This afternoon the Reign return home to Memorial from their last trip outside the Pacific timezone and settle in for a match against the Houston Dash. The Dash were officially eliminated from playoff contention this weekend, though the expansion side hasn't really threatened the playoff redline all season. In the teams' previous matchups, Seattle delivered Houston's first loss of the season with a 2-0 home victory in April and then last week the Reign won pretty handily in Houston, finishing 4-1 thanks to a Kim Little brace and goals from Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux.
The game's counter-programmed against the MLS All Star game, so it might get a little less attention than it deserves. I could try to lure you with the fact that that other game is just an exhibition and this one has real meaning. But actually it doesn't really have any meaning, at least in the standings. The Reign are locked into the #1 spot and the Dash aren't going to finish more than a couple places away from their current 8th.
Instead Seattle will be focused on finishing the season strong, and healthy. The latter consideration probably encourages some squad rotation. In Seattle's weekend match against Kansas City, right back Elli Reed was given the full game off as was Keelin Winters (for yellow card reasons) and Naho Kawasumi and Kendall Fletcher came on as late subs. The Reign struggled a bit with a reserve-heavy lineup and went behind, but per usual came back to earn points.
In their final match against a bottom of the table team and at midweek, I wouldn't be surprised by even more rotation. So we could see some combination of Little or Leroux or Jess Fishlock start on the bench. There's the small matter of Little chasing the league scoring title. She's currently 2 goals ahead of KC's Amy Rodriguez with a game in hand and I'm sure Laura Harvey would prefer a fully rested and healthy Little for the playoffs than a golden boot, so it's probably not much of a factor.
Regardless, it's a perfect day to watch one of the best teams in the history of professional women's soccer in the United States impose themselves on a struggling side in front of their home fans.