On Saturday, June 24 at 7 PM PT, Seattle Reign FC kicks off against FC Kansas City—returning home to Memorial Stadium after a month on the road. The match, which will feature a number of Pride activities in support of LGBT rights, will stream on the go90 app, and it will be available on either go90.com or NWSLSoccer.com.
The two sides faced each other only a week prior, playing to a 2-2 draw in warm and humid conditions. The bad news? It’s going to be another hot evening for the Reign. The good news? Seattle isn’t as humid as the Midwest, a welcome relief after playing in Houston, Chicago, and Kansas City. Yuck.
There was a lot of good moments to take from last weekend’s match. The Reign FC offense was aggressive, with both Megan Rapinoe and Naho Kawasumi putting in strong performances on the wings. The squad rotated well up top to bring more variety to the attack, and it resulted in two great goals from Rapinoe and Kawasumi. Seattle has never scored multiple goals in Kansas City.
Lindsay Elston replaced Christine Nairn in the starting lineup, presumably to put a more defensive player in the midfield to provide cover in Rumi Utsugi’s absence. Elston did well to disrupt Kansas City’s play, but like other teammates made mistakes in the attack that made it hard for Seattle to maintain possession.
Merritt Mathias returned to the starting lineup as well, starting as center forward, and like Elston was a constant nuisance to the KC backline—pressuring the defenders into giveaways, or winning 50/50 balls. However, Mathias also struggled to help the team keep the ball, and she was responsible for a few giveaways.
With another match just days away on Wednesday, and a third again next weekend, Laura Harvey will likely rotate a few players out of the starting lineup today. Katie Johnson could replace Mathias up top—though she continues to be a critical impact sub who can change the game when she enters in the second half.
Defensively, Seattle was much stronger than its previous match against Chicago. However, the young backline showed it is still vulnerable, as the squad allowed a late goal that cost them two points. If Lauren Barnes and Haley Kopmeyer can better organize the backline—and Jess Fishlock and her midfield partner can better shield the defense—the outcome should be better this time around.
For Pride Night, Reign FC will distribute Pride flags courtesy of Rudy’s Barbershop to the first 2,000 fans in attendance, and will also offer Pride t-shirts available for purchase. In addition, Reign FC is partnering with the Greater Seattle Business Association by donating a portion of proceeds from a special ticket offer (reignfc.com/gsba2017) to the GSBA Scholarship Fund.
Seattle: OUT: Rachel Corsie (left knee bone bruise), Larissa Crummer (right foot fracture), Diana Matheson (left ACL tear), Rumi Utsugi (left calf strain)
Kansas City: OUT: Alex Arlitt (left knee patella tendinitis tearing), Amanda Laddish (right hip surgery), Amy Rodriguez (left ACL tear); PROBABLE: Katie Bowen (right hamstring strain)
How to Watch
Time/Date: Saturday, June 24, 7 PM PT
Where: Memorial Stadium, Seattle
Online: go90 app (iOS, Android), go90.com or NWSLSoccer.com
International: NWSLSoccer.com, NWSL app (iOS)
This is your Reign FC preview and gamethread. Watch and discus Seattle’s Pride match with us.