After going to Providence Park and taking the full three points against the Portland Thorns last weekend (good luck today, Sounders!), the Seattle Reign FC finally — FINALLY, after (as the Internet parlance goes) 84 years — had a home match. Reign FC hosted Sky Blue FC and, under the backdrop of celebrating midfielder Jess Fishlock’s 100th appearances for the club (achieved at the April 15 match at Sky Blue FC), put on a scoring display led by the return of Megan Rapinoe — walking away with a 4-1 victory.
The goals would come very quickly from kickoff as defender Stephanie Catley sent in a textbook cross into the box and, from a point-blank distance, Jodie Taylor headed the ball into the net to open the scoring in the 5th minute. It should be noted that this is the second instance where a Reign FC player scored a goal a few days after appearing on our podcast, “Coffee & Valkyries,” so you know, it’s pretty much science.
Seattle would double their lead in the 38th minute when Rapinoe collected the ball after Sky Blue’s Erica Skroski tried to clear out a cross from Stephanie Catley and shot from just outside the penalty half-circle, cool as a cucumber, and lofted the ball upper-right and past Sky Blue FC goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.
And because it’s Megan Rapinoe, she had a celebration planned, the “Dame Tu Cosita” dance from the El Chombo video.
Reign FC nearly closed out the first half that they dominated with a third goal after a cross by Rapinoe bounced around and off Sky Blue bodies and Jodie Taylor nearly poached it in, but right from the start, the 3,607 in attendance at Memorial Stadium were en route to seeing a Seattle Reign FC domination.
And while the visitors started the second half with a lot more urgency and had a bit more life in their attack, the evening belonged to Seattle. Reign FC would pick up a third goal in the 60th minute when Rapinoe went bottom right on Sky Blue’s goal to pick up her second goal of the evening and her fourth of the season.
Sky Blue FC would claim one back two minutes later as Savannah McCaskill received a pass from Carli Lloyd and put in a ball that could classify as a “shross” (shot + cross) that found the left side of Reign FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams’ net. It was the only blip by Seattle — a momentary lapse right after they had claimed a goal, which is certainly not ideal but can and should be cleaned up as the season goes on.
Seattle would get their fourth goal in the 84th minute when midfielder Rumi Utsugi sent a ball in the box that bounced off the post of Sky Blue’s goal and midfielder Allie Long nudged it in with her body.
On a night that celebrated a Reign FC Original’s milestone of longevity within the NWSL and loyalty to one club, Seattle delivered on what was virtually a second home opener. “I think our fans can start getting a little glimpse every game more and more what this team is all about and what we can do,” said Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski post-match about finally being able to have another match at Memorial Stadium.
It’s the continuous building and execution of Andonovski’s process that has Seattle currently second in the league table and while the season is long and depth will be tested, there’s a quiet confidence about where this team can go and how much fun it can be for Reign FC fans.
Seattle Reign FC’s next take the field on Saturday, May 19 as they host the Chicago Red Stars. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 PM with the match broadcast on go90.