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Gamethread: Seattle Reign players on international duty

5 Reign FC players are representing their national teams this week.

Reign FC vs. Western NY Flash: Photos Mike Russell

The NWSL is taking a rest this week to honor a FIFA international break, which is good news for Seattle Reign FC, as five players have been called up to report for their respective national teams: Jess Fishlock, Rachel Corsie, Megan Rapinoe, Rebekah Stott, and Lydia Williams.

Reign FC vs. Sky Blue FC: Photos

New Scotland national team coach Shelley Kerr recently named Reign FC’s Rachel Corsie, who has been capped 91 times, as captain for Scotland’s World Cup qualifying campaign, which begins in October. Scotland has drawn with Switzerland, Poland, Belarus, and Albania for the group qualifiers. The defender replaces goalkeeper Gemma Fay as captain, who retired after the 2017 Euro competition, while former Reign star Kim Little—still recovering from an ACL tear—was named vice captain. Corsie will lead Scotland in a friendly against Hungary on Thursday, September 14.

Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

Jess Fishlock and the Wales national team open their World Cup qualifying campaign on September 17 against Kazakhstan. The match will take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, with kickoff set for 1:00 a.m. PT. Fishlock returns to the Wales roster after featuring in a friendly against Northern Ireland in April, which made her the first player, male or female, to reach 100 career international appearances for Wales. In typical Fishlock fashion, she scored a screamer to mark the match.

Fishlock flew straight to Wales from Orlando last weekend to train with the squad before heading to Kazakhstan. As Ride of the Valkyries contributor Steve Voght calculated, Fishlock will likely travel more than 14,000 miles before landing in Seattle ahead of Reign FC’s final home match of the season. Wow.

U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis included Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe in the 22-player roster for the team’s upcoming two friendlies against New Zealand. Rapinoe returns to the roster after playing in the Tournament of Nations in July, where she scored two goals and assisted on another in three matches. She was easily the best player for the Red, White, and Blue during this stretch.

Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

Unfortunately, Rapinoe left the tournament with a knee injury that required surgery and put her out for a month in NWSL play. Reign FC’s last match against Orlando was Rapinoe’s first full match since August 3. Some playing time could be good for her as she works her way back to full fitness.

Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

Reign FC defender Rebekah Stott should also make an appearance in these matches, as she was called up to represent New Zealand. Stott returns to the Football Ferns roster after joining the team in March for the Cyprus Cup, where she played the full 90 minutes in all four matches—mostly at centerback—as New Zealand finished in 9th place. Stott has grown as a defender for Reign FC this season and will be put to the test against a tough U.S. squad.

Germany v Australia: Women's Football - Olympics: Day 1 Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

New Reign FC goalkeeper Lydia Williams traveled all the way from Orlando to Australia for two friendlies against Brazil. The matches are significant for an Australian side that is working its way up on the international stage. On the heels of a Tournament of Nations win, the 17,000 tickets allocated for the Matildas’ first match against Brazil sold out two weeks ago. The game will go down in history as the highest attended standalone women’s football match in Australia.

With two crucial games remaining for Reign FC, the international break marks an important time for players to unwind, recover, and prepare for the team’s push to the playoffs. For the five Reign FC players heading out for international duty, keeping their form strong while staying healthy is all Laura Harvey could ask.

Seattle currently sits four points behind the Orlando Pride and Chicago Red Stars with two games remaining. If either team loses next week, and Reign FC wins, the playoffs remain in the picture for one more week. Seattle’s second-to-last match kicks off Sunday, September 24 at Memorial Stadium.

Full Reign FC international schedule

Scotland (Corsie) v. Hungary

Thursday, September 14, 8 a.m. PT
Telki training grounds; Budapest, Hungary

USA (Rapinoe) v. New Zealand (Stott)

Friday, September 15, 7 p.m. PT
Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colo.
TV: ESPN2

Australia (Williams) v. Brazil

Friday, September 15, 10 p.m. PT
Pepper Stadium, Penrith, Australia

Wales (Fishlock) v. Kazakhstan

Sunday, September 17, 1 a.m. PT
Astana Arena; Astana, Kazakhstan

Australia (Williams) v. Brazil

Tuesday, September 19, 2:30 a.m. PT
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Australia

USA (Rapinoe) v. New Zealand (Stott)

Tuesday, September 19, 4:30 p.m. PT
Nippert Stadium (Univ. of Cincinnati); Cincinnati, Ohio
TV: FS1

Consider this your weeklong gamethread for Seattle Reign’s international players. Watch and discuss their matches in the comments below.

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