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Seattle Reign at KC Current: Preview and Gamethread

The Reign are looking for some much-needed road points.

Last Updated
6 min read
© Stephen Brashear-USA TODAY Sports

After a week without NWSL play during the FIFA international break, Seattle Reign FC hopes for a reset that will spark a winning streak and push them closer to a playoff spot. They'll have a tough task this weekend, as they face an undefeated Kansas City Current squad on the road. The match at CPKC Stadium kicks off Sunday, June 9, at 3 PM PT and will air on KONG TV, in addition to streaming on KING 5+, NWSL+, Paramount+ and CBS Sports Golazo.

While the Reign currently sit 13th out of 14 teams, this hasn't been the result of teams necessarily outplaying them for 90 minutes. The Reign – arguably among the most defensively strong teams in recent years – have had lapses that have let their opponents take control of the game, leaving the Reign chasing each match. They hope to change that on the road against a tough opponent.

"I think the thing that has been a consistent pattern, which we want to change, is that we don't feel that teams are beating us, but we're sort of beating ourselves," head coach Laura Harvey said ahead of the match. "We're giving them the opportunity to beat us rather than making them earn it."

Recent Results

The Reign fell 3-2 on the road against the Washington Spirit, giving up all three goals in the first half. The Current defeated the Utah Royals 1-0 on the road, although the scoreline doesn't really show how much the Current dominated – outshooting the Royals 24-4.

Head to Head

This is the second matchup between the two teams in 2024. The Reign are 5-4-1 all-time against the Current, including a 2-3-0 road record.

  • The Reign and Current played to a scoreless draw in a midweek match at Lumen Field in May.
  • Seattle Reign is the only team to hold Kansas City scoreless this year. Goalkeeper Laurel Ivory finished that game with six saves.

Quick Stats

  • Kansas City (7-0-4) has scored 26 goals and conceded 15.
  • Seattle Reign (2-8-1) has scored 11 goals and conceded 20.
  • Temwa Chawinga leads Kansas City with five goals. She also has four assists.

What to Watch

Lots of offensive weapons

Toward the beginning of the season, the Current scored with ease. That has balanced out a little more in recent matches, as they have drawn three of their last five games.

Still, the Current are the most dominant offensive side in the league. They average the most goals, expected goals, shots, and shots on target per match. And while they've only scored five goals in their last four games, their expected goals total during that span was 12.5 xG.

The Current don't create these chances with possession. Instead, Kansas City puts opponents under a lot of pressure – leading the league in high turnovers and shots from high turnovers – and scores through transitional play, crosses, and speedy attackers.

The Reign did well to prevent the Current from getting in behind when they faced off in May. Ahead of that match, Harvey said she thought the Reign had to let Kansas City's back four have the ball while preventing passes to their threats higher up the field. The Reign did just that, and while the Current had a few decent looks, they were held to their lowest expected goals total all season (1.2 xG).

The Reign are going to have to do a better job taking care of the ball this time around if they want to create any sort of offensive momentum. While they held Kansas City scoreless, they created very few chances for themselves.

"I thought we were defensively very good in that game. When we reflected on it, we felt that we needed to be better on the ball and cause them a few more problems while still being defensively solid," Harvey said. "So just trying to find that balance is our aim."

Be prepared for pressure

According to Opta, in addition to forcing the most high turnovers, the Current have the second most intense press, meaning they will close down on players quickly. The Current have the most tackles won and the second most interceptions.

"I think you've also got to be really good at preventing transitional opportunities for them," Harvey said before the Reign's first match against the Current. "You've also got to accept that they are going to get some form of opportunity at some point. They're very explosive in those moments. So, in those moments, just staying strong and showing the sort of mentality and the grit of not being beaten."

Putting a full performance together

As Harvey alluded to in her pre-match remarks, the Reign have created early opportunities but failed to put any of them in the back of the net. Then, they'll have one defensive breakdown that will let their opponent score – and suddenly, the Reign are chasing instead of dictating the game.

If we looked at just second-half results, the Reign would have been sitting in fifth place heading into this weekend with a 3-3-5 record. But we're not. The Reign have only led at halftime in two matches.

They're trying to learn from Ted Lasso. According to Harvey and forward Tziarra King, who both spoke with reporters before the match, the team had a great week of training and feels ready to be goldfish against the Current on Sunday.

"We spoke about being a bit of a goldfish mentality because I think that if you dwell on things that have happened before, you can't change them, so you've got to sort of work through what you feel like you need to be better at and consistently keep doing that," Harvey said. "We know that mistakes may be made in games, but we don't want to dwell on them, we want to continue to work hard on the things that we feel we need to get better at. And I think we've done a really good job of that over the last 10 days of training."

The Reign have forced the second most high turnovers in the league, but are struggling to convert those into goals.

"Every time we come out on the field, we're hoping that we can bring the intensity – not to match the other team but to set the tone of the game. And that's been a big focus the last few weeks," King said.




24' - Jordyn Huitema opens the scoring, finishing a fantastic cross from Veronica Latsko.

28' - Reign fail to defend in behind, and Temwa Chawinga levels the score.

41' - Jordyn Huitema gets her first NWSL brace, putting Seattle up again!

45+2' - UGH. Some horrible defending on a corner allows Kansas City to equalize. Again.

46' - The Reign give up a goal right at the start of the 2nd half, and KC goes up 3-2.

47' - And another goal for KC Current. 4-2 now.

67' - Laurel Ivory gives up a penalty, and KC buries it to make it 5-2.

Injury / Availability Report

Seattle Reign

OUT: Claudia Dickey (knee), Quinn (knee), Nikki Stanton (face)

KC Current

OUT: Kristen Hamilton (leg), Nichelle Prince (knee), Gabrielle Robinson (SEI - knee), Mallory Weber (SEI - knee)

How to Watch

Date/Time: Sunday, June 9, 3 PM PT

Location: CPK Stadium, Kansas City


Streaming: KING5+ app, NWSL+, Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazo

Join the Discussion

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