QUICK RECAP: Reign FC take down their rivals at Cheney Stadium on Sunday in a rough affair where the home side got the better chances on the day. Portland Thorns had a few strong looks on goal, but it was the Reign who finished their chances — winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Jodie Taylor and substitute Bethany Balcer. With the win, Reign FC clinch a playoff spot. They could finish as high as 3rd — if they win their net and Portland loses. But for now, they secured the fourth and final spot. Playoffs, here we come!
It’s Reign FC’s final match in a three-game homestand. It’s also the team’s final home game of the season, with a sold-out crowd expected. We can think of no better opponent than the club’s I-5 rivals, Portland Thorns FC, to close out the team’s first year at Cheney Stadium.
The rivalry match kicks off at 11 AM PT; it was moved to an earlier time because ESPN picked up the match. The game will stream on the ESPN website and app and air on ESPN2.
Reign FC remain in a strong playoff position. A win on Sunday against their Cascadia rivals would secure at least 4th place and a trip to the playoffs. They’d still be in the playoff race with a loss or draw — but might as well clinch with a match to go, yes?
OUT: Taylor Smith (SEI - R Knee), Jasmyne Spencer (SEI - L Knee), Michelle Betos (SEI - R Achilles), Jaycie Johnson (SEI - R Knee), Scout Watson (SEI - Concussion), Jessica Fishlock (SEI - L Knee), Megan Oyster (L Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: Bethany Balcer (R Groin)
OUT: Kelli Hubly (R Hip), Angela Salem (L Knee), Gabby Seiler (R Knee)
QUESTIONABLE: Celeste Boureille (L Ankle)
Keys to the Match
- Manage crosses and long balls in the air
- Win the midfield battle
- Playoffs or bust
Megan Rapinoe returns to the starting lineup, while Bethany Balcer is available on the bench.
Our subs:— Reign FC (@ReignFC) September 29, 2019
Onumonu#ShePlaysHere #BeBold #RFCvPOR
Tobin Heath doesn’t suit up at all for the Thorns.
Our starting XI. #RFCvPOR #BAONDPX pic.twitter.com/FPEj6Yi5c4— Portland Thorns FC (@ThornsFC) September 29, 2019
27’ - Reign FC goal!! Jodie Taylor with the fantastic finish.
Jodie Taylor has been shining bright like a— NWSL (@NWSL) September 29, 2019
Her finish has @ReignFC in the lead.
1-0 | #SEAvPOR on ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/VHBT7b1qq0
81’ - Bethany Balcer goal! Reign go up 2-0
This rookie's on— NWSL (@NWSL) September 29, 2019
2-0 | #SEAvPOR on ESPN2 pic.twitter.com/rrqK9AAJuS
How to Watch
When: Sunday, September 29, 11 AM PT
Where: Cheney Stadium, Tacoma
Live stream (for users in the U.S.): WatchESPN
Live stream (for users outside the U.S.): Watch on ESPN (Check for local listings here, or follow the links listed here)
Join the Discussion
This is your Reign FC v. Portland Thorns gamethread. Head to @rovalks on Twitter for real-time updates, or join the conversation in the comments below.