Washington Spirit head coach Kris Ward fired

LEESBURG, VA – JUNE 17: Head coach Kris Ward of Washington Spirit reacts during the first half against Racing Louisville FC at Segra Field on June 17, 2022 in Leesburg, Virginia. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

With six games remaining in the National Women’s Soccer League’s season, the Washington Spirit fired head coach Kris Ward Monday afternoon.

His removal comes as Washington sits in 11th place in the standings and is on a 15-game winless streak in league play. The Spirit (1-6-9, 12 points) has six games remaining and are 7 points outside sixth place for the final playoff spot.

The club announced Ward’s release on Twitter and has not commented further.

Ward, 42, took over coaching duties following the removal of manager Richie Burke in September of 2021 for violating the league’s anti-harassment policy.

As interim coach, Ward led the Spirit to a nine-game unbeaten streak, ending with the franchise winning its first NWSL Championship. A month later, Washington hired Ward as its full-time head coach.



Multiple outlets report that assistant coach Angela Salem will run the training sessions, and Washington plans to hire an interim coach soon. However, it is unclear if the new hire will be made before the Spirit’s away match against Houston on Saturday.

Washington recently hired Mark Krikorian, who coached Florida State’s women’s soccer program for 17 years, as its general manager. However, multiple reports suggest that he is not in the running for the coaching role. Lee Nguyen, an assistant coach during the Spirit’s championship run, left D.C. in early August to resume his playing career.

Jose Umana

José Umaña is a digital editor for WTOP. He’s been working as a journalist for almost a decade, covering local news, education and sports. His work has appeared in The Prince George’s Sentinel, The Montgomery Sentinel, Orlando Sentinel, PressBox and The Diamondback.

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