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Reign vs Spirit: Stream and Game Thread

The Reign finish off the regular season with a match that means little for them, but has a big impact on who hosts the other playoff semifinal.

Today the Seattle Reign wrap up another very successful regular season with a long trip to face the fellow playoff-bound Washington Spirit. The Reign are locked into the number one spot, having already earned (and received) their second consecutive NWSL Shield. That means they really have little to play for in this one, outside of pride and some sense of obligation to treat a match with playoff seeding implications seriously.

The last question remaining for the postseason is who will be hosting the other semifinal. If Washington can beat the Reign and Chicago loses tomorrow, the Spirit will host a playoff match against Chicago and Seattle will host defending champion Kansas City at Memorial Stadium. But if the Reign can take at least a point, Chicago will host Kansas City and the Spirit will have a rematch in Seattle. So, in short, Seattle is playing Washington for the right to play them again next week.

This is also a matchup of Kim Little and Crystal Dunn, the two runaway MVP frontrunners and Golden Boot leaders. Dunn has the inside track on both, with a 5 goal lead in the Boot race and being the only offensive factor on a playoff-bound team. But a big game by Little in a head-to-head matchup could edge enough votes her way to give her a chance to win her second consecutive MVP award.

Other than still-injured Bev Yanez, the full Seattle roster is available for Harvey if she wants it. The question is how she'll balance the risk of an injury just before the playoffs with the desire to keep momentum rolling into the playoffs. For the Spirit's Mark Parsons, there is no balancing act. They'll desperately want to host a playoff match rather than travel across the country to imposing (and thus-far unbeatable) Memorial Stadium, so expect the best team he can put together.

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