Quick Recap: Seattle Reign FC felt lucky to escape with a 0-0 scoreline after the first half against the Chicago Red Stars. Sam Kerr got a few quality looks on goal — many from Reign FC giveaways — but Lydia Williams and her defense held strong. The second half was a different story. After absorbing some early pressure, Seattle was the better team for the last 30 minutes. Unfortunately, they couldn’t find the back of the net either.
Jess Fishlock had a shot go off the crossbar, a few shots fell just wide, and Chicago’s defense cleared a few bouncing balls in the box.
When the final whistle blew — after 8 minutes of stoppage time — the scoreline remained 0-0. With the number of injuries Seattle had entering the match, and the smoke affecting the air quality, a draw like this almost feels like a victory. Next up for Reign FC is a Tuesday home match against the Houston Dash. A win could secure their spot in the NWSL playoffs.
After a hot, smokey affair at altitude in Utah last weekend, Seattle Reign FC experiences more of the same in the club’s match against the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday. Their home match, which kicks off at Memorial Stadium at 7:30 PM PT tonight, will stream on the NWSL website and app.
The game will also feature two water breaks per half in response to the poor air quality the region is experiencing.
Given the poor air quality, for tonight's match against the @chiredstarsPR the @NWSL has mandated two water breaks per half, at 15, 30, 60, and 75 mins. In addition, oxygen will be available on the sideline, and the @UWMedicine medical team will be monitoring all players.— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) August 15, 2018
While Chicago enters the match with just one injured player, Reign FC has five players out due to injury and personal matters. That includes leading goal-scored Megan Rapinoe, who was a late scratch due to hip soreness. Two other players — Yael Averbuch and Kiersten Dallstream — are on the season-ending injury list.
Even with the weather and the injuries, this game was set to be a tough one for Seattle. Chicago is fighting hard for a playoff spot — a win tonight would put them into fourth on the league table, the final playoff spot. The team is also coming off a strong draw against North Carolina, where their midfield found a way to slow down Crystal Dunn and the rest of her teammates in the second half. Prior to that, Chicago had 27 days to rest and recover due to an international break, scheduled bye week, and a cancelled match.
Still, Seattle has proven to be a team with a lot of depth and resilience. Both will be tested tonight. Here’s hoping the team can utilize its rotation players to good effect and the injury bug doesn’t strike again.
OUT: Stephanie McCaffrey (illness)
OUT: Elizabeth Addo (right knee strain), Yael Averbuch (illness – SEI), Stephanie Catley (excused absence), Kiersten Dallstream (right knee sprain – SEI), Rumi Utsugi (left calf strain), Beverly Yanez (right foot fracture); Megan Rapinoe (left hip soreness)
Keys to the Match
- Put bodies into the box
- Don’t let Sam Kerr get the ball
- Protect the box
- Break up play in the midfield
Only four field players available on the bench for Seattle.
Available substitutes tonight are Betos, Johnson, Kleiner, Leon, and McNabb pic.twitter.com/k1mUlWlZZV— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) August 16, 2018
First Half Highlights
8’ - A good look for Chicago on a corner, but Lydia Williams easily wraps it up.
Second Half Highlights
53’ - Way too much space for DiBernardo there, who finds Sam Kerr. Lydia Williams with a fantastic save.
80’ - An uncharacteristic Sam Kerr miss here.
82’ - So close for Fishlock!
How to Watch
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 15, 7:30 PM PT
Location: UW Medicine Pitch, Memorial Stadium | Seattle, WA
Streaming: NWSLsoccer.com, NWSL app (iOS/Android)
Need help streaming? Read through the NWSL FAQ for more tips.
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