Reign FC vs North Carolina Courage: Disappointing seasons meet
The North Carolina Courage are hoping to get back to their winning ways this weekend. | Photo: isihotos.com

Reign FC vs North Carolina Courage: Disappointing seasons meet

On Monday afternoon, Reign FC will host the North Carolina Courage in the final match of week 7.

aaron_bellamy
Aaron Bellamy

With one quarter of the 2019 National Women's Soccer League season in the books, Reign FC is trying to get their second win against the North Carolina Courage on Monday evening. Both teams have failed to live up to expectations after making the playoffs in 2018, and this game will set the tone for them going forward. Reign FC is hoping to continue their winning ways after securing their first win of the season last weekend.

Wins by Utah Royals FC and the Washington Spirit earlier in the weekend prevent either team from taking the top spot on the league table, but this is still an important game for both teams.

Reign FC tries to build momentum

This has been a difficult season for Reign FC. The team finally got their first win last weekend against Sky Blue FC last weekend, but things are looking stormy in Washington. Goalkeeper Michelle Betos is officially out for the season after rupturing her Achilles Tendon in last week's match, and newly acquired Casey Murphy will need to quickly acclimate to the starting role. 

Elsewhere on the pitch, forward Darian Jenkins is still working to regain full form. She suffered a soft tissue injury in game one and has not yet been able to play 90 minutes for her team. With English forward Jodie Taylor absent for World Cup duty, it's hard to see where Reign FC will find offensive performance this weekend. 

In addition to Taylor, RFC will also be without Steph Catley this weekend, The fullback is away with the Australian women's national team, and Christen Westphal is expected to fill in for her. The Courage will definitely try to put pressure on the back line with a new goalkeeper and defender starting this weekend.

The reigning champs are troubled

The North Carolina Courage have more points than Reign FC, but they certainly aren't in better form. Since the United States women's national team pulled their players for camp, the Courage have been held winless. The Courage have now set a club record with three consecutive winless games.

There is no single area where the Courage have struggled. Defensively, Kaleigh Kurtz has not been able to find her feet as a centerback, despite being placed next to Abby Erceg; one of the best in the world. 

Abby Erceg will have one more game with the Courage before heading to the World Cup. | Photo: isiphotos.com
Abby Erceg will have one more game with the Courage before heading to the World Cup. | Photo: isiphotos.com

Head coach Paul Riley is still trying to organize an effective midfield. McCall Zerboni was supposed to be a superstar after she was snubbed from the World Cup roster, but she has not been aggressive. The rest of the midfield has been out of sync without Sam Mewis and Crystal Dunn.

Finally, the forwards have not been efficient in the attack. Lynn Williams consistently fails to score in high-probability scenarios, and Julia Spetsmark and Leah Pruitt have not found their form at starters. 

How to watch

The game is scheduled to kick off at 6:00 p.m. ET on Monday evening. The live broadcast from Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, WA is available on Yahoo! Sports in the United States and on the NWSL website internationally.

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