Reign FC host Boston in historic 100th NWSL league match

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Seattle Reign FC 1
Boston Breakers 1
NWSL Regular Season – July 15, 2017
Seattle, WA – Memorial Stadium

In what was the historic 100th NWSL league match for both clubs, the Seattle Reign FC and Boston Breakers played to a 1-1 draw. Both sidesscored in the first half and despite pressure and opportunities in the second, neither could find the go ahead goal.

Seattle coach Laura Harvey is the only woman leading any of the ten NWSL clubs, and was honored pre-match by the club on the 100th match occasion. The draw on the evening appeared to feel more like two points lost for Seattle than a point hard fought.

Japanese international Rumi Utsugi continued in the central midfield for the injured Jessica Fishlock. Utsugi brings a different element to the midfield role, which along with her experience, has allowed for Seattle to mostly play their style unchanged, except that midfielder Lindsay Elston was more involved in attacking opportunities as Utsugi tends to hang back where Fishlock attacks forward.

A weak clearance in the 32nd minute led to Naho getting time and space, that means opportunity, and her class on the long range drive meant a goal and a lead. Playing at home and scoring first has typically led to three points for Seattle, but the young Breakers pushed forward.

In the 43rd minute Leon got rewarded for getting position on a far post run and hammered it past Haley Kopmeyer. The equalizer just before the half altered the dynamic of the match.

The second half started briskly as Seattle tried to grab a quick lead, but Boston’s ability to get the ball quickly wide and out of the defense stifled the Reign’s typical pressure, not allowing for a second opportunistic goal to come along.

Boston is improving, with young players like former Reign defender Amanda Frisbie seeing valuable playing time. Breakers coach Matt Beard kept his team to its usual outside in style despite the smaller pitch in Memorial and was rewarded with a valuable road point.

Seattle is playing for top four positioning, and the opportunity to jump into 4th was missed on the night. With more road matches than home matches down the stretch, Seattle needs to grind out the points at home and simply wasn’t able to on the night.

Photos by Vanya Tucherov

NWSL Match Report
Match: Seattle Reign FC (5-3-6, 21 pts) vs Boston Breakers (3-6-5, 14 pts)
Date: July 15, 2017
Venue: Memorial Stadium
Kickoff: 7:00pm PT
Attendance: 3,730
Weather: Sunny

Scoring Summary:

SEA – Kawasumi 32’
BOS – Leon (Westphal) 43’

Lineups:

Seattle Reign FC: Kopmeyer, Pickett, Barnes, McNabb, Stott, Utsugi, Nairn, Elston, Rapinoe, Mathias (Yanez 68’), Kawasumi (Johnson 79’)

Substitutes Not Used: Bauer, Dallstream, Hahn, Reed, Schiffel

Boston Breakers: Smith, Westphal (Elby 71’), Oyster, King, Frisbe, Salem, Andrews, White, Weimer (Purce 69’), Dowie (Stengel 79’), Leon

Substitutes Not Used: Prudhomme, Onumonu

Stats Summary: SEA/BOS
Shots: 15 / 10
Shots on Goal: 6 / 3
Saves: 2 / 5
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 5 / 10
Offside: 5 / 3

Misconduct Summary:

Officials:
Referee: Ramy Touchan
Assistant Referees: Maggie Short, Walter Heatherly
Fourth Official: JJ Blodgett

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