clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Reign Fail to Break Through Red Stars in Scoreless Draw

Seattle still can't solve the Red Stars defense, so they keep their undefeated home streak alive by not conceding.

Mike Russell

Coming into tonight's match, the Red Stars were the only undefeated team in the league and the Reign were undefeated at home. So SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE. Well no it didn't, buddy. Thanks to the magic of draws, both streaks are alive and well.

Coming into the game missing Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe to international duty and Jess Fishlock to suspension, Seattle still had plenty of talent and firepower to beat Chicago. But as always against the Red Stars, the ball just didn't fall kindly for them. The first 70 minutes were even, and Chicago had as many good chances as Seattle (including a shot off a corner that fullback Elli Reed had to head off the goal-line). But the last 20 was nearly all Reign chances, as Chicago's intense pressure finally caught up with them and their legs started to go. But amidst a flurry of free kicks, corners, and darting Kim Little runs to the endline, the ball seemed to always fall right in front of a Chicago defender for a clearance, instead of in front of a Seattle attacker for a shot.

That shift to Seattle dominance coincided with a shift to Little getting time on the ball. Partly that was a result of Chicago's fatigue. But it was also a result of her moving out to the wing to get more space. If that continues to make such a massive difference in her ability to get on the ball, coach Harvey has to be tempted to try it sooner in games. Merritt Mathias continues to play an excellent game on the wing (and she had most of the team's chances in the first half), but with Rapinoe away and Havana Solaun out of the season the other wing is up for grabs. Kirsten Dallstream has been tried there but she hasn't claimed the job. Tonight Bev Yanez spent most of the time there as Foxhoven moved up to forward. And while Yanez looked good in spurts, it's likely she'd be more productive up top. With Seattle's absurd central midfield depth, a frontline of Little, Yanez, and Mathias has to be tempting.

And it's not to say the draw wasn't an accomplishment. The shutout was both the first the Reign earned this season and the first time the Red Stars had been held scoreless this season. The point moves Seattle up to 5th in the standings with at least a game in hand on every team in front of them. Winning two games in hand would give them 14 in 8 games, behind only Chicago in the standings.

Next weekend they face the more tractable problem of Sky Blue FC, who are bottom of the table with only one win all season. That will be the last game before a long World Cup break and the Reign will not want to sour that vacation by not getting a home win.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Sounder At Heart Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A twice weekly roundup of Seattle Sounders and OL Reign news from Sounder at Heart