The Washington Spirit will make its debut in the National Women’s Soccer League with an April 14 match at Boston, then host Abby Wambach and the Western New York Flash six days later at Maryland SoccerPlex.
The eight-team NWSL is the third attempt to sustain U.S. women’s pro soccer in the wake of failures by the WUSA (2001-03) and WPS (2009-11).
In a schedule issued Tuesday by the U.S. Soccer Federation, which administers the league, the Spirit will play four of its first five matches at Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County. Each club has 22 regular season games, concluding in mid-August.
The Spirit and United (RFK Stadium) have overlapping home matches at the same time on June 15 and July 27. They both play at Chicago on July 20 — 23 miles and 90 minutes apart.
The Spirit’s complete schedule is available here.
Among the league’s most popular players, Alex Morgan (Portland Thorns) will visit the Washington area on May 4; Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign) are here Aug. 10; and Wambach with Carli Lloyd (Western New York) will appear at the SoccerPlex on April 20 and June 15.
Wambach played for the Washington Freedom in the WUSA and WPS.
Other NWSL home venues:
Boston Breakers: Dilboy Stadium in Somerville, Mass.
Chicago Red Stars: Benedictine University in Lisle, Ill.
FC Kansas City: Shawnee Mission District Stadium in Overland Park, Kan.
Portland Thorns: Jeld-Wen Field
Seattle Reign: Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash.
SkyBlue FC: Yurcak Field at Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J.
Western New York Flash: Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y.