Angel City FC looks to rebound versus Washington Spirit

As an expansion team, there is always a week of firsts, whether good or bad.

For Angel City FC this week, it will attempt to avoid losing consecutive games as it visits the Washington Spirit (Paramount +, 2 p.m.).

Angel City followed up its season-opening win over North Carolina with a 1-0 disappointing loss to the Orlando Pride.

“We did things really well, especially in the first half,” Angel City coach Freya Coombe said. “We are really hard to beat defensively, as we put teams like North Carolina under a lot of pressure and we were good on the ball and created good attacking chances that we took.”

“I think the hardest thing for teams that are so new is the consistency. We build towards that so we are not fluctuating each week, becoming more consistent in that area.”

Orlando scored in the third minute last week, and even though Angel City pressed and chased the game, an equalizing goal was never scored.

The Spirit opened the regular season May 1 with a 2-1 win over OL Reign. Six days later, they met again in the Challenge Cup finale with OL Reign winning 2-1.

Angel City’s defensive workrate will be certainly be challenged by the Southern California duo of Ashley Sanchez (Pasadena/UCLA) and Trinity Rodman (Newport Beach). Throw in Ashley Hatch and the Spirit’s attacking group is definitely one of the best in the league.

Angel City goalkeeper DiDi Haračić has allowed just two goals on five shots on goal through two games.

“I wouldn’t say they are highs and lows,” Haračić said. “I would say they’re character builders. I would rather go through adversity with the club than let it click right away because I think that’s what builds people.

“We’re all here for a reason. We thrive off pressure, and that’s part of the job. We have the opportunity to do something that’s potentially never been done. We’re all here, and we know what to expect. It’s just a matter of meshing well together.”

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The Angel City backline has undergone a makeover. Sarah Gorden, who was acquired in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars, has been sidelined with a knee injury and Megan Reid, a late acquisition, has settled into one of the center back spots.

“The connection just happens naturally,” Haračić said. “We’ve all clicked. I’m not worried at all. We know it’s not going to be pretty right away, but that’s also the beauty of it when you see where we go from month one to month 10. I’m excited.”

Angel City FC at Washington Spirit

When: 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Audi Field, Washington, D.C.

TV/Livestream: Paramount +