Reign FC is hosting Sky Blue FC this weekend where both teams will try to secure their first win of the season. Reign FC currently has three points with four matches played (0-1-3). Sky Blue has two points in five matches played (0-3-2). The match will be the last for the international players heading to the World Cup, minus the USWNT and Canadian players who have already departed from the NWSL to report to camp. The Reign have picked up points against the Houston Dash, Orlando Pride, and Washington Spirit, with their one loss coming from the Chicago Red Stars. The New Jersey side picked up a point at home against the Portland Thorns and away at the North Carolina Courage, but lost two to the Spirit twice and to the Dash once. The match will be played at the Reign’s new home Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington. Kickoff time is 4:00 pm ET and can be watched on Yahoo! Sports.
Reign have a lot of room to grow this season
This is not the start Reign FC wanted after their third place finish last year with 41 points just one point behind the second place Thorns. The Reign are going to be missing a lot of key players to the World Cup like Megan Rapinoe, Steph Catley, Lydia Williams, Rumi Utsugi, Jodie Taylor, and Elise Kellond-Knight. However Seattle has depth and Vlatko Andonovski can no doubt make something out of this season capitalizing on players like Shea Groom, Darian Jenkins, Beverly Yanez, and Lauren Barnes. The Reign recently signed Ifeoma Onumonu as a National Team Replacement. Onumonu was waived by Portland after making eight appearances last season, this will be her third season in the NWSL.
Also recently signed was goalkeeper Casey Murphy. Murphy, a New Jersey native, has spent the last two seasons playing in France with Montpellier in the French Division 1 Féminine. Murphy was voted the French Division 1 keeper of the year by the French Football Federation in 2018. Reign fans have no reason to despair the season is young and even with all the players gone for international duty Andonovski will make the most will the players he has.
Sky Blue started slow, but hopefully not for long
Sky Blue has also had a less than ideal start to the season, but their first win should come before the last game of the season. The team is only losing three players to the World Cup which will no doubt play in their favor with a number of teams losing five or more. Sky Blue has already drawn two games against the two previous NWSL Champions.
The New Jersey side recently signed Gina Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. Lewandowski is a defender, but scored 18 goals in seven seasons in the Frauen-Bundesliga. Lewandowski will hopefully add a stability to the backline that comes with experience that Sky Blue has been missing since Christie Rampone and Kelley O’Hara departed from the club. The team took steps in the right direction off the field in the off season leading to hopefully a better season on the field. Sarah Killion, the team’s captain, has been with the team since 2015 and has seen it all. She along with Sky Blue veterans Raquel Rodriguez, Erica Skroski, Domi Richardson and McKenzie Meehan will be key in gritting out wins against deflated teams during the World Cup break, but it starts this weekend against the Reign.