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Match Preview: Seattle Reign vs. San Diego Wave

The Reign are looking to end their five-match losing streak.

Last Updated
4 min read
© Abe Arredondo-USA TODAY Sports

Seattle Reign starts a three-match week at home on Friday, May 3, when they host the San Diego Wave at Lumen Field. The match kicks off at 7 PM PT and streams on Prime Video.

Both teams are dealing with injuries, although the Wave seem to be more impacted by Alex Morgan, Abby Dahlkemper, Sofia Jakobsson, and Naomi Girma's absences. Meanwhile, Jordyn Huitema is unavailable for the match but returned to training. Claudia Dickey should start training again next week, and Quinn's injury is "not as bad as first feared," but they are out for the match.

After four road matches to start the year and a five-match losing streak, the Reign are happy to be back at home, where they hope to start a more positive trend.

"Excited to get back on the field again. Looking forward to being back at home. Obviously, a really difficult stretch coming up for us – three-game week with three really good teams. So, I think we're ready, we're prepared," head coach Laura Harvey said.

Recent Results

The Reign are coming off a 1-0 road loss to North Carolina, while Jaedyn Shaw scored in the 78th minute to give the San Diego Wave a 2-1 win at home against Bay FC last weekend.

Head to Head

The Reign are 7-1-2 all-time against the San Diego Wave.

  • In March, Seattle lost to San Diego for the first time in club history, ending the club's nine-game unbeaten streak against the Wave.
  • Emily van Egmond scored in the 98th minute, the latest goal conceded in Reign FC history.

Quick Stats

  • San Diego (2-2-1) has scored four goals and conceded four.
  • Seattle Reign (1-5-0) has scored five goals and conceded nine.
  • Five of the Reign's 10 matches against San Diego have ended with a 1-0 scoreline, including the last three meetings.
  • Bethany Balcer has scored four goals against the Wave.

What to Watch

Two teams looking for an offensive boost

The Wave and Reign are two teams looking to build offensive momentum. They are averaging 0.8 and 0.67 goals per match, respectively, and their expected goals are not much higher. The two sides are also 10th and 11th in shots per match.

If you look across nearly every passing and attacking stat, the Reign and Wave are close to one another. Both teams are in the top five in the league in possession, passes into the final third, and passes completed. Both teams are in the middle in shots. And both teams are toward the bottom of the league in goals scored.

I think you get the idea.

The Reign and Wave have adjusted starting lineups to find the right combinations to be offensive threats. The Wave also added Maria Sanchez before the transfer window closed, which gives them a different threat from the left. They also have Savannah McCaskill and Jaedyn Shaw, who are both creative on the ball.

Coming out strong

The Wave try to get after teams early in matches, playing more direct and forward. The Reign should certainly be trying to do the same as well, especially at home. Goals change games, and the Reign only found an early goal once this season – their season opener, which was also their only win.

"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," Phoebe McClernon said before the Reign's first match against the Wave.

Preventing transition opportunities

The goals that the Reign have given up the last two weeks have all come in transition. The Wave aren't a high-pressing team, but they can strike and punish teams in transition – especially with a player like McCaskill who is always looking to push forward in the attack.

The Reign have been focused on making sure they are structured well defensively to be able to recover if they lose the ball – and, of course, not giving the ball away as much as possible.

"It doesn't matter who you are, you can't stop transition if you don't structure yourselves well enough prior to it happening. It doesn't matter who you are, what type of team you are, what personnel you have, it's impossible," Harvey said. "So, getting the structure right behind the ball is massively important and being pragmatic at times in what you do with the ball is also important in those moments."

Injury / Availability Report

Seattle Reign

OUT: Claudia Dickey (knee), Jordyn Huitema (back), Quinn (knee)

San Diego Wave

OUT: Melanie Barcenas (hip), Sofia Jakobsson (lower leg), Alex Morgan (lower leg), Abby Dahlkemper (thigh), Naomi Girma (thigh)

How to Watch

The Reign and Wave kick off at 7 PM PT on Friday, May 3. The home match will stream on Prime Video, and tickets are still available (purchases at this link support our Reign coverage).