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The battle for challenger continues as Thorns-Spirit result proves inconclusive

Rob Gray/ISI Photos

Throughout the 2020 National Women’s Soccer League Challenge Cup, teams have rolled out a variety of approaches which indicate different expectations for the tournament. The North Carolina Courage expect to roll through it, teams like Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash would like to prove themselves to the rest of the league, and the Chicago Red Stars in particular are pushing back on any expectations at all.

The Portland Thorns and the Washington Spirit, who drew 1-1 on Sunday evening, have been a little bit more combined with their approach. The Thorns have some exciting youth pieces, like No. 2 draft pick and striker Morgan Weaver, that they’d like to integrate into their system this month. The Spirit likewise have a new face in Ashley Sanchez, the fourth overall pick this year. Both teams would likely consider themselves to be works in progress.

But each team would also kind of like to win now, and their match on Sunday night showed both the strengths and weaknesses of that approach.

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