Seattle Reign FC (0-4-1, 1pt) vs. Washington Spirit (0-2-3, 3pts)
Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 6:00pm PDT (10:00pm EDT)
Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, Washington
Watch The Match Here!
Twitter – @WashSpirit @SeattleReignFC

The Washington Spirit will travel West for the first time this season to face the Seattle Reign at Starfire Stadium in Tukwula, Washington.

Seattle’s match this week marks only their second home game out of six matches so far this season. The Reign are coming home after a 2-0 loss to Sky Blue on Saturday and are hoping the home crowd advantage will help them to earn their first win of the season. Washington however, is also looking to record their fist win to kick-start their stint of three away matches over the next month.

The Spirit enters the match off their second 1-1 draw on Saturday to the Boston Breakers. Midfielders netted both goals. The first one coming off a ball fed from Breakers Lianne Sanderson to Joanna Lohman who blasted a shot from 14 yards out beating Spirit’s keeper Ashlyn Harris. Washington struggled to generate chances the rest of the half. Ali Krieger and Candace Chapman got subbed out after the break to make way for rookies Kika Toulouse and Domenica Hodak. The change paid off just five minutes later when Diana Matheson sent a ball towards the middle finding Lori Lindsey who took a single touch and blasted the ball between the woodwork. The team continued with newfound energy the last half of the match, which seemed to be their best soccer all season, constantly threatening the Breakers and never letting up on their pressure. Despite multiple opportunities in the second half from the Spirit they couldn’t make good on any of their chances to pull ahead. The team is definitely improving and will continue to do so throughout the season, building their chemistry and skill as a team.

The Reign who have yet to record their first win in the 2013 NWSL season and are sitting at the bottom of the league rankings after suffering a hard 2-0 loss against Sky Blue on Saturday. Both goals came just five minutes apart from one another. The first of the two goals came off a Christie Rampone free kick in the 30th minute when she launched the ball into the box. Reign’s keeper Michele Betos came out to punch the ball away only to have it land at the feet of Danesha Adams who had no trouble putting it away for the 1-0 lead. Just five minuets after the opening goal Sky Blue’s Lisa De Vanna stole the ball from a Reign defender putting her 1-on-1 with Betos. De Vanna easily slotted the ball between the posts securing a 2-0 lead. Seattle came out with fire in the second half but the game remained 2-0 until the final whistle was blown.

The first of three matches this season between Seattle and Washington will be one of high energy with very physical play. Both teams will have to put fourth a lot of work in order to come away with the win. It will be essential for both teams to maintain possession.

In the battle of midfielders all players will need to keep cool calm heads with players like Jessica Fishlock (3 yellow card in 4 games) and Diana Matheson going at it all day. While Seattle may have some trouble breaking through Washington’s backline, the Spirit’s forwards Stephanie Ochs and Tiffany McCarty will need to contribute more while the midfielders try to contain Fishlock, Keelin Winters, and Kaylyn Kyle.

Washington Spirit will need to improve on connecting passes in the final third and work on generating more chances in the run of play and off of corners. Seattle needs to cut down exchanges between Matheson and Krieger to keep them from gaining yards forward. Seattle had looked very disorganized this season, playing sloppy, and will have to save their energy as to not waste it on unnecessary runs. They also need to improve on creating chances and being able to convert them. It is imperative for their backline to provide better coverage for their keeper Betos. It will be a very physical, even matched, entertaining game.

Seattle will look to improve attendance this week at Starfire Stadium after drawing a crowd of 2,618 for their home opener against FC Kansas City on May 4th.