SEATTLE, WA—Nine Seattle Reign FC internationals – Jodie Taylor, Megan Rapinoe, Jess Fishlock, Nahomi Kawasumi, Theresa Nielsen, Rumi Utsugi, Allie Long, Steph Catley and Lydia Williams – are away with their national teams as the NWSL takes an early-season break.
The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off the action with a friendly against Mexico on Thursday evening in Jacksonville, Florida. NWSL Player of the Month Megan Rapinoe got the start and provided an assist to Mallory Pugh, who nabbed the USA’s first goal of the evening. Midfielder Allie Long was in the 18 and entered the match in the 71st minute. The U.S. controlled the game from start-to-finish, ending the evening with a 4-1 victory on a brace from Alex Morgan, and goals from Pugh and Carli Lloyd.
It was Friday’s action that provided the marquee matchup of this international break, with England and Wales facing off in a UEFA World Cup Qualifier. Jess Fishlock and the Welsh squad went into the match at the top of Group A, while Jodie Taylor and the England WNT were just one point behind with a game-in-hand. Wales had what appeared to be the match-winner cleared off the line in the first half and spent the second half absorbing pressure from a relentless attack from England. The match ended 0-0, leaving Wales atop the Group A table.
Japan rolled through its first match against Vietnam on Saturday morning in its first match of the Asian Cup in Jordan. The tournament will determine the teams that will represent the AFC in the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Building on their 7-1 win over Ghana on April 1 (in which Naho picked up an assist on Japan’s final goal after coming on in the 59th minute), Japan picked up a 4-0 win over Vietnam. Neither Kawasumi nor Utsugi were in the starting 11, but Naho did enter the match in the 80thminute. With the win Japan sits alone at the top of Group B.
Earlier today, Australia and the Republic of Korea played their first match of the Asian Cup. Lydia Williams and Steph Catley both got starts for the Matildas. Despite a few solid chances for Australia, including a brilliant cross from Steph Catley that was hit just over the crossbar by Kyah Simon, the match ended in a 0-0 draw. The result leaves Australia sharing the 2nd spot in the Group B table with the Republic of Korea.
International action will continue on Sunday, April 8 when the U.S. Women’s National Team will try to double-down on their recent success against Mexico. The two teams will meet up in Houston, Texas in a 10:30 a.m. PT match that will be broadcast on FOX.
On Monday, April 9, Japan will take on the Republic of Korea in their second match of the Asian Cup. Later that morning, Theresa Nielsen and Denmark will face off against Ukraine at 9:00 a.m. PT.
On Tuesday, April 10, England will be on the road in Zenica to face Bosnia & Herzegovina in their second UEFA World Cup Qualifier of the break. The match kicks off at 8:00 a.m. PT. Two hours later, some 1300 miles to the southeast of Zenica, Australia and Vietnam will play a 10:00 a.m. game at King Abdullah International Stadium, in Amman, Jordan.
Seattle Reign FC return to action against Sky Blue FC on Sunday, April 15 at Yurcak Field at 2 p.m. PT. Seattle’s next home match will be Saturday, May 12 at 7 p.m PT, also against Sky Blue FC.
Tickets for the May 12 match are available at http://www.reignfc.com/tickets.
About Seattle Reign FC:
Seattle Reign FC is one of nine 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.