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Match Preview: Seattle Reign vs. San Diego Wave

The Reign kick off Friday night at 7 PM on Prime.

Last Updated
4 min read
Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

On Friday, March 29, Seattle Reign continues its road trip with the club's second of three straight road matches. Seattle kicks off against the San Diego Wave at 7 PM PT. The match at Snapdragon Stadium will stream on Prime Video for U.S. viewers and NWSL+ for international fans.

Both teams will be looking for a little redemption after picking up losses last week.

The Reign should be playing in front of another big crowd. Last week, San Diego broke the NWSL home opener attendance record with 32,066 fans. The Reign will want to head into next week's FIFA international break with some momentum and points.

Recent Results

Seattle Reign (1-1-0) is coming off a 2-1 road loss to the Red Stars, while the Wave fell 2-1 at home against the Kansas City Current. Last week was San Diego's (0-1-0) season opener. They won the 2024 NWSL Challenge Cup the week prior thanks to a late Alex Morgan goal on a corner kick.

Head to Head

This matchup marks the 10th meeting between the two sides in just three years, and the Reign are 7-0-2 against the Wave.

  • Seattle is 3-0-2 on the road against the Wave.
  • The Reign have played San Diego four times in the regular season, four times in the Challenge Cup, and once in the NWSL playoffs.

Quick Stats

  • San Diego (0-1-0), who won the NWSL Shield in 2023, has scored 1 goal and conceded 2 after one match.
  • The Reign (1-1-0) have scored 2 goals and conceded 2.
  • Bethany Balcer has scored four goals against the Wave, leading the Reign.

What to Watch

Different weapons

While the Wave retained most of its players from their 2023 Shield-winning season, they added a few new weapons and made some small adjustments in their lineup. One big addition was Savannah McCaskill, who, in addition to some tactical and formation adjustments, has helped the Wave keep possession more – at least to start the 2024 season.

"I think the biggest areas I've seen of change in them — I don't know if it's personnel-based or tactical-based — but I think they try and possess the ball a bit more and are slightly less direct than they've been previously," head coach Laura Harvey said in a press conference.

With McCaskill able to roam and help combine in the middle of the pitch, the Wave also have Jaedyn Shaw — who is one of the best young players in the league and a rising star with the U.S. women's national team. Shaw has great vision and can sometimes create a shot out of nothing. The Wave also have 1v1 threats on the wing like Sofia Jakobsson, who is always looking to take on her defender and get to the end line.

And they have Alex Morgan, who is always a threat in the box.

As defender Phoebe McClernon noted, San Diego is dangerous in many spots on the field and can throw different things at opponents.

"They have a lot of weapons. I think you have to deal with a lot of different looks that they give. I personally feel like we've worked on a formation and a game concept that allows us to handle the majority, if not all of their threats. And I think it's at the end of the day more about execution of that game plan than the actual game plan itself."

All gas at the start

The Wave like to start matches with a lot of energy and try to get after teams early. The Reign will be hoping to do the same as well, and getting some early rhythm could be rather helpful.

"Every time we play them they come out really fast and aggressive and try and get at us early, and I think it always tends to be a bit of a tactical chess match initially to find out what each other is doing and how we can expose each other," McClernon said. "For us it's about making sure that we do the things that we know are our strengths and trying to minimize theirs as much as possible."

The Wave continue to be an organized team after giving up a league-low 22 goals last year. The Current were able to punish them in transition last week. While the Reign don't have as much speed up top as Kansas City, look for them to try to create chances in transition.

Set pieces

In their first two matches of 2024, the Wave have scored two goals from corner kicks. Gotham left Morgan wide open on a corner and she punished them in the 88th minute – sealing the Challenge Cup for San Diego.

Against the Current, McCaskill delivered a corner kick to almost the exact same spot and after it bounced around, Adrianna Franch had to come up with a big save for Kansas City. While she pushed the ball away, Jakobsson was right there to send in the rebound.

The Reign will have to be organized on corner kicks and free kicks, which they have historically defended quite well.

Injury / Availability Report

Seattle Reign

OUT: Jess Fishlock (excused absence), Sam Meza (illness), Quinn (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE: Veronica Latsko (leg)

San Diego Wave

OUT: None.

How to Watch

Seattle Reign kicks off against the San Diego Wave at 7 PM PT on Friday, March 29. The match will stream on Prime Video for U.S. viewers and NWSL+ for international fans.