Seattle Reign FC

Photo: Seattle Reign FC

Seattle Reign FC Hits The Road For Showdown With The Houston Dash

Seattle Reign FC (10-3-3, 33 pts) will look to move one step closer to hosting a semi-final playoff match on Friday, August 21 in a matchup with the Houston Dash (5-7-5, 20 pts). Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. PT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Tx.

The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 and streamed for subscribers on FoxSportsGO.com.

Seattle became the first team to clinch a 2015 playoff spot after defeating the Houston Dash on Wednesday, August 12. After going down a goal in the 15th minute, forward Merritt Mathias leveled the match seven minutes later on a through ball from forward Megan Rapinoe. Defender Rachel Corsie tallied the game-winning goal in the 59th minute, heading a corner from Stephanie Cox past Dash goalkeeper Erin McLeod to see Reign FC to a 2-1 victory.

“It’s always difficult going on the road, but the fact that there is a big break between these back-to-back matches with Houston helps,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “We can look at what Houston did to us during the last game that caused us problems, and then know what we need to be better at on Friday.”

Reign FC is currently riding a four-match unbeaten streak and sits atop the NWSL standings in first place with 33 points, five points ahead of the Chicago Red Stars and the Washington Spirit.

Forward Beverly Yanez is tied for second in the NWSL for goals scored with nine, while Scottish international Kim Little leads the league in assists with six.

The Dash have an uphill battle ahead of them after dropping their last three matches during the month of August. They currently sit sixth in the NWSL standings, five points behind the fourth and final playoff spot.

The Dash are lead by forwards Jessica McDonald and Kealia Ohai, and midfielder Carli Lloyd. McDonald leads the team with seven goals, while Lloyd and Ohai have four goals each. Ohai tallied the opening goal against Reign FC on August 12 but the visitors were unable to capitalize on the early lead.

In addition to Lloyd, Houston’s roster sports several players that have settled back into starting roles after returning from international duty. That includes U.S. Women’s National Team (USWNT) defender Meghan Klingenberg and midfielder Morgan Brian, as well as Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod and defender Allyscha Chapman.

Houston defender and team captain Ella Masar will miss Friday’s match against Reign FC after picking up her fifth yellow card of the season in last week’s loss to Reign FC. Recent signing Jen LaPonte, who has made five appearances for the Dash this season as an amateur player, with two starts, will most likely step into Masar’s spot.

Reign FC’s USWNT duo of Hope Solo and Rapinoe as well as Houston’s trio of Lloyd, Klingenberg, and Brian are all expected to be available for Friday’s match after playing in a Victory Tour friendly against Costa Rica in Chattanooga, Tenn. on Wednesday night. Lloyd tallied two goals in the 7-2 victory, one of which off a corner sent in by Rapinoe.

Friday’s showdown is the second of two regular season matchups between Reign FC and the Dash. Reign FC holds the all-time advantage outright with a 4-0-0 record. In 2014, Reign FC defeated the Dash 4-1 in its lone match in Houston on July 30, as Kim Little netted a brace and Megan Rapinoe added a wonder goal on the night.

For details on single match tickets, visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for tickets. Seats start at $19.

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