SEATTLE, WA–– (Reign release) This Saturday (August 27), Seattle Reign FC host their Cascadia rivals, Portland Thorns FC. Both teams return from the NWSL Olympic Break for their final meeting this season.
The game will be live-streamed on the NWSL’s official YouTube channel and can be watched at youtube.com/nwsl. Fans can also follow live play-by-play at the Reign’s official Twitter page, @SeattleReignFC, and can join the conversation using the hashtag #SEAvPOR.
Reign FC’s (5-5-5, 20 points) previous match against Thorns FC ended in a 1-0 loss. Nadia Nadim’s 74th minute goal ensured that Portland currently leads the season series, as the two other meetings between the squads ended in draws.
“I think the break was good for us,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach Laura Harvey. “We’ve come back really focused on a very simple task of winning football matches.”
Reign FC has only lost once in their last five matches against Portland, and has lost just twice in their last nine games. Seattle holds an all-time record of 4-6-2 against the Thorns, and has not lost to Portland at Memorial Stadium since August 17th, 2013.
Depending on other results across NWSL play this weekend, a win would keep Seattle in the hunt for the fourth and final playoff spot. A victory could potentially put Reign FC two points out of fourth place.
“Has to be one game at a time for us,” said Harvey. “I think the last two years by this time in the season we had won the shield and we were thinking about what’s next. This year we’re not. We’re in it. We’re fighting.”
Reign FC will be looking to generate offense against Portland this weekend, having scored just one goal in three matches against the Thorns this season.
The lone goal this year came from Beverly Yanez, who is tied with Kim Little as Reign FC’s all-time leading goal scorer against Portland. Both players have scored three total goals against the Thorns.
“There’s no doubt we have the talent and the ability in the squad to do what’s necessary,” said Harvey. “The girls’ mindsets been fantastic over the past two weeks. They’ve come back in ready to go for it.”
Portland (8-2-5, 29 points) is in second place on the NWSL table for the first time since June 22nd, after the Washington Spirit’s victory over the Houston Dash last week. The Thorns have lost two of their past three matches, but have won two of their last three games on the road.
The Thorns had the second-most representatives at the Olympic games in the league, with Tobin Heath, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long, Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Sonnett, Christine Sinclair, and Amandine Henry all in Rio. It is expected that all seven players will be available for selection this weekend.
“The last two times we’ve played them, we’ve played them without their national team players,” said Harvey. “So it is a different outlook for them and for us. The pressure to win is not as much on them as it is for us, and it hasn’t been that way before.”
Reign FC Olympians Megan Rapinoe and Hope Solo have also returned from Rio, and are expected to be available for selection this weekend.
About Seattle Reign FC:
Seattle Reign FC is one of ten teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. The NWSL is the premier women’s professional soccer league in North America, featuring many of the top players from the United States, Canada and around the world. Seattle Reign FC train and host home matches at Memorial Stadium, located in the shadow of the Space Needle on the Seattle Center campus. For more information on the club visit reignfc.com.