I caught up with Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey after today’s training session before the team heads to Houston, Texas, for their regular season finale. Reign FC still have a chance at the NWSL Playoffs — they need the Boston Breakers to beat Western New York Flash on Saturday night and they have to beat the Houston Dash on Sunday night.
It might be unusual for Reign FC to be just like all of us and do some scoreboard watching to see if they still have a chance at post-season play, but it is what it is. That said, the last time Reign FC were in Houston, yeah it went pretty well.
Wales international Jess Fishlock was not at training as she wrapped up her national team duties this week, playing in their final Euro 2017 Qualifying group stage matches. She is already in Houston, waiting for the rest of the team to arrive.
Helllllllo Houston ... please please please don't be too hot ... Feels good to be back on US Soil. Roll on Sunday— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) September 23, 2016
Here’s what Laura Harvey had to say about the match.
On state of team going into final regular season match:
It’s been good. We’ve had a really good week. We had a discussion on Sunday about what we wanted next Sunday to look like. There’s a collective agreement that no matter what happens on Saturday night, we want to put on a performance that we’re proud of and shows who we truly are. We did that against Washington here at home and we need to do that away, because that’s been one of our biggest issues this year, the performances away from home. So we need to turn that around if we are going into the playoffs because everything’s going to be away from home. And if it’s not that and it’s just to get a performance and a result away from home, to change that stat a little bit. I think we’re all fighting for that too.
On if there was a change in preparation for Houston knowing the team will be watching Boston/Western New York first to see if they still have a chance at the NWSL Playoffs:
No. The reality is we’re preparing for the game to win it. If things go our way on Saturday then it will be good preparation. If things don’t go our way on Saturday, it’s still good preparation because we’re going in it to win it. I don’t think this group will ever go into not trying to winning a game, so I think we’ve made sure that we’re prepared for trying to go Houston and win the game which for us is the only thing we can control.
On if there was any discussion to move Saturday’s Boston Breakers/Western New York Flash match to Sunday to go same time as Reign FC @ Houston Dash:
No. The league decided very early when the schedule was going to be and I don’t think there was ever a decision about putting the games at the same time.
On what Reign FC needs to do to limit Dash forward & golden boot co-leader Kealia Ohai*:
I think with Houston, you’ve got to try and get pressure on the ball very quickly. If you give them space to run with it, they’re dangerous. I think we’ve done a good job of that over the years and that’s why we’ve been pretty successful against them. And I think that’s going to be no different on Sunday night. It’s all about stopping, whether it be Kealia or anyone else getting any momentum and going forward quickly with the ball, because that’s when they’re most dangerous.
*Ohai is tied with Western New York Flash’s Lynn Williams with 10 goals entering the league’s final round of regular season matches.
Harvey also gave an update on defender Rachel Corsie who has been out since July with a left meniscus tear. She said Rachel was progressing well with rehab and that while she will travel with the team to Houston, it’s unlikely she will see the field this weekend. Harvey said if all goes well with Saturday’s training, she could be in the mix for the NWSL Playoffs if Reign get that fourth and final spot.
Reign FC take on Houston Dash at BBVA Compass Stadium, Sunday September 25 at 6:30 PM PDT. The match will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.