SEATTLE, WA– (Reign release) In front of 3,919 fans on Pride Night presented by Carter Subaru, Seattle Reign FC battled back to earn a point with ten players in a 1-1 draw with FC Kansas City. Reign FC’s goal means the club has scored in 22 consecutive home matches.
The tie moves Reign FC’s (3-2-5, 14 pts) all-time regular season record against FC Kansas City to 3-5-5. It was Seattle’s first-ever home draw against Kansas City, and extends their undefeated streak at Memorial to 11 matches, the longest active streak in the league.
“I’m really proud of the players, because it’s tough to play for 87 minutes with ten players,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Every single player that touched the field tonight gave everything. I told the girls at the end of the game that games like that can be a turning point for the season. I don’t think we need a turning point but we needed something to live by. We’re better when we have adversity against us, and tonight we had that, and we stepped up.”
Just four minutes into the match, Lauren Barnes was given a straight red card when she fouled forward Shea Groom on a breakaway. It was Barnes’ first red card in her NWSL career, and she will miss this Wednesday’s match against the Chicago Red Stars.
Kansas City opened scoring in the 16th minute when forward Brittany Ratcliffe slotted the ball past Haley Kopmeyer. Midfielder Alexa Newfield sent a back-heel pass to the top of the box, where Ratcliffe was able to collect it and finish in the bottom right corner. This marked Ratcliffe’s first career NWSL goal.
Kopmeyer kept the lead at one with a big save just before halftime. Defender Brittany Taylor found Newfield wide open just outside the six yard box. Newfield turned and fired a close-range shot at Kopmeyer, who dove and pushed the ball away to keep the deficit at one. The goalkeeper had five saves on the night, improving her league-leading total to 47.
At the start of the second half, Reign FC came out of the gates looking to equalize. In the 50th minute Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi played in Megan Rapinoe behind the defense. Rapinoe was 1-v-1 with goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, and forced her to make a kick-save to keep Seattle off the board.
Naho would find the back of the net eight minutes later to tie the match 1-1. Rapinoe whipped a cross into the box which deflected off a FC Kansas City defender. Barnhart punched the ball away, but it fell to a wide open Naho at the back post who buried her shot into the back of the net.
Naho was named Reign FC player of the match for her efforts. Her equalizing goal was her third this season, and was her first game-tying goal of the 2017 NWSL season.
Today’s result sees Reign FC points total for the season improve to 14. While they remain in fifth place on the NWSL table, they are just one point out of the fourth and final playoff spot, currently held by Portland Thorns FC. Other results today saw Houston, North Carolina, and Washington earn wins.
Reign FC’S next match is in just four days, when they host the Chicago Red Stars for the first time this season. Kickoff is set for 7:30pm PT and the match is presented by the Washington Athletic Club. This is the second of three matches between the two sides this season, and the only one at Memorial Stadium.