Seattle Reign FC (13-1-4, 43 pts) will try to further solidify its playoff seeding this Sunday, July 27, as they take on Portland Thorns FC (8-6-6, 30 pts) at the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium. The match kicks off at 4 p.m. (PT).
Seattle clinched its first-ever NWSL playoff berth last Sunday after a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Red Stars, and has also clinched a first-round home playoff game after Portland played the Washington Spirit to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
After a scoreless first half against the Red Stars, Seattle got on the board first on Sunday in the 70th minute, with a line drive shot from close range by forward Beverley Goebel flying past diving goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc. The scoring opportunity was the product of a pair of passes in the box, with a feed from forward Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi finding forward Sydney Leroux on the far post. Leroux then fired a short pass to defender Kendall Fletcher, who found Goebel in front of the net to open the scoring.
However, after a Seattle turnover, Chicago got the equalizer 11 minutes later, when forward Jen Hoy sent a pass across the box to forward Christen Press who was able to dribble past goalkeeper Hope Solo on the near post to tie the game and cap the scoring.
With last Sunday’s draw, Reign FC remains atop the league standings with a league-record 43 points, nine points ahead of second-place FC Kansas City with 34 points, and 13 points clear of third-place Portland.
Seattle is now five ahead of the previous NWSL record for points in a season of 38, with six regular-season matches left to play.
Thorns FC boasts several players at or near the top of league leaderboards. Forward Jessica McDonald is tied for the NWSL lead in goals with 11 — alongside Seattle midfielder Kim Little — while midfielder Allie Long is fifth with nine. Forward Christine Sinclair leads the NWSL in shots with 62, and is tied for the most shots on goal with 31. Midfielder Veronica Boquete is tied for the league lead in assists with six. Defender Nikki Marshall is the lone Portland player to start all 20 of the team’s games.
Sunday’s match is the second of three regular season matches between Seattle and Portland. Reign FC won the first matchup in Portland on May 10, with Little dribbling past Thorns FC goalkeeper Nadine Angerer on the near post in the 89th minute on a breakaway to score the game’s lone goal in Seattle’s 1-0 victory.
The two sides will meet again on Sunday, August 17 at Jeld-Wen Field in Portland. That match is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start time.
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