National Women's Soccer League

Seattle, Kansas City meet in rematch of title game

Seattle Reign FC (1-1-0, 3 points) at FC Kansas City (0-2-0, 0 points), 8 p.m. ET
Swope Soccer Village; Kansas City, Mo.

The last time these two clubs met, they were battling for the NWSL title at Starfire Stadium. FC Kansas City was propelled by a two-goal performance from Amy Rodriguez to take the title from the NWSL Shield winners.

Last year, the Seattle Reign tore through the regular season, going on a 16-game unbeaten streak. The quest for a second unbeaten streak was halted last weekend when Christen Press scored in second-half stoppage time to lift the Red Stars past the Reign, 3-2.

FC Kansas City has gotten off to a rocky start and remain without a win in 2015. The Blues were dominant during their season-opening loss to Sky Blue FC but weren’t able to convert any of their chances. Vlatko Andonovski’s side jumped out to a quick 1-0 lead in Washington, but the Spirit tied the match two minutes later and scored a pair of second-half goals en route to a 3-1 victory over the defending champs.

It will be a crucial match for both sides as it will be the final match that the clubs have their U.S. women’s national team players prior to World Cup preparation.

Kansas City will be hit harder by World Cup absences, as the club will lose defensive stalwart Becky Sauerbrunn; attacking midfielders Heather O’Reilly and Lauren Holiday; and forward Amy Rodriguez, who lead the Blues in scoring last season.

Seattle will lose goalkeeper Hope Solo and Week 1 Player of the Week Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe notched a hat trick in the Reign’s season-opener against Western New York.

Aside from being a rematch of last season’s championship match, it is also a battle of the league’s two MVPs—Seattle’s Kim Little and Kansas City’s Lauren Holiday. While Holiday will showcase her talents this summer, Little’s Scottish team did not qualify for the World Cup and will be in Seattle all summer.

Key Matchup: The midfields. Fishlock, Winters and Little form a daunting attack for any team to try and stop while Rapinoe has pushed up top. Little and Fishlock have combined for just three shots on goal through two matches. Rapinoe added five shots on goal and has three goals on the young season.

Erika Tymrak, Holiday and O’Reilly are a dangerous attack as well. The trio has combined for 11 of Kansas City’s 16 shots on goal in two matches with O’Reilly leading with five shots on goal.

Injury Report: Havana Solaun (SEA) is listed as out with a left ankle sprain, Domi Richardson (KC) is questionable with a hamstring strain and Lauren Holiday (KC) is probable with a bruised heel.


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