It’s that time of the year when we look back at the past and to the future of our team. Predicting next season still comes with analyzing last season. The Spirit are coming off a playoff season and looking to contend for next year’s championship.
The Spirit have great team chemistry and immense firepower in their star player Crystal Dunn. So what do the Spirit need to become a championship team?
A second top producer.
In 2015, Dunn shot the ball 84 times with 48 shots on target, and turned 15 of them into goals. She led the league in all three of those statistics. Sadly, a loss to Seattle brought her and her teammates one game shy of a title match.
In 2014, Amy Rodriguez led Kansas City to a trophy having shot the ball 71 times for 13 goals.
In 2013, Alex Morgan led the league with 82 shots and 8 goals when she helped Portland win a championship.
All three women have had similar single season success, but the difference between these women is not just their championship success, but Rodriguez and Morgan had teammates close behind them in production.
Rodriguez was joined on the leader-boards by Lauren Holiday while Christine Sinclair nearly matched Morgan’s numbers during their title year.
Fortunately for Washington, the player they’re looking for is already on the team. Christine Nairn joined Dunn in the league’s leaders in shots with 42 in the regular season. The year before she shot off 41. She has had plenty of opportunities, and with some improved accuracy, she could be Spirit’s second producer.
Of course, I’m not implying championships are based on who leads regular season stats. KC won its second title with production spread out across multiple players, but if the Spirit hope to lean on Dunn for production, they’ll need another to performer.