First-year Washington Spirit coach Richie Burke is passionate about bringing the team to new heights. But, earlier this month, he took NBC Sports Washington to watch another team he's passionate about: Liverpool.
The Liverpool native was named the Spirit's head coach earlier this year, after working in the DC United's system and a number of youth programs in the area.
"I actually love my team, I love the group, I love being at the training ground," Burke said.
"You show up on a daily basis with a smile on your face because you like the people that you're working with and the steps you've made so far."
Burke brings years of experience to the Washington Spirit. In addition to playing for American University, the Washington Diplomats and Washington Stars in the American Soccer League and the Washington Warthogs in the Continental Indoor Soccer League Burke also played professional soccer in England and Australia.
At the Utah Royals' home opener last Saturday Washington fell short 1-0, making their overall record 1-1. Utah Royals FC midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta scored the first goal of the season for Utah. In her NWSL debut, Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle missed her free kick in the 76th minute.
The Spirit are returning home to the Maryland SoccerPlex to host the Seattle Reign on Saturday 7:00 p.m.
With just a one point difference separating the teams, Washington and Seattle are both looking to secure three points. The Spirit are currently in 6th place on the NWSL ladder and the Reign is in 7th. Seattle's record is 0-2-1 after losing to the Chicago Red Stars.
Saturdays game will be action-packed as the Spirit will be celebrating the club's Star Wars Night! Fans who dress up as their favorite Star Wars characters will be entered into a contest to win a special prize from the Spirit.
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