Here’s a preview from the club:
Seattle Reign FC (12-3-3, 39 pts) will look to finish its regular season unbeaten at home in a matchup with Sky Blue FC (5-7-6, 21 pts) on Saturday, August 29. Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. PT on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium, with a live, high-definition webstream available at YouTube.com/NWSL.
Reign FC has the opportunity for the second consecutive season to post an undefeated home record during the regular season. Seattle has yet to lose on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium, a run that includes 21 regular season matches and one playoff fixture, to bring the unbeaten run to 22.
Reign FC is coming off a 3-1 midweek victory over the Boston Breakers on Wednesday, August 26, as forward Megan Rapinoe, defender Kendall Fletcher, and midfielder Kim Little all netted goals on the night.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
With the win, Reign FC clinched the NWSL Shield, awarded to the team for the best regular season record. Seattle has racked up an impressive 12-3-3 record to become the first team to repeat as NWSL Shield winners. Reign FC stormed to the 2014 Shield with a 16-2-6 performance and set an NWSL record averaging 2.25 points per game.
On Wednesday, Reign FC scored the opening goal of the match in the 21st minute as Little collected a pass in the middle of the pitch and played a give-and-go with Rapinoe. Little then sent it out wide for defender Stephanie Cox who sent in a low cross to Rapinoe who finished her shot past Breakers goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher to put the home side up 1-0.
In the 34th minute, Reign FC's high pressure would pay off again as a clearance from a saved shot by Rapinoe was intercepted by Fletcher at the top of the box who finished her shot into the net to double Reign FC's lead.
In the 56th minute, Cox played a long ball to Rapinoe at the top of the box. Rapinoe's backheel found its way to Little who gathered the spilled ball and finished past Neaher to extend Reign FC's lead to 3-0.
Little is now Reign FC's leading scorer with 10 goals, second overall on the league leaderboard while Rapinoe notched her fourth goal and fifth assist of the season. The victory also extended Reign FC's winning streak to six matches.
Sky Blue FC comes into Saturday's match having already been eliminated from postseason contention despite a 1-0 victory over Portland Thorns FC in Week 18. Forward Nadia Nadim scored the lone goal of the match – her fourth goal of the season. Goalkeeper Brittany Cameron made three saves in the match – including a save on Alex Morgan's 89th-minute penalty as well as the ensuing follow up shot – to earn her fourth shutout of the year.
Midfielder Katy Freels and Nadim lead Sky Blue with five goals each, while Samantha Kerr and Kelly O'Hara have four and three goals, respectively. O'Hara also leads the team in assists with four.
Cameron has been a strong force in net for Sky Blue FC, making 18 starts this season and carrying a 1.278 goals against average.
Sky Blue FC have also lost just one of their last seven matches, racking up 14 points during that stretch – tied for the second most in the league.
Saturday is the third and final match up between Seattle and Sky Blue FC this season. Both teams shared points in the first meeting of 2015 as Lauren Barnes tallied the lone goal in a 1-1 draw on May 9 in Piscataway, N.J. On June 9, Reign FC blanked Sky Blue 3-0 on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium as midfielders Keelin Winters, Jessica Fishlock, and Kim Little in a 3-0 victory.
In conjunction with Reign FC clinching the NWSL Shield last Wednesday, a trophy ceremony will take place following Saturday's match as NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush will be in attendance to present the Shield to Seattle.
During half-time, Plush will be available to the media for questions in the Reign FC Press Room, and media are asked to arrive to the lower left-hand side of the field before the 45th minute of play.
In addition to a Shield ceremony, the 2015 Women's World Cup trophy will be in Seattle and displayed during the duration of Saturday's match on the concourse of the South Grandstand. Fans will have the opportunity to see the culmination of the U.S. Women's National Team's accomplishment in Canada this past summer with their own eyes and photograph a piece of U.S. Soccer history.
Additionally, Reign FC has clinched a home semi-final match that will take place on Sunday, September 13 at 6:30 p.m. PT. Tickets to that playoff match are available at Reign FC’s website at www.reignfc.com/semifinal.
To purchase tickets to Reign FC's regular season home finale on Saturday, visit ReignFC.com or call (855) REIGN-FC for tickets. Seats start at $19.