It’s Seattle Reign FC matchday! On Sunday, June 4, at 12 PM PT, Seattle kicks off against the Chicago Red Stars. The game will be played at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois, and can be streamed on the go90 platform. It is the second of three matches on the road for Reign FC, and the second straight home match for the Red Stars.
Both teams went undefeated in the month of May.
Both teams also sit in contention for a playoff position — Chicago (4-2-1) in second and Seattle (3-1-3) in fifth, with two games in hand on fourth-placed Sky Blue FC.
Both teams will be hungry for three points to keep their momentum going into June.
What to Watch
While the Red Stars tend to win games 1-0 or a similar low-scoring total — rather than dominate the scoreboard — they still have plenty of attacking talent. Unlike Seattle, Chicago has a more direct style of play and looks to move the ball quickly up the field.
Their attack focuses on getting the ball to forward Christen Press, who has the ability to create a shot for herself out of nothing. The Reign FC defensive line needs to stay organized, and communicate frequently, to keep Press in check, while the midfield will be tasked with pressuring the ball immediately to limit passes into her.
Chicago has been lining up in a 4-4-2 diamond, with Press and Sophia Huerta up top. They rely on their outside backs, Arin Gilliland and Casey Short, for much of their width. Both have the speed and crossing ability to add danger. The Red Stars will be without Gilliland due to injury, but expect Short to push forward often.
Chicago’s more narrow play could leave some opportunities for Megan Rapinoe and Naho Kawasumi to jumpstart Seattle’s attacks. It will be important to take advantage of those opportunities whenever they are available, as the Red Stars don’t let in many goals.
The main reason for that is due to the strong midfield play of Danielle Colaprico, Vanessa DiBernardo, and Julie Ertz, who are tough to break through. The Reign are going to need to switch the field of play quickly, and often, as the Red Stars backline can be vulnerable when teams manage to get through Chicago’s midfield.
Seattle has yet to defeat Chicago on the road. But if the Reign can dictate the style of play and move the ball effectively, the squad could return to Seattle with three well-earned points.
At kickoff, it is expected to be 88 degrees with 41 percent humidity and 12 mph winds from the west. Forecasters have noted that this is the kind of weather that could spark a thunderstorm. If that doesn’t happen, one thing is guaranteed: it’s going to be another hot and muggy game for Reign FC.
Chicago Red Stars: OUT: Arin Gilliland (right knee contusion)
Seattle Reign: OUT: Larissa Crummer (right foot fracture), Diana Matheson (left ACL tear), Beverly Yanez (right quad laceration)
How to Watch
This is your Reign FC gamethread. Watch and discuss with us.