FULL TIME: Going up against a Houston Dash side with a new coach, Reign FC had lots of turmoil in the opening half on the road. The team went down early in the 10th minute after a poor giveaway gave Nichelle Prince the ball in the box. Then, both Jasmyne Spencer and Megan Oyster had to be subbed off due to injury, with Spencer clutching her knee. The Dash continued to pressure Reign FC’s goal and managed to dominated possession for the first 45.
Reign FC would look better in the second half, and newcomer Darian Jenkins notched the first goal of the Reign’s 2019 season. Jenkins had been the strongest player for the away side, and while her goal was scored off a deflection, it was well earned.
After Jenkins’ goal, Reign FC put a lot more pressure on Houston, although both sides had strong opportunities. The game was nearing toward a draw until Jodie Taylor pressured Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell in the 93rd minute — forcing her into a giveaway right in front of goal. Taylor looked to be just slightly clipped by Campbell’s foot, and she sold the rest in veteran fashion, earning a penalty in the waning seconds. Unfortunately, Campbell came up with the save on a soft penalty kick from Taylor, and the match ended 1-1.
Reign FC now head back to Tacoma with one point and a home match to look forward to next weekend.
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With just a few new faces, Reign FC’s core remains consistent from last year, when the club returned to the playoffs. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski returns with a desire to bring the team to the championship match this time around. He’ll be asking his players to be more aggressive both in the attack, and when trying to win the ball back high up the field.
Absences: Injury, international duty and suspension
Reign FC: Megan Rapinoe and Steph Catley are both out due to calf strains. Bev Yanez is being rested due to a concussion.
Opponent: Midfielders Meleana Shim and Kyah Simon are out due to ankle injuries. Kristie Mewis is questionable, as she is still working her way back from an ACL tear last year.
Keys to the Game:
- Mark late runs into the box: Rachel Daly loves to sneak between the centerbacks with late runs, latching onto crosses.
- Find the space between the midfield and CBs: In both the attack and when trying to win the ball back, the zone between the Houston midfield and centerbacks will be key.
- Be relentless early: With a few key Reign players out due to injury, an early goal on the road would be huge. Take advantage of early opportunities and put the pressure on from the first minute.
How to Watch
Date/Time: Sunday, April 14, 3:00 PM PT
Location: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
6’ - Darian Jenkins gets close.
10’ - Bad giveaway gives Nichelle Prince an easy goal. Houston goes up 1-0.
HALFTIME: Reign FC lose two players, Jasmyne Spencer and Megan Oyster, to injury in the first half and concede a goal on a bad giveaway. In a bit of a surprise, Houston dominated possession in the first half and had far better opportunities after the first 10 minutes.
49’ - Big save by Michelle Betos to deny a Daly breakaway
58’ - And Darian Jenkins levels the match! She’s been Reign FC’s best player today.
76’ - Sofia Huerta OFF THE POST. Phew.
89’ - Some great team defense here to keep the match level.
90+3’ - Jodie Taylor puts great pressure on Jane Campbell to win the ball. It looks like Campbell barely makes contact with Taylor and she sells it well, earning the PK. But, alas, the PK attempt is saved. And that’s the match.
FULL TIME: After a disappointing first half, Reign FC notch a goal and nearly get a stoppage time winner. But Jane Campbell has other plans, and the game ends 1-1. Not a bad point, considering the injuries the Reign had to overcome.
Here it is! Your first official Reign FC Starting XI of the 2019 NWSL season against the @HoustonDash— Reign FC (@ReignFC) April 14, 2019
Watch live on @YahooSports at 3:00 PM PT
Viewers outside the U.S. can see the match on the @NWSL site#RFC253 #HOUvRFC pic.twitter.com/kcteA2Nyh3
Join the Discussion
This is your Reign FC v. Houston Dash gamethread. Head to @rovalks on Twitter for real-time updates, or join the conversation in the comments below.