|Full name||Washington Spirit|
|Head Coach||Jim Gabarra|
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
The Washington Spirit is an American professional soccer club based in Germantown, Maryland that participates in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL). It is a continuation of the D.C. United Women of the W-League and continues to field both an amateur WPSL team and a youth team, both under the Spirit name.
The foundation of the National Women's Soccer League was announced on November 21, 2012, with Washington selected as a host for one of the eight teams selected for the inaugural season. In December 2012, the team's name was announced as the Washington Spirit. D.C. United Women head coach Mike Jorden was kept on as well as assistant coach Cindi Harkes. Harkes is the wife of former U.S. international and D.C. United star John Harkes.
On January 11, 2013 as part of the NWSL Player Allocation, goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (USA), defender Ali Krieger (USA), midfielder Lori Lindsey (USA), defender Robyn Gayle (CAN), midfielder Diana Matheson (CAN), defender Alina Garciamendez (MEX) and midfielder Teresa Worbis (MEX) were named to the team. During the February 7, 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft, the team selected Stephanie Ochs, Tori Huster, Jordan Angeli, Natasha Kai, Megan Mischler and Heather Cooke.
The inaugural season saw the Spirit stumble out of the gate under Mike Jorden, who was fired after the first eleven games having won only once in that time. Jorden was replaced by Mark Parsons, who finished the season in 8th (last) place registering only 2 more wins over the season.
After a poor inaugural season, the Spirit would much improve in the 2014 making some key acquisitions including Jodie Taylor and Christine Nairn, both who would finish as the team's tops scorers with 11 and 8 goals, respectively. Finishing 4th, the Spirit made their first NWSL Playoff appearance. They would lose at Seattle Reign.
The Spirit finished the 2015 season with a record of 8-6-6 and repeating their 4th place league position. The playoff result, again, ended in an away loss to Seattle in the semifinals. The season would be the breakout year for Crystal Dunn who was awarded the 2015 NWSL Golden Boot Award, scoring 15 goals during the campaign. At the conclusion of the season, Mark Parsons stepped down as head coach and general manager to take over as coach of the Portland Thorns.
The Spirit would see their most successful season to date in 2016, being league leaders in the standings throughout most of the season. Only in the final week would the Spirit's loss finalize them as league runners-up. Earning their first post-season victory against Chicago Red Stars, the Spirit would lose the 2016 NSWL Final in penalties to Western New York Flash
In the aftermath of finishing 2016 runners-up, the Spirit saw a series of key departures including captain Ali Krieger (traded to Orlando Pride), Christine Nairn and Diana Matheson (both traded to Seattle Reign), and Crystal Dunn leaving for Chelsea, while retaining her contracting rights. Unable to adequately replace these players, the Spirit struggled to compete throughout the 2017 season ultimately finishing last (10th) for the first time since the inaugural season. However, building for the future, Gabarra was able to recruit U.S. national team prospect, Mallory Pugh midseason. Pugh would go on to lead the team in scoring, registering 6 goals in 16 games.
Colors and badge
In January 2013, the team unveiled its new colors and badge. The badge was designed to resemble a torch reflecting the notion of "Burning with Spirit." It also contains a crown that holds 11 stars to represent the 11 players on the field and a ball with a single star to represent the 12th player (the team's fans) placed where the fuel for the torch would be representing how the fans "fuel the spirit." All of the components of the badge are "wrapped in the Banner of Spirit for a patriotic theme honoring our flag and all of those who have given their lives and sacrificed much so we can enjoy the freedoms we have."
The logo was designed by freelance designer, Pete Schwadel and incorporates the team colors of navy, red, and white further reinforcing the patriotic theme woven throughout the team's history. It also features both "Washington" and "DC" to represent the team's connection with the District and the greater Washington metropolitan area.
The Maryland SoccerPlex, located in Germantown, Maryland, has been home to the Washington Spirit since the inaugural 2013 season. The Spirit play their home games at the main stadium, named Maureen Hendricks Field in June 2013 in honor of Hendricks’ role in the development of women’s professional soccer and the SoccerPlex facitlity. The facility is also home to the Washington Spirit Reserves in the WPSL.
The stadium features seating for 4,000, including the general admission lawn, with corresponding restroom facilities, formal press box, and box office. The grass playing field measures 115 x 75 yards.
The stadium has previously hosted a US Olympic qualifier, MLS Open Cup matches, a CONCACAF Champions League match, the ACC Men's Soccer Championships, USL and W League matches, training sessions for Argentina's Boca Juniors and the New Zealand National team. The US Youth Soccer National Championships were also held at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Spirit Squadron is the name of the supporter's group for the Spirit. The group was started by three friends – Ashley Nichols, Megan Wesson and Tory Johnson. Of the group's founding, Nichols said, "... with a new league we needed to show the team as much support as possible because we really want a women's pro league to stay here in the United States. So between that and wanting to also provide a fun experience for fans, we decided to create the Spirit Squadron." 
As of April 2017, Washington Spirit games are streamed exclusively by Go90 for American audiences and via the NWSL website for international viewers. For the 2017 season, the Spirit will be featured in three nationally-televised Lifetime NWSL Game of the Week broadcasts on April 22, June 17, and August 19, 2017.
Players and Staff
Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of January 23, 2018.
|General Manager||Jim Gabarra|
|Head Coach||Jim Gabarra|
|First Assistant Coach||Briana Scurry|
|Assistant Coach||Tom Torres|
|Goalkeeper Coach||Jack Stefanowski|
|Director of Sports Science||Kevin Boyle|
|Assistant Coach||Kati Jo Spisak|
|Athetic Trainer||Pierre Soubrier|
- As of October 1, 2017
|Mike Jorden||April 6, 2012–July 1, 2013||11||1||3||7||9.1%||First head coach|
|Mark Parsons||July 1, 2013–September 30, 2015||57||20||13||24||35.1%|||
|Jim Gabarra||October 14, 2015–present||44||17||7||20||38.6%|||
|Year||League||Regular Season||P||W||D||L||Pts||Playoffs||Top Scorer||Avg. Attendance|
|2013||NWSL||8th Place||22||3||5||14||14||Did not qualify||Diana Matheson (8)||3,620|
|2014||NWSL||4th Place||24||10||5||9||35||Semi-Finals||Jodie Taylor (11)||3,335|
|2015||NWSL||4th Place||20||8||6||6||30||Semi-Finals||Crystal Dunn (15)||4,087|
|2016||NWSL||2nd Place||20||12||3||5||39||Final||Estefanía Banini (5)||3,782|
|2017||NWSL||10th Place||24||5||4||15||19||Did not qualify||Mallory Pugh (6)||3,491|
- D.C. United Women
- List of top-division football clubs in CONCACAF countries
- List of professional sports teams in the United States and Canada
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