Seattle takes the field tonight for their final home game of the regular season. With the Shield secured weeks ago, their focus will continue to be on staying healthy and in rhythm for the playoffs. Washington, on the other hand, is fighting to secure a playoff spot and hold off Portland for the #3 seed, which would let them play their semifinal in Kansas City rather than against the juggernaut that is the Reign.
In their previous match at midweek Seattle rested Megan Rapinoe and Sydney Leroux, but the offense didn't miss a step as they knocked around the Dash 4-1 — the third time in four games that the team scored at least 4 goals. Likely candidates for rest this game are the midfield duo of Jess Fishlock and Kim Little and forward Naho Kawasumi, who was the primary offensive force in the Houston game, earning two goals and an assist. But with Rapinoe and Leroux rested and Mariah Nogueira a strong backup in midfield, I wouldn't expect a dropoff even if there is rotation.
The Spirit will be relying heavily on a strong midfield built around ex-Reign player Christine Nairn and Canadian veteran Diana Matheson, who will set the table for leading scorer Jodie Taylor. But to get anything the Spirit will have to find a defensive solidity that's eluded them all season. Washington has somehow managed to work their way into 3rd place in the table despite giving up the second most goals in the league and having a negative goal differential. Another weak defense will be an enticing prospect for a Seattle offense that's been running over opponents over the last few weeks.
But regardless of the goal totals, the most important thing for Seattle here is for everyone to get out healthy.