SEATTLE, WA—(club release) In their first regular season match of the 2017 NWSL season, Seattle Reign FC face Sky Blue FC at 7 PM on Saturday night April 15 at Memorial Stadium. This is the second straight year Seattle will host the New Jersey side to open the season.
Kickoff is set for 7:00pm PT. Fans can follow live play-by-play of the match at Reign FC’s official Twitter page, @ReignFC, and can join the conversation using the hashtag #SEAvNJ.
“We’re just really excited about the fact we’re different and we’re new,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “We’re looking forward to see what this season brings.”
All-time, Reign FC holds a 3-3-4 record against Sky Blue, with only one of those wins coming at home. The last time these two teams faced off at Memorial, Sky Blue earned a 2-1 win. The lone Seattle goal came from Merritt Mathias, and it was the only goal the club scored against Sky Blue in 2016.
“We know that if we don’t put in a performance we’re proud of against Sky Blue then the result will stay the same as last year’s,” said Harvey. “It’s a huge motivation to have last year in the back of our minds, and how it felt after the game and to push us on to try to get the result we want.”
The all-time shutout leader against Sky Blue is Haley Kopmeyer, who has posted two shutouts against them. While Kopmeyer and 2016 NWSL Defender of the Year Lauren Barnes lead a familiar group defensively, there will be a few new faces taking the field for Seattle this season, including midfielder Christine Nairn and forward Katie Johnson.
“Since we’ve got so many new players in the starting eleven, we’ve got to make sure we’ve covered everything,” said Harvey. “We have to be good at everything. Making sure we’re really hard to beat in our own box and punish them in their 18-yard box has been the focus throughout preseason.”
Sky Blue enters the season looking to improve upon their 7th place finish last year. Sam Kerr, the team’s leading goal scorer last year, returns for another season, along with U.S. international Kelly O’Hara and legendary defender Christie Rampone.
Single match tickets and VIP experience packages are available for Saturday’s match. To purchase tickets, visit reignfc.com/tickets or call the Reign FC ticket office at (855) REIGN-FC.