Seattle Reign FC at Washington Spirit
6:30 p.m. ET/ Maryland SoccerPlex
Seattle: 4-0-0 (12pts)
Washington: 2-2-0 (6pts)
Seattle and Washington have already met once this season, with the Reign earning a 3-1 victory at Memorial Stadium on April 23. Jessica Fishlock, Kendall Fletcher and Keelin Winters all tallied goals for Seattle as Diana Matheson tallied the lone goal for the visitors.
The match featured two goals scored off corner kicks for the Reign; an area where the Spirit will be forced to improve so to not make the same mistake tonight at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
Seattle Reign FC:
Last Match: April 30 at Sky Blue FC (W, 2-0)
The Seattle Reign are coming off a midweek match in which they defeated Sky Blue FC in a monsoon behind goals from former INAC-KOBE teammates Beverly Goebel and Nahomi Kawasumi. They became the sixth and seventh players to score for the Reign this season.
Kim Little has also been a force for Seattle and leads the team (and the league) in goals scored with four. The Scottish midfielder was named April’s Player of the Month earlier this week.
Hope Solo leads the league in shutouts and anchors a backline that has given up just a single goal all season
Last Match: April 26 at Chicago Red Stars (W, 1-0)
The Washington Spirit return to the pitch after a 1-0 win in Chicago last weekend off of Tori Huster’s first goal of the 2014 campaign.
Midfielder Diana Matheson leads the club in scoring with three goals and is second behind the Reign’s Little on the league leaderboard. Matheson shouldered the burden of goal scoring for the Spirit in 2013 and while they should be thrilled to see her picking up where she left off last season, the Spirit need to see a more balanced attack.
Christine Nairn was acquired from Seattle in the offseason (for the rights to Little) and scored on a bending corner kick in the season opener. Yael Averbuch has been quiet on the attacking front in this early part of the season and Jodie Taylor is still searching for her first tally in NWSL.
Rookie Crystal Dunn is tied with Fishlock and Kawasumi atop the lead in assists and the Spirit will look for her to continue creating offensive opportunities.
The Spirit will need to shore up a backline that allowed three goals to the Reign 10 days ago in Seattle, particularly on set pieces.
The Reign will be without Amanda Frisbie with an adductor strain, Carmelina Moscato with a stress reaction in her right foot as well as midfielder Megan Rapinoe who misses her third-straight match with a contusion on her left foot. She did not make the trip to the East coast with Seattle.
Nairn is listed as probable with a left quad strain while Caroline Miller (right ankle surgery), Colleen Williams (right knee surgery) and Tiffany Weimer (left knee ACL tear) all will miss the match. Weimer will miss the remainder of the season with an ACL injury that was sustained during training.