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Match Preview: OL Reign vs. Angel City

It’s the second meeting between these two sides. This one’s at home.

NWSL: OL Reign at Angel City FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

OL Reign concludes a busy week at Lumen Field on Sunday afternoon when they take on Angel City FC. The match kicks off at 3 PM PT and will air on CBS Sports Network, while international fans can catch the game on Twitch. (Matches on CBS Sports Network, unfortunately, don’t stream simultaneously on Paramount+.)

OL Reign rotated heavily on Thursday when they took on San Diego Wave FC, defeating the California club with a 3-1 scoreline. They were able to rest all of their international players for that game, which means all but Angelina, who was injured on international duty, are available for Sunday. Angel City, meanwhile, haven’t played since April 2.

Angel City enters the match with a 0-3-1 record, while the Reign are 3-0-1. While Angel City have scored 4 goals, they’ve given up 11. The expansion club — coached by Freya Coombe — has been plagued by injuries early in the year, which has limited the amount of rotation they’ve had.

What to Watch

Angel City builds most of their play through their backline and defensive midfielders, while they rely on their outside backs and attacking midfielder Savannah McCaskill as their main creators. McCaskill started the season with a lot of energy, but has struggled in recent games to link up with her teammates in the same way.

When Angel City is pushing in the attack, they leave space in the midfield for the Reign to counter-attack. In fact, the Reign scored two of their goals through quick transition through the middle of the pitch. Look for the Reign to press in this spot early in Sunday’s game and hopefully involve Rose Lavelle in much of that action.

Another area of weakness for Angel City so far has been set-piece defense. They were constantly put under pressure on corner kicks in their last match against San Diego. With service from players like Lauren Barnes and Sofia Huerta, the Reign could create some dangerous chances of their own off corner kicks and free kicks.

Despite their record, the LA club is a talented team with a lot of dangerous attacking options — U.S. Women’s National Team Forward Christen Press, Japanese international Jun Endo, the tenacious Tyler Lussi, and the speedy and skilled Simone Charley. McCaskill is also someone who can strike from distance.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Angel City’s attacking threat comes through Press. The attacker is questionable for Sunday’s match, however, with an illness. If Press starts, expect OL Reign to swarm around her whenever she gets the ball. It’s what they did in their 3-1 win against Angel City on the road — and it was a rather effective tactic. UPDATE: Press was initially questionable but was added to the injury report Sunday morning as OUT due to Covid protocol.

Injury / Availability Report

OL Reign

OUT: Angelina (right ankle), Tziarra King (right ankle), Megan Rapinoe (right calf)

Angel City

OUT: Katie Cousins (right hip), Sarah Gorden (right knee), Paige Nielsen (illness), M.A. Vignola (right hip), Christen Press (Covid protocol)

How to Watch

OL Reign kick off against Angel City at 3 PM PT on Sunday. The home match will air on CBS Sports Network and stream on Twitch for international viewers. (It won’t be available on Paramount+.

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