Seattle Reign FC vs Orlando Pride preview: A battle for second place

Whoever wins this match takes sole possession of second place. It'll be a battle for second best between these two.

Seattle Reign FC vs Orlando Pride preview: A battle for second place
Seattle Reign FC vs Orlando Pride: A battle for second place

Week 10 of National Women’s Soccer League wraps up with the Seattle Reign hosting the Orlando Pride. Seattle look to earn another win, coming off of a 1-0 win over Sky Blue FC last weekend. Orlando comes off of a high-scoring game on the road, earning a 5-2 win against the Chicago Red Stars. The two teams sit right next to each other on the table: Seattle in second with 17 points and Orlando in third with 15 points.

Seattle without Rapinoe

With the US Women’s National Team in camp, Seattle will be missing Allie Long and Megan Rapinoe. Rapinoe is second in the league in scoring with five goals and Long not far behind with four. The Seattle attack will miss their presences greatly, but having other players of such high caliber such as Naho Kawasumi doesn’t leave them without a chance. This Seattle club has been known to have a deep bench, and that will be tested this weekend without two of their main attackers in the lineup against the Pride.

The Reign’s defense is pretty solid, with Lauren Barnes and Kristen McNabb holding it down. Barnes leads the team in clearances with 28 and McNabb is second in blocks with eight. The club is tied with the Utah Royals with second-fewest defeats to start the season with two losses. They come second to the currently unbeaten North Carolina Courage. They’ll want to make sure Sunday night is another win in their books, seeing as the Orlando Pride can easily jump over them to claim second place if they lose.

Seattle and Orlando are ready to battle it out again. | Source: Seattle Reign FC

Orlando missing plenty of faces

The Orlando Pride will be missing Alex Morgan up top and Ashlyn Harris in goal. Harris is the only Pride player along with defender Shelina Zadorsky who have played every minute this season for the Orlando Pride so far. However, Orlando will be missing more faces due to injury: Marta is out with a left calf strain, Rachel Hill is out with a left groin strain, and Ali Krieger was ruled out 4-6 for her MCL injury. Many key players all over the field are missing for Orlando. It will be crucial that everyone else steps up.

With Harris out, we could see Haley Kopmeyer debut for the Orlando Pride this weekend against her former club. Kopmeyer spent five season in Seattle, first as a backup to Hope Solo and then splitting time with her until she eventually took over as their starting goalkeeper. With so many different faces being thrown into the lineup, it will be interesting to see how quickly Orlando finds a rhythm on Sunday evening.

The Seattle Reign hosts the Orlando Pride on Sunday, June 3 at UW Medicine Pitch. Kickoff is scheduled for 9 PM Eastern Time and will be broadcasted on the go90 app.