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Spirit hope Sonnett, O’Hara bring tactical flexibility that puts them over the top

Photo copyright by Valerie Terranova/Equalizer Soccer.

The Washington Spirit want to be regular championship contender heading into their third season under the direction of head coach Richie Burke. Two offseason United States women’s national team acquisitions may give the club the flexibility it needs to make that leap.

In the trades for defenders Emily Sonnett from the Orlando Pride, and Kelley O’Hara from the Utah Royals (since replaced by a Kansas City franchise), the Spirit gained versatility heading into the 2021 season.

“It gives us the tactical flexibility to play a couple of different systems,” Burke said of acquiring Sonnett. “She forces other players on our team to be better, that’s a big statement.”

With a young midfield and attack, including the talents of 2020 standout Ashely Sanchez and leading goal scorer Ashley Hatch, Washington still needs consistency in performance after a disjointed league-wide schedule last year.

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