A league award, statement victory in week two, and the go90 coverage, as we look back at the week that was for the Seattle Reign.
The season didn’t start off the way the Seattle Reign would have hoped, but an opening day point was an improved result from 2016. Haley Kopmeyer kept the team in the match and was rightly rewarded by the league.
Having two straight home games to open the year was a bonus for the Reign. Not having to travel enabled more time for the team to work on formation, and incorporating new players.
Headlines from the Week
A light week in headlines for Seattle as the team remained in town for another home match:
- Deservedly so, Haley Kopmeyer was recognized as the NWSL Player of the Week for week one. Her eight saves in week one earned a point for Seattle, and she nearly captured all three as she got a slight touch to the Sky Blue FC penalty kick in the second half. Hopmeyer looks ready to be a steady leader on a stout defense.
- Power Rankings. The league’s website placed the Reign in 6th place after week one action, while our own Eric Harris moved them up into 5th.
- Naho got to throw out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game.
The Reign stayed with the 4-3-3 formation, but made two changes from week one. Beverly Yanez moved back into the central striker position. While Rumi Utsugi came in for Lindsay Elston, and played in the center of the midfield three.
The back five put on another clinic, but will feel disappointed to have let in a late goal to the Houston Dash. While they have yet to pick up a clean sheet, this defense looks just as strong as last year’s so far.
The real story of the night was that results from the run of play finally came to fruition after a difficult opening week. Megan Rapinoe looked sharp and led the way with two goals and an assist. Up 3-0 by halftime, the game was effectively over, but Seattle remained sharp and put another two strikes past the Dash, before ending the match 5-1.
POTM: Megan Rapinoe. In her week one press conference comments she addressed the fact that she still felt a bit rusty and that the team was talented, but still coming together. That rust faded quickly, as she was lively all night tormenting the Dash backline. After calling for a long ball over the top all night during the match against Sky Blue, Fishlock found her this week in the 27th minute, for a wonder strike.
POTM (2nd Place): Kristen McNabb. Started her first two professional games, and looks comfortable with the speed and physicality of the league. Rewarded with the game’s third goal. While it’s difficult for a defender to win Rookie of the Year, with these efforts she’ll be in the conversation.
NWSL Standings & Next Week
Week two saw the rest of the league matches end favorably for the Reign. The 5-1 win over Houston jumped Seattle into 2nd place in the table, two points behind the North Carolina Courage. As you might expect, the team now has the best goal differential in the league at +4.
Next Match: April 29 at 4:00 pm PT
Opponent: @ Boston Breakers
What to Know: After struggling last season, Boston opened 2017 with a 2-0 loss at Kansas City. However, they defeated Sky Blue FC in their home opener this past weekend, and star rookie Rose Lavelle tallied an assist. With a shutout in week two, and staying at home, the Breakers, like Seattle, will be confident going into this game.
On the road next week, Seattle should enter the match confident and press the Boston Breakers early. Three points is entirely possible, and could potentially lift them into first place.