Reign FC prepare for first of two straight against Courage

reignfc-croppedSEATTLE, WA—(Reign release) This Saturday, Seattle Reign FC face the North Carolina Courage in the first match of a home and home doubleheader between the two teams. It is the second of three matches between the two squads, with the next game set for Sunday, August 13 at Memorial Stadium.

Saturday’s 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.

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Reign FC’s (6-3-6, 24 points) previous match was a 5-4 victory over Sky Blue FC. The match set an NWSL record for most goals in a half with eight, four from Seattle and four from the New Jersey side, and marked the 26th consecutive home match with a goal for Reign FC.

nc_courage_final_logo_rgb“Scoring five goals is a positive, but we had a 17 minute period where we needed to do something to change the game,” said Seattle Reign FC head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “I said to the girls this week ‘we can learn two things from that. One, we have to be better at certain things defensively. Secondly, a lot of teams could have crumbled under that pressure and we didn’t do that.’ To come out with the win after what was a very crazy game was the number one priority and we did that.”

North Carolina’s (9-5-0, 27 points) previous match against FC Kansas City was postponed to a later date due to weather conditions. The Courage’s previous match against Reign FC was a 2-0 win, marking their first-ever win against the club and their first shutout.

“We’ve just got to be better in certain areas defensively that we got punished on against Sky Blue and North Carolina,” said Harvey. “If we do that we’re confident we always have enough in us to score goals.”

The Courage are currently in second place on the NWSL table, having been in first place for much of the 2017 season. North Carolina have won three of their past five matches, and earned shutouts in three of their past six matches. So far this season the Courage have scored 20 goals and allowed 13 for the second best goal differential in the league, behind only Reign FC. North Carolina has earned four clean sheets at home, the second best in the league this season, with a 6-2-0 home record.

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On the road, Seattle has a record of 1-3-2 and an all-time record of 0-0-1 against North Carolina, with the lone match played at Sahlen’s Stadium in Cary, North Carolina. Reign FC have only been shutout three times this season, with all three occurring in road losses. In the last meeting between the two sides, Reign FC midfielder Lindsay Elston proved effective in pressuring the Courage defense, leading the team in shots with four.

This is the first match for both sides after the FIFA break in NWSL play, the second such break this season. Both teams were represented at the 2017 Tournament of Nations, with Reign FC’s Megan Rapinoe and Rumi Utsugi playing in two matches to date, and the Courage’s Abby Dahlkemper, Lynn Williams, Sam Mewis, Taylor Smith and Debinha all called in for their respective nations.

Reign FC ended the month of July with a 2-1-1 record, and head into a difficult month of August. During the month of August, Reign FC have three of their five matches on the road, and all five matches are against teams in the top five on the NWSL table.

Points will be at a premium as they enter the final stretch to qualify for the 2017 NWSL playoffs. Seattle is currently in the fourth and final playoff spot. While they are just one point out of third, three teams are within five points of Reign FC.

“It starts this week with North Carolina,” said Harvey. “We’ve got to make sure we turn as many draws into wins as we can, especially at home, and pick up points where we can on the road.”

Reign FC returns to Memorial Stadium when they host the North Carolina Courage for the first time in club history on August 13th. Single match tickets and VIP experience packages are available for the 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.

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