Match Forecast: Reign FC looks to bounce back after tough road results
It’s an unfamiliar spot for Seattle Reign FC.
After only losing two regular season games all of last year, the team has lost back-to-back match ups for the first time since the end of the 2013 campaign.
Now, Seattle will try to end its brief skid as it returns home in a rematch of the NWSL Semifinals against the Washington Spirit on Saturday night.
The Spirit are riding a two game winning streak, with 3–1 wins in their home opener against FCKC on April 18, and at Sky Blue FC last Sunday, after a 2–0 road defeat against Houston to start the season.
World Cup Absences
Both sides will be feeling the affects of World Cup attrition, as U.S Women’s National Team members leave their respective teams in preparation of June’s tournament. Seattle will be without goalkeeper Hope Solo and forward Megan Rapinoe, while Washington goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris and defender Ali Krieger are also out of the lineup for Saturday.
Canadian midfielder Diana Matheson is also out for the Spirit as she recovers from a knee injury suffered last October with the hope of being ready for June.
Spirit Consistency & New Additions
Washington has strung together some continuity in its lineup, with returning midfielders Christine Nairn and Tori Huster, new additions Argentinian forward Estefania Banini, and defenders Katherine Reynolds and Megan Oyster starting all three games this season.
Forward Crystal Dunn and a pair of Mexican internationals in defender Arianna Romero — who was acquired in an offseason trade with Houston — and midfielder Veronica Perez, should also play a big role on Saturday.
Also joining the roster this season were Nigerian forward Francisca Ordega, midfielder Angela Salem — acquired with Reynolds in a trade with the Western New York Flash — and a trio of draft picks in UCLA defenders Oyster and Caprice Dydasco, and Penn State defender Whitney Church.
Last season, Seattle posted a 3–0–1 record against the Spirit.
Midfielders Jessica Fishlock and Keelin Winters, and defender Kendall Fletcher all scored in a 3–1 victory on April 23 in Seattle, with Fishlock scoring again in a 2–1 win on the road two weeks later.
The two sides played to a 1–1 draw on August 9, with Scottish international Kim Little scoring a goal off the bench.
In addition to Reign FC’s regular season success over the Spirit, the team also recorded a 2–1 win in the NWSL Semifinals on August 24. Goals from Little and forward Megan Rapinoe propelled Reign FC to the championship match.
To catch all the action as Reign FC takes on the Washington Spirit on Saturday, visitReignFC.com. If you can’t make it to the stadium, download the official, free Reign FC app to watch every match home and away live via YouTube on your iPhone.