After the long and, in most ways, dissatisfying Olympic break the Reign finally return to the field to resume their chase for their first NWSL championship. Of course, to contend for that they first have to make the playoffs and that's very much in doubt. Seattle is five points out of the last playoff spot and only has two home games remaining. The first of those is today against the second-place Portland Thorns.
The biggest news leading up to the match is the absence of Hope Solo. The greatest women's keeper of all time had her national team contract unceremoniously terminated after her comments in the wake of the loss to Sweden (though it's hard to believe there wasn't more involved, given the severity of the punishment). And now she's announced that she's on leave from the Reign and the team has signed Andi Tostanoski to back up Haley Kopmeyer. Meaning we may have seen the last of Solo between the goalposts for any team.
But we may see her national team teammate Megan Rapinoe for the first time this season. Given her brief appearances for the US in the Olympics, she should be recovered enough from her knee injury to take the field and has been training with the team this week.
The team is without Rachel Corsie but is otherwise fully fit, and will need to find a way to score against a Thorns team that's held them in check so far this season. The Reign have scored a total of one goal in three matches against Portland this year and have yet to win against their southern rivals. They need to overturn both of those trends today to have any realistic chance of making the playoffs.
The other option is a disappointing runout in a season full of disappointments for a team that was projected to dominate the league for the third season in a row.
How to Watch
When: Saturday, August 27, 2:00 p.m. PT
Where: Memorial Stadium