The Seattle Reign spent their week-and-a-half break watching the rest of the league play out perfectly for them. The Red Stars only picked up one point in two games and the Spirit lost to the Breakers, leaving Seattle two points ahead in the Shield race with a game in hand. And, though it hasn't been much in question, a win tonight officially books a playoff spot for Seattle.
The opponent today is the Houston Dash, who are trying to clamber back into playoff position after consecutive losses — the most recent at home to 8th place Sky Blue. Carli Lloyd, who seemed unstoppable immediately after her return from World Cup heroics, has gone quiet in August. But she's obviously a dangerous player, as are ex-Reign forward Jess McDonald — who carried the team's offense in Lloyd's absence — and Kealia Ohai. The Dash have plenty of weapons to threaten Seattle if they get complacent.
The biggest roster question is whether Hope Solo and/or Haley Kopmeyer will be available in net. Both were out injured last week, giving rookie Caroline Stanley her first professional start. She played a fine game in goal, and when the Reign midfield is playing well they don't allow the keeper to be tested much anyway. But Solo's long-awaited return would at least be a morale boost as we head into the playoffs.
Be advised that there's a Kelly Clarkson concert at Key Arena, so parking around Seattle Center is going to be scarce. Carpool or take public transit if you can. But get down to the stadium somehow, because watching the Reign play is never not fun.