SEATTLE, WA— (Reign release) This Saturday, Seattle Reign FC face the North Carolina Courage for the first time in club history. The two teams will face off against each other in three of their next five matches. This is the first of two matches at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Kickoff is set for 4:30pm PT. Fans can watch the match through the go90 app, go90.com, NWSL app, or nwslsoccer.com. They can also follow live play-by-play of the match at Reign FC’s official Twitter page, @ReignFC, and can join the conversation using the hashtag #NCvSEA.
Reign FC’s (5-2-5, 20 points) previous match was a 2-0 victory over rival Portland Thorns FC. Seattle is now undefeated in their past three matches against Portland going back to 2016, and undefeated in their past four matches in NWSL play this season.
“It was a great ending to the week,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Throughout the whole seven days the players put in a phenomenal effort. I think you saw that in the Portland game. We were still putting them under a lot of pressure and not letting them play the way they can do and we took our chances. That’s what you’ve got to do in rival games. It’s going to be tight, it’s going to be feisty.”
It was the second shutout of the 2017 NWSL season for the Reign FC defense. Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer made three saves in the match, increasing her league-leading save total to 53 on the season. The match ended a streak of four consecutive games where Reign FC conceded the first goal of the match.
“We’ve got a bit of grit about us right now,” said Harvey. “We pride ourselves on being hard to beat. It’s something we’ve worked on a lot. I felt we’d come away from that a bit during the first part of the season. We spoke about it a lot and as a group we said we need to put that into action. Last week we did.”
A catalyst of the Reign FC offense, Megan Rapinoe has scored a brace in the past two matches for Reign FC. The forward leads the league in goals scored with nine, three more than the next closest player. Reign FC have scored in all but two matches this season, with both shutouts coming on the road.
“The biggest thing is what she [Rapinoe] does when she doesn’t have the ball,” said Harvey. “She’s such a threat, people are worried about her, so teams try to stop her as much as they can which sometimes opens the space for people who get her the ball in the second phase. Her work rate defensively has been phenomenal. This is the best form she’s been in for this club. We need to make sure we aren’t reliant just on her, we don’t want to be that team, but as long as we can keep her in this form then we are going to be okay.”
North Carolina’s (8-4-0, 24 points) previous match was a 1-0 loss against Sky Blue FC at WakeMed Soccer Park. Despite the loss, the Courage remain in first place on the NWSL table, where they have been for most of the season.
Reign FC faced North Carolina, formerly the Western New York Flash, twice during the 2016 NWSL season, with Reign FC going 0-1-1 in the series. Co-captain and midfielder Jess Fishlock was the club’s all-time leading goal scorer against the Flash with five total goals. Seattle had never shutout Western New York.
“They’re a good side and have some really good players who know how to grind out results,” said Harvey. “I think they’re a huge threat. Some of the football they play and some of the goals they score are fantastic. We just know we’ve got to go there, be hard to beat, and work as hard as we have over the past four or five games.”
Rapinoe and Reign FC return to Memorial Stadium on July 15th when they host the Boston Breakers. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm PT. 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.
Reign FC Match Forecast presented by The Seattle Times.
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.