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Woooooooooooooooooooooo! Playoffs at Memorial Stadium. Woooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Mike Russell

The second season has begun. After a regular season that blew the doors off NWSL, the Seattle Reign host their first ever playoff match against the Washington Spirit, televised on ESPN2. It's a matchup of rags-to-riches, as Seattle and Washington were the two worst teams in the league last season, but both have used canny offseason moves to become contenders. Seattle became contenders in a really big way, winning the NWSL Shield with weeks to go and generally being a juggernaut that didn't care who scored first in a match, because they would score last.

Tonight the team is healthy (except for Amanda Frisbie, who's missed the entire season) and well-rested (except for Jess Fishlock, who just flew back from London but it doesn't matter because she's a robot), so they should be in top form. That means a healthy dose of the best midfield in the league, fronted by Scottish wunderkind Kim Little (Please sign my petition to award her American citizenship). And the forward triumvirate of Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux and Nahomi Kawasumi, which is just ridiculous when you stop to think about it.

Washington has threats of their own, in Jodie Taylor and Diana Matheson and ex-Reign Christine Nairn and Ali Krieger. But they are underdogs. And if the Reign play to their ability and show the resilience they've shown all season, they should be able to book a date for the NWSL Final at Starfire next weekend.

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