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Three Stats: Reign vs. Red Stars

Further unpacking the Reign's 2-1 home loss.

Last Updated
5 min read
Mike Russell / Sounder at Heart

It was not the homecoming Seattle Reign fans were dreaming of. After a three-game road trip that resulted in a three-match losing streak, the Reign were looking to turn things around at Lumen Field on Sunday. Unfortunately, they came out flat against the Chicago Red Stars and went down 2-0 before the halftime whistle.

Tziarra King's strike from distance in the 79th minute got the fans back into the match, and the Reign were pushing for another goal but fell short.

Seattle Reign falls 2-1 to Chicago Red Stars
The Reign’s losing streak extends to four matches.

Here are three stats from the home loss, which extended the Reign's losing streak to four matches.


Mallory Swanson had a match-leading seven shot-creating actions, which are the two actions that lead directly to a shot attempt – including dribbles, passes, and shots that lead to additional shots.

One big reason for her impact on the match? The Reign were unable to stop Swanson and her teammates higher up the field. Swanson had a match-high four successful take-ons, which means she beat her defender on the dribble.

Case in point: Chicago's 4th minute goal.

It starts with a good look for the Reign, but Huerta is unable to find a target in the box with her cross. The headed clearance falls kindly to Swanson at the top of the box, and you can see Jess Fishlock immediately wave at Olivia Van der Jagt to step up to slow her down. Van der Jagt's initial instinct is to cut off the pass up the field and let Swanson come to her.

By the time Van der Jagt steps up to defend, the speedy Chicago attacker has momentum on her side and dribbles around her. With Huerta pushed high on the attacking play, and Lily Woodham also high up the field, Swanson is suddenly dribbling at the Reign's two centerbacks.

Lauren Barnes, providing support to Alana Cook, is clearly debating two choices here: step to help cover Swanson or stay back to cut off the pass to Ally Schlegel. Unfortunately, right as Barnes decides to step toward the center, it creates the passing lane to Schlegel.

It's still a tough finish, but Schlegel now has a nice angle to send her shot toward the far post – and she doesn't miss.

“You know what Mal can do, but if someone picks up the ball on the edge of their own 18-yard box and runs the length of the field, you’re not talking about that. You're talking about us,” head coach Laura Harvey said after the match. “It’s something that’s unacceptable from a defensive perspective. That just shouldn’t happen.”

Later in the match, the Reign again had a crossing opportunity that was cleared right to Swanson at the top of the box. This time, Huerta rightfully took a yellow to prevent Swanson from leading a counterattack.

Chicago's transitional game was not surprising. The Reign knew it was what made the Red Stars so dangerous, but they were still unable to prevent these moments in the first half.

"Counter-attack, [we] talk about it all of the time. They scored goals last time away at Chicago, and they scored the same goals this game," Barnes said after the match. "For me, that's not a tactical/coaching thing. That's a mentality and a player thing. So we just gotta continue looking at ourselves to figure that out."


Laurel Ivory, getting her first regular-season start for the Reign after Claudia Dickey was injured last week, had a solid afternoon. The goals the Reign conceded were hardly her fault.

In addition to some good reflexes on a couple of shots, Ivory showed some strong passing skills, connecting 36/41 passes.

That includes an impressive 11/15 on long-ball attempts.


The Reign attempted 27 crosses, plus another seven corners, but they only connected with a teammate nine times in these 34 attempts, a 26% success rate. Some of this is a sign of desperate play toward the end of the match, but it's also been a struggle to start this season.

Believe it or not, the 26% success rate raised the Reign's overall percentage. The team's overall cross success rate is 18.4%, second worst in the league behind Chicago, who attempt far fewer crosses each match.

In their last match on the road against Chicago, the Reign completed just 2/30 crosses (6.7%). So it's ... an improvement? The Reign got into dangerous positions, but the final execution wasn't there. Again.

"We had something like 34 crosses in the game. That's who we are, but we have to take those opportunities. You can't put 34 crosses into an opponent and not score from them," Harvey said.

Bonus Stat: 376

It's been 376 days since OL Groupe announced they were selling the Reign. More than a year has passed. Rumors about the Seattle Sounders becoming the new owners began all the way back in November. The league has been saying the deal was close since the end of 2023.

I'm not saying the delay in the sale is causing the team to play this way. Losing their free agents so late in the offseason was likely a more difficult roster-building issue than the sale. But it sure would be helpful to have this settled so the club can invest meaningfully for the future.

OL Groupe announces sale of Seattle Reign for $58 million
The sale is still pending NWSL and MLS approval.

Sounders majority owner Adrian Hanauer was spotted chatting with GM Lesle Gallimore and CEO Vincent Berthillot before the match this weekend. Can we please get this over the finish line soon?

The Reign are back on the road this weekend before hosting three home matches in May. On Saturday, April 27, they face the North Carolina Courage at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. The match kicks off at 4 PM PT and will air on KONG-TV and stream on the NWSL+ and KING5+ apps.