The news dominating the NWSL world for the last week was the fallout from the Western New York Flash’s decision to host the Seattle Reign on a crooked, tiny pitch squeezed into the outfield of a baseball field, so small that it needed the league to grant an exemption from its minimum field size standard, and evidently without adequate medical facilities to respond promptly to the ankle injury Reign keeper Haley Kopmeyer suffered during the match.
The decision prompted apologies from NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush and the Flash organization, and resulted in a fine for the team.
Now both teams are no doubt looking forward to turn their attention back to the game itself, a rematch in Seattle on the Reign’s reasonably sized Memorial Stadium pitch.
Kopmeyer is still out with her injury and Hope Solo is on national team duty, meaning Seattle will be starting amateur Andi Tostanoski, who subbed in for Kopemeyer in Rochester. Fellow amateur Abby Steele was called into the team to be Tostanosi’s backup. And despite hints that Megan Rapinoe might be available for one game before Olympic preparation, she’s been ruled out.
Otherwise the team is whole, including new signing Rumi Utsugi, whose debut goal was somewhat lost in last week’s field debacle. If they can overcome their inexperience in goal, the team has plenty of firepower to give New York some measure of revenge for their treatment (and loss) last weekend.