Today the Seattle Reign kick off their first ever match against the expansion Orland Pride. The players took advantage of the trip to Orlando to enjoy the many (mostly Harry Potter-themed) amusements the region has to offer, but today is all business, as the team looks to move into a tie for second place in the standings with an away win.
The Reign continue to face life without their holding midfield dragon Jess Fishlock. Last week against Kansas City team MVP Kim Little put in a world-class shift at defensive midfield to cover for her and we'll likely expect the same today and until Fishlock returns or the team signs a replacement.
Orlando won their only previous home game 3-1 over the Dash in front of a league record 23,403 supporters. The Pride will likely struggle this season as an expansion team, but should have a solid home record in front of that fanbase. The Reign will be tested against a frontline of Alex Morgan, Jasmyne Spencer, and Lianne Sanderson that hasn't produced a lot of goals yet, but has the potential to break out at any time and end the Reign's shutout streak. If Seattle wins, it may have to come from outscoring Orlando against an unsettled back line. But that will also require beating US #2 Ashlyn Harris in goal.
A result today would put Seattle in a strong position to contend for the league lead with three out of the next four matches at home.