QUICK RECAP: Playing in Utah in nearly 100 degree temperatures, and with smoke filling the air from nearby wildfires, Seattle Reign FC gritted out a 1-0 win over the Utah Royals thanks to a Jess Fishlock goal early in the second half. It was their second win against Laura Harvey’s team this season. With the victory, Reign FC maintain sole possession of second place in the league and now get three games in a row at home over the next two weeks.
Next up: the Chicago Red Stars on Wednesday, August 15.
Seattle Reign FC may be without some key players this weekend, but Vlatko Andonovski’s squad will still be pushing for three points on the road against the Utah Royals. Their Saturday afternoon match is the Lifetime Game of the Week, with the television broadcast starting at 12:30 PM PT.
In what is supposed to be a very warm match at altitude, Seattle will need to pressure the goal early against a Utah Royals team that doesn’t let many balls into the back of their net. That doesn’t mean Seattle won’t have plenty of chances. The Royals have struggled to mark set pieces, giving up recent goals to Seattle, Portland, and Houston on corner kicks and free kicks. Finding smart shots, taking advantage of restarts, and finishing the chances they create could give Reign FC an early lead and set the tone of the game.
Defensively, it’s all about preventing balls into Christen Press close to goal, watching passes in behind for Amy Rodriguez, and keeping Katie Stengel well marked in the 18. Utah likes to possess the ball, and Seattle will certainly be on the lower end for possession today. That means the Reign FC defense will need to stay organized, not get stretched, and plug any holes quickly.
Utah currently sits in sixth on the NWSL table, although they are only five points behind second-place Reign FC. Both teams will be fighting hard for the full three points to remain in playoff contention, which could make this a fun match on the big stage.
Injury Report and Suspensions
OUT: Alex Arlitt (left knee strain – SEI), Makenzy Doniak (left knee ACL tear – SEI), Mandy Laddish (right hip contusion – SEI), Kelley O’Hara (right hamstring strain)
QUESTIONABLE: Desiree Scott (right quad strain), Elise Thorsnes (left hamstring strain)
OUT: Elizabeth Addo (right knee strain), Yael Averbuch (illness – SEI), Stephanie Catley (excused absence), Kiersten Dallstream (right knee sprain – SEI), Rumi Utsugi (left calf strain), Beverly Yanez (right foot fracture)
Keys to the Match
- Use the width to stretch Utah’s defense
- Play the ball quickly
- Take advantage of restarts
- Take early shots
How to Watch
Date/Time: Saturday, August 11 @ 12:30 PM PT (pregame); 12:50 PM PT (kickoff)
Location: Rio Tinto Stadium | Sandy, Utah
Nice Starting XI. Morgan Andrews slots into the midfield for Seattle.
Available substitutes today are Betos, Johnson, Kawasumi, Kleiner, Leon, and McNabb. pic.twitter.com/IurRXkRegX— Seattle Reign FC (@ReignFC) August 11, 2018
Christen Press might actually be starting at center forward today. Wow.
First Half Highlights
11’ - Great first look for Megan Rapinoe
17’ - Pinoe tries one from distance.
43’ - Utah gets their first shot of the game, but Lydia Williams stops Press.
Second Half Highlights
47’ GOAL, Reign FC! What a ball in by Megan Oyster, and superb finish from Jess Fishlock.
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