In Week Two of the NWSL, the Seattle Reign hosts the Houston Dash at Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Seattle is looking to steal the full three points from their visitors after only coming away with one point in last weekend’s home opener against Sky Blue FC. The Dash on the other hand are rather confident, coming off of a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Red Stars.
Seattle’s grit and determination, Rapinoe returns
Despite having a perfect 7-0-0 record against the Dash since 2014, the Reign still have to come out and prove themselves in this Saturday’s match. After missing out of playoffs last season, there have been questions about Seattle.
Head coach and general manager Laura Harvey stated after the game last weekend, “...We have to have grit and determination and a mentality of proving the critics wrong because everyone’s written us off, and I think tonight we showed we have that.”
Having USWNT midfielder Megan Rapinoe back in action is huge for the Reign. Rapinoe missed out on the 2016 season recovering from an ACL tear she suffered in December of 2015. She was also away for national team duties for the USA in the 2016 Olympics. Last weekend it was very evidence just how much of an impact she has on the field with the Reign. Not only did she draw the foul and convert the penalty kick, but the midfielder also helped control the midfield as well as create the attack for the Reign in their season opener. She’ll be instrumental on the attack this weekend.
Houston to keep momentum going
Things are looking good for Houston after opening weekend. They came out strong and have added even more to their roster. New defender Janine Van Wyk has been a good addition to the backline. With her experience as well as her calm and collected manner, the Dash are able to clean up messes in the back a little easier than they would have in the past. On the front line, newly signed forward Sarah Hagen fills in the role of tall target forward for the Dash. She dominates in the air, and she was able to create chances for Houston coming off the bench. Overall, Houston played pretty well considering how many new faces were brought in against a Chicago team who entered 2016 with virtually the same roster. The most recent addition to the Dash is defender Camille Levin, who was signed earlier this week.
The Dash had plenty of looks at goal last weekend, and they hope to have the same against Seattle. Although they have a 0-7-0 (win-loss-tie) record when it comes to playing the Reign, this could be the season to turn it around. At the end of last season, they were up 2-0 on the Reign in the first half, but unfortunately let the lead slip away from them as the Reign scored three goals to come back for the win. If the Dash fans saw last weekend make an appearance in Seattle, then we could be looking at a first possible win over the Reign.
The game kicks off at 10 pm Eastern Time at Memorial Stadium. The match will be available through the go90 app, and VAVEL USA will provide live updates here.