It was a rough outing for Seattle Reign FC at Providence Park last weekend, a performance that they will certainly wish to learn from and put behind them quickly before returning for a huge playoff semifinal rematch against Portland Thorns FC tomorrow afternoon.
The bright spots were few and far between, and mostly revolved around things Jess Fishlock and Elizabeth Addo did. Fishlock’s goal was a beautiful play, and Addo’s scrappiness and willingness to throw down with Portland was one of the few spots of passion and fire in an otherwise listless game for Seattle.
Rather than doing the usual lengthy post where I would spend time recapping the myriad ways things went wrong for the Reign (poor passing, an inability to hold possession to build attacks, continually getting pulled out of defensive shape by a smart Portland attack, etc.), I am instead going to focus on one thing that I hope to see improved for each player in this go around. There’s a game to be won tomorrow!
Lydia Williams (3 saves, 3 goals conceded; 6) – My wish for Lydia tomorrow is to have an organized back line in front of her, denying close looks and scrambles in the box.
Steph Catley (caution 87’; 5) and Christen Westphal (off 69’; 4) – My wish for Steph and Christen (or Theresa) tomorrow is to not need to pinch in so much to help their centerbacks, so they can keep an eye on Thorns attackers sneaking toward the corners to put in deadly crosses.
Rumi Utsugi (off 75’; 4) – My wish for Rumi is to shake off the rust of a long injury layoff and to stick to Lindsey Horan like fly paper, especially when she tries to make those lethal late runs into the box.
Jess Fishlock (goal 4’; 6) – My wish for Jess is to have the support behind her to focus on doing what she likes best – silencing loud opposition crowds. Taking a few more shots from distance wouldn’t hurt, either.
Elizabeth Addo (assist 4’, caution 62’, off 87’; 6; PotM) – My wish for Elizabeth is to keep that gritty demeanor and maintain her willingness to get into scraps with Portland’s stars, and to keep dribbling through lines of defenders to pull them out of shape.
Jodie Taylor (5) – My wish for Jodie is to fire off her shots more quickly and frequently, even at the expense of accuracy.
Jasmyne Spencer (5) – My wish for Jasmyne (or Pinoe, if she’s healthy enough to start) is to roast Ellie Carpenter early and keep her back on her toes, rather than getting so many chances to push forward and overload the flanks in attack.
Theresa Nielsen (on 69’; 6) – My wish for Theresa is to frustrate Tobin Heath all game long and take her off her game.
Beverly Yanez (on 75’; incomplete) – My wish for Bev is to launch some deep shots to keep Portland’s midfield honest and not cheating wide and high.
Jaycie Johnson (on 87’; incomplete) – My wish for Jaycie is to not be needed as a late-game attacking sub while searching for a goal, and instead to be a late-game time-wasting sub.
Timothy Ford (6) – It was a scrappy game, but Ford kept things reasonably calm and issued cards appropriately.
Who was your Reign FC player of the match?
This poll is closed
No one, it was a stinker
Other (note in comments)