The league-wide two week break for the World Cup is over, and today the Reign return to the field to take on the Boston Breakers. Combining the World Cup break and Seattle's seemingly unnecessary three week break in May, the team has played only two games in 43 days. In the soccer world, that's like a full offseason. It'll be nice to get back into the rhythm of gamedays.
Seattle has the best goal differential in the league and Boston the second worst, carrying over their performances from last season, when the Reign won the Shield at the Breakers finished 8th. And yet, somehow the teams are tied on points. The NWSL standings are so tight right now that only one point separates 4th from 8th. A win in this match, and the Reign are in 2nd place. A loss and they're in 5th.
Seattle will continue to be without their American internationals, who'll be taking on Colombia in the World Cup on Monday. But otherwise the starting lineup is rested and available. The Breakers are another team that is set up to weather the break well, with only keeper Alyssa Naeher and possibly defender Bianca Sierra (depending on when she returns to the team) away at the World Cup.
Their biggest threat is midfielder Kristie Mewis, who was a Reign player for a few days in the offseason before being dealt for Sydney Leroux. The Breakers have scored exactly one goal in six of their eight matches this season, so a Reign score would likely earn at least a point on the road. One point wouldn't be ideal, but it'd be an achievement for a team that has only one point in three road matches so far this season.