This afternoon the Reign complete their season-opening three game homestand with their first ever match against the expansion Houston Dash. Seattle has impressed in their first two matches, to say the least. They've won 3-0 and 3-1 and in both cases it was more likely that they'd win by 5 than that they'd lose the lead. The new-look attacking force is creating plenty of chances.
What's even more impressive is that they've looked so offensively potent and they still don't have a goal from Sydney LeRoux, Bev Goebel, or Nahomi Kawasumi; and Megan Rapinoe has only been involved in 1 of the 6 goals. Goals from those players are going to come, and in bunches. But the attacking roster on the team is so deep that they can beat teams by multiple goals even without them scoring.
The Dash have looked solid so far for a team whose expansion draft and other offseason moves were largely panned. They lost their season opener to Portland 0-1 despite significantly outplaying the Thorns. And they beat Boston 3-2 on the road in their last game. Onetime Reign mainstay Teresa Noyola has become an important part of their offense in the attacking midfield, scoring 2 of those 3 goals. Their attack also features Eastlake High's Lindsay Elston, who previously played with the Sounders Women. It also might feature second overall pick Kealia Ohai, who's probable after missing time with injury.
For the Reign the main question is how to fit the four-headed hydra of LeRoux, Goebel, Kawasumi, and Rapinoe into three attacking spots in the lineup. They're in the second of a dense stretch of four games, so there will probably be some rotation. Rapinoe was on the bench in the last match with a minor injury, but every indication is she should be available to start today. Naho seems impossible to bench with the quality service she offers on the right. So assuming she's in good shape fitness-wise, I'd guess Bev might start on the bench in this one. The rest of the roster seems pretty well set.
A single point here puts Seattle back on top of the standings, though I'm sure they'd like to finish this opening stretch on a better note than that before heading out for two games on the east coast and then a tough game in Portland. As long as the defense holds up, that should be the expectation. The attacking quality should be more than enough to get at least a couple of goals on a young, thin Dash defense.