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What They’re Saying After the Spirit’s NINTH Win of the Season

With a 1-0 win against the Utah Royals, the Spirit became just the third team in NWSL history to win at least nine of its first 12 matches of the season. After the match, interim head coach Adrián González, goal-scorer Kate Wiesner, and forward Brittany Ratcliffe spoke with the media.


Adrián González


On the team’s performance:

“We know that today would be a hard game. That didn’t surprise me because after the FIFA break with a lot of players on the national team. We know  that it was a lot for them with traveling, new information, and we couldn’t train together – we had to fly. We didn’t have that time to recover. We know that after the national team it’s quite difficult, to be honest, to get connected again. It was pretty warm today. We are trying to get all of the players involved because I’ve told them before we need 22 players if we want to keep competing and sometimes, we need to make rotations. The players are sometimes not always one hundred percent ready to compete. We need to be careful. We need to also think about their safety. I’m happy to have different options because we are now a team that can create different lineups, different formations and different ways to attack and defend. We need to keep competing like this.”


On Croix Bethune being on the bench:

“She’s been training and playing a lot. Also, with the national team she had a small injury in her knee. Nothing big, but she couldn’t train one hundred percent during the week, and she wasn’t ready to play a lot of minutes. So, that’s why we decided to give her some rest. She could help us in the second half. We have other players that are competing very good and training good, and we need to think as a team. I’m happy that we have different options because sometimes we need to change some players, and the team is competing very well.”


On the defense’s performance:

“I think we are creating a lot of chances and scoring a lot of goals. Now the numbers are there. We are one of the best teams in the league in terms of creating chances and scoring goals, but at the same time we are also conceding a lot of goals. It’s something we knew that we had to improve, and today, we had that message in our mind. I’m very happy because we cannot concede one or two goals every game. Defending like this and avoiding goals allows us to have more chances to win because every game we’ve created chances. If we continue like this, I think we are going to have more chances to get three points. I’m very happy with the whole team, how we defended today, and I think that we are improving in terms of defending.”


On Ashley Hatch being in a new position:

“She’s a player is adapting to whatever the team needs. I’m so grateful because she’s thinking about the team. Today, we needed her there because Croix (Bethune) couldn’t play a lot of minutes. Hatchy (Ashley Hatch) is doing good. Here at (Hatch’s) home(town), I think it was important for her to start. She understood very well what we wanted, and she had chances to score, and she helped us a lot. I am happy with her performance.”


On short corners:

“We knew that we could create numbers there – 2-v-1 or 3-v-2. We had in mind to finish the situation, putting balls into the box because we had an advantage there. Sometimes when the team is standing still, it’s more difficult to attack those situations. That’s why sometimes we want to move them a little bit with two, three passes, short passes, then we put the ball in, and we can surprise them much more. Today, we had those situations. We also had players that associated very good when they play those short passes, and that’s another type of corner. As many options we have, much better.


On if the plan was always to put Croix Bethune in the second half or if she was used as a sparkplug:

“I didn’t expect anything. I just knew that today would be difficult, and I wasn’t wrong. It’s not easy to score goals, especially away. They needed to win. I would like to give her more rest today because maybe this score would be different. We also had other players ready to play. You never know. You cannot control that. I think putting her in the second half, we could have had more control, especially with the ball, with her and Courtney (Brown) in the middle. She helped us with those situations, and we could create more chances. That’s why we need to adapt to what is happening in that moment during the game.


On Trinity Rodman’s hard fouls and if she’s injured:

“I haven’t talked with her, but I don’t think it’s anything big. I think she’s fatigued. These players are working hard and playing a lot of minutes. They’re also with the national team two games in one week and traveling. It’s not easy. Sometimes we think that they complain, but they’re human beings, and we also need to protect them. Trin (Trinity Rodman), I felt like today she was pretty tired during the second half. The weather was pretty warm. She’s a fighter, and I know she always wants to play, but we also need to recognize when a player needs to rest. We have other options and other players who are ready to compete and play very well. Thinking as a team we need to have opportunities to bring in other players because that’s also positive for the team.”



Kate Wiesner & Brittany Ratcliffe


On her first pro goal:

Kate: “It was a very special feeling to get my first pro goal. That’s always an exciting thing. We said before the game we wanted to score on a set piece, so pretty stoked about that, too. Just lucky on a bounce, to be honest, had an opening and took it. No feeling like seeing the ball hit the back of the net for the first time.


On what is responsible for the team’s start and ability win in different ways:

Brittany: “I think it comes down to a belief in ourselves, and also team chemistry and never being satisfied. I think every day we try to get one percent better, whether it is practice or a game, we are always looking to improve. I think that shows in our performances. We are always looking for little ways to improve. If we are not good at something, it’s like, ‘How can we improve for the next game?’ If we are good at something, ‘How can we continue to improve on that?’ It’s a constant evolution, and I feel like we’re never satisfied. There’s no finish line for us: Just constantly trying to get better.


On coming back to Utah:

Brittany: “It was great! It was funny, I walked on the field before the game, and I was like, ‘Oh wow, it seems like just yesterday.’ It’s a good city. The fans are great. Obviously, I was here for a few years. It’s always good to come back to a place you used to play at. It’s even better to get a win here with the Spirit. It’s the best of both worlds. I got to see some old friends, some old fans, and got the three points. It was a good trip overall.”


On tips for younger players playing in altitude:

Brittany: “Try not to think about it. Just kidding. It’s tough because you can give all the scientific tips and whatever that is, but I think at the end of the day, you have to battle. It’s a hard place to play at altitude, especially at a 5:30 p.m. game. The sun was out. I think I got sunburned. It was a warm game, but at the end of the day, you’re going to play in hot climates, cold climates, humidity, altitude, but you have to grind and find a way to win. We did that, and I’m really proud of us. In terms of advice, you just got to get through it, get through the 90 minutes.


On Kate Wiesner’s first call up to USWNT:

Kate: “If you asked me a year ago, if I would be in this spot, I would’ve said, ‘No.’ I feel really lucky to have been drafted by the Spirit and to be in an environment – like Brittany was talking about earlier – where there is such a drive to get better every day. Even in just the few months that myself and the other rookies have been there, we’ve seen tremendous growth. So, that’s been really, really cool to be a part of. I feel pretty blessed to be in that environment. I’m really looking forward to what the future holds for this group.”



On Brittany Ratcliffe’s connection with Croix Bethune:

Brittany: “I feel like, and I’ve said this in a press conference before, Croix is such a good player. She brings out the best in all of us. Obviously, we are all good players here, but in terms of that particular moment, I feel like she always finds a way to get open. Then when she does has the ball she always finds these small, slip passes. She’s really good at it. Her vision is really good. I think she has a great connection with everyone on the field. I wouldn’t even say it’s just me. She’s just such a good player. Similar to Kate, Croix, and all our young players, the growth from Day One until now, and even six games from now, it’s going to be even more. It’s great to see each game, everyone getting better and everyone getting more comfortable with each other.


The post What They’re Saying After the Spirit’s NINTH Win of the Season appeared first on Washington Spirit.

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