Seattle’s push for a playoff spot begins in earnest tonight when they host the expansion Orlando Pride at Memorial at 7pm. Counting tonight, the Reign only have three more home matches remaining, and the other two are agains the top two teams in the standings: Portland and Washington. If Seattle is going to fight up from 7th place into a playoff position before the impending end of the season, this match is very close to a must-win.
The best news coming into the match is that Haley Kopmeyer is not on the injury report. The goalkeeper took what looked like a serious injury on the perverse field in Rochester and was in a boot in the days after the match, but evidently may be able to play tonight. That would be a boost for a team that was very tentative in defense with amateur player Andi Tostanosky deputizing last week.
Unfortunately it’s one step forward one step back as reliable central defender Rachel Corsie is now out with a meniscus tear.
Fortunately for Seattle, Alex Morgan is on national team duty, which removes Orlando’s most dangerous weapon. Instead they’ll rely on Jasmyne Spencer.
The Reign also have another week for Naho Kawasumi to settle in with the squad (though fellow new addition Rumi Utsugi is out on national team duty). All of that adds up to them being strong favorites for a match that they have to win to keep pace.