will have the Spirit facing off against a Pride team that sent Alex Morgan, Ashlyn Harris, and Ali Krieger to the Women’s World Cup.
For those who cannot make it out to a game, there are a number of local viewing options. In January, the Spirit inked a deal with Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington to broadcast at least 12 Spirit games across the Mid-Atlantic region. As part of a broadcast partnership announced by the NWSL earlier this month, ESPN 2 will nationally broadcast the Spirit’s September 25 game against the Houston Dash.
Viewers outside of the region can also stream the Spirit’s games online with Yahoo Sports.
What do I need to know about the Washington Spirit?
Once the national team wraps up its victory lap, many of its stars will likely return to their NWSL clubs. Since their inaugural match in 2013, the Washington Spirit has played host to a number of the current USWNT members, such as Crystal Dunn and Dumfries, Virginia-native Ali Krieger.
The Spirit currently sits fourth in the NWSL standings, with 18 points and a 5-3-3 record overall. Lavelle and USWNT teammate Mallory Pugh highlight a youthful Spirit roster that is aiming to bounce back after finishing second to last in the league last season. Though the Spirit do not have the benefit of the news coverage of local teams like the Washington Wizards or Capitals, communications coordinator Mason Cavalier says that the team has seen a spike in support since the start of the Women’s World Cup.
“Everybody in the front office was emotional. I had a coworker text me that, when Rose scored, she started crying,” Cavalier says. “It was incredible to see their success and then, of course, we love having these ‘good problems’ where people are excited and we’re selling a bunch of tickets.”
The Women’s World Cup has been a breakthrough moment for women’s soccer and Lavelle—but it doesn’t need to end here.
“The more eyes that we have on the great product that we’re putting on the field every week, the better,” Cavalier says. “The women should be watched—they’re the best at what they do in the world.”
You can see the Spirit’s schedule and purchase tickets at washingtonspirit.com