Editor's note: promoted to the FrontPage.
Just a few days after defeating the Washington Spirit 3-1, the Reign face off against the Houston Dash (sister team to the Houston Dynamo) at 4:00pm PDT Sunday at Seattle Center’s Memorial Stadium.
Two games into the season, the Reign currently sit comfortably at the top of the NWSL table with a +5 goal differential and six points, two points ahead of Cascadian rival Portland Thorns (sister team to the Portland Timbers) who they will face for the first time this season on May 10 in Portland.
Despite pretty wet and chilly weather and it being a mid-week evening game, 1,754 supporters, including Sounders Kenny Cooper, DeAndre Yedlin, Dylan Remick and Seahawk Kam Chancellor, showed up for the Reign’s match against the Spirit at Memorial Wednesday night. The Reign's three goals didn't come from forwards Sydney Leroux, Megan Rapinoe, Bev Goebel, or Nahomi Kawasumi this match. Instead, defender Kendall Fletcher and midfielders Keelin Winters and Jess Fishlock stepped up for the squad demonstrating the team's impressive depth and breadth of talent. With six goals from five different players in their first two games of the season, the Reign are quickly establishing themselves as the team to beat and Seattle soccer fans are definitely in for a special treat this year (get your tickets!).
Next up at home: Houston Dash
The Dash, led by former Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum along with Managing Director and retired Dynamo striker Brian Ching, currently rank fifth in the league with three points after their 3-2 win over the Boston Breakers and 0-1 home-opener loss to Portland in front of 8,097 fans at BBVA Compass Stadium. Former Reign FC player and 2011 Hermann Trophy winner Teresa Noyola leads scoring for the Dash with two goals. She was named NWSL Player of the Week for Week 2 after entering the match against Boston in the 76th minute and scoring two goals, including a penalty kick.
The Dash have been plagued by injuries to a few key players early in the season. Their number 1 draft pick and forward, Kealia Ohai, is out indefinitely with an ankle injury and midfielder Brittany Bock suffered a season-ending ACL injury. It will be up to the the team’s other offensive players which include former UW and Sounders Women alum Lindsay Elston to get past the Reign’s solid defense and world-class goalkeeper, Hope Solo.
After Sunday’s match, the Reign head to the east coast for their first away match of the season against Sky Blue FC. The game will take place at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, New Jersey on Wednesday, April 30 at 4:00pm PDT / 7:00pm EDT. Watch it live in HD via the league’s YouTube channel.