The Reign complete their long swing through the east coast today at 3:30 against the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex. The month of April was about as successful as it could get for the team. They won 4 of 4, gave up only one goal, and new Scottish signing Kim Little was voted NWSL player of the month. And the final win came in a monsoon, proving that Seattle can be competitive in any environment. Now they enter May hoping to not lose any momentum despite the impending loss of players to national team duty — particularly Nahomi Kawasumi, who'll be gone for much of the month playing for Japan in the Women's Asian Cup.
Washington is in third place in the table, but they have half as many points as Seattle — just one sign of how dominant the Reign have been. The teams met previously just a week and a half ago at Memorial and it was not much of a contest. Seattle outshot Washington 14-5, including 8-4 in a second half in which the Spirit were theoretically pressing for an equalizer.
Seattle will still be without Megan Rapinoe for a persistent foot injury she suffered in the first game of the season. Laura Harvey has stuck with the same starting lineup for three games in a row, but this is the fourth game in an 11 day stretch and she's been running the starters hard (often not subbing until the 80th minute or later), so we could see some rotation just for fitness reasons.
The Spirit are also mostly whole. Both #1 overall pick Crystal Dunn and ex-Reign Christine Nairn left the game early in Seattle due to injury, but Nairn is listed as probable and Dunn isn't even on the injury report for today. The game will likely come down to how well those two players can get through Seattle's defensive gauntlet and, at the other end, how well the Spirit's left defense can deal with Naho, who tore them up at Memorial