The Washington Spirit has lost five straight matches and has not scored in more than 7 1/2 hours of soccer. It has been outscored 13-0 during this wretched stretch. It has yet to win at Maryland SoccerPlex, where healthy attendance has masked the organization’s failures. The only victory came against another one-win team (Seattle).
The latest setback was a 4-0 embarrassment against the Western New York Flash on Friday night at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester, N.Y. Carli Lloyd recorded a hat trick in 55 minutes and, although she didn’t score, international record-holder Abby Wambach played an integral part in three of the four goals.
The Spirit (1-7-3) was at a decided disadvantage when the NWSL’s inaugural season began: While other clubs were allocated premier attacking players — Wambach and Lloyd for the Flash, Alex Morgan and Christine Sinclair in Portland, Sydney Leroux and Heather O’Reilly in Boston, Lauren Cheney in Kansas City — Washington received support personnel from the U.S. national team pool (Ali Krieger, Lori Lindsey, Ashlyn Harris) and needed to build the attack around Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson.
The forward corps assembled by Washington management was young and inexperienced until German veteran Conny Pohlers arrived two weeks ago.
Matheson has proven to be the club’s most influential player, scoring four of the nine goals, but an ankle injury has sidelined her for the past two matches, leaving Pohlers marooned on the frontline. Meantime, the defense, under constant duress, has suffered repeated breakdowns.
The frustration is spilling over.
Here’s Harris talking to Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reporter Jeff DiVeronica:
The Spirit will host FC Kansas City on Wednesday night before visiting Sky Blue FC next Saturday.