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Seattle Reign Players Sound Off On Playing On 'Unacceptable' Field

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You already know the story. Reign FC lost to Western New York Flash 3-2 but what everyone is talking about is the shrunken field they played on. Now, the players for Reign FC are dropping in their thoughts post-match. Of course during the match, we saw Megan Rapinoe comment on it.

First and certainly not one short of words was our dragon, Jess Fishlock.

Soon after Fishlock’s tweets, captain Keelin Winters chimed in. Her addition of talking about a player’s union being overdue is something that’s been talked about (notably on 2 Drunk Fans’ episode with Ella Masar). Is it possible that this match is the genesis of players in the NWSL uniting and establishing a player’s union soon?

Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer started the match but left because of what looked to be a scary ankle injury. No word yet on the severity of her injury, but an argument can be made that because of the narrow field, you have that throw-in (see GIF below) going so deep into the box and thus Kopmeyer has to come out to try and defend it.

It’s a complete "what if" in that maybe the injury still happens and we can only just play that "what if" game if they were playing on a regular field. All we know is what happened: Kopmeyer went out to defend the throw-in but came into contact with Jess Fishlock and went down. Complete freak accident. Still, Kopmeyer chimed in about the field.

Defender Rachel Corsie also had something to say.

As did midfielder Michelle Cruz.

Forward Beverly Yanez retweeted Corsie’s, but think about it — when Beverly Yanez is mad, you know you did something wrong.

The reactions so far from the Reign organization weren’t just limited to the players. At the time of this post we have yet to hear from head coach/general manager Laura Harvey but youth academy coach Tracey Kevins had something to say.

Typically in sports when players and/or coaches criticize league officials, referees or management, they get fined. Certainly the NWSL is no exception to this, but the volume in which not just Reign FC players but players across the league have taken to social media to blast the league and its commissioner Jeff Plush is something you don’t see often in sports.

Over the course of the match and since then, the league has been roasted on social media and certainly fining the players for voicing their opinions would only make them look worse. Time will tell what ramifications if any come from this.

NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush released a statement regarding tonight’s match:

"Earlier this evening, the Western New York Flash hosted a home match at a different venue due to Rhinos Stadium not being available.

The field dimensions were not up to our standards, but due to various factors, the league office made the decision to grant an exception for this evening’s match. In retrospect, we made the wrong decision.

As a professional league, we need to ensure that the integrity of the game is always respected both on and off the field. We did not do that tonight and we apologize to the NWSL players, coaches and fans.

In the future, we will ensure that every NWSL match meets our standards."

Some Reign players have already reacted to the league’s statement.

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