Match Forecast: Reign FC Plays Host to Sky Blue FC
Tacoma, WA - Following a week-long layoff, Reign FC (0-1-3, 3 points) returns to Cheney Stadium for their second home match of the season against Sky Blue FC (0-3-2, 2 points). Both clubs are searching for their first win in 2019.
"I think the quality of our play has been improving lately, especially after our game against Washington," Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. "Now it is a matter of executing on all of the things we've been working on to take the three points at home."
Last Match: 0-0 Draw at Washington Spirit
Reign FC kept its first clean sheet of the season in a scoreless draw on the road against Sky Blue FC on Saturday, May 4. The club forced Spirit keeper Aubrey Bledsoe into making nine saves, including two in the final five minutes of play to preserve the draw.
"I thought we played a great game against a very good team," Andonovski said. "I was very happy with the effort and intensity. I thought that they gave everything on the field. I was happy with the fact that we didn't get scored on. We didn't allow the team to create many opportunities, especially in the run of play. The only thing I was not happy with was the final touch and the conversion of the chances we created."
Scouting Sky Blue
Reign FC was 3-0-0 against Sky Blue FC last season, winning those matches by a combined score of 6-1. Sky Blue struggled in 2018, enduring a league-record 23-match winless streak that was snapped in their final match of the season against the Orlando Pride with a 1-0 victory.
Head coach Denise Reddy changed six players on her roster heading into the 2019 season, notably acquiring long-time Reign FC forward Nahomi "Naho" Kawasumi in exchange for forward Shea Groom. The club announced on May 7 that it had signed veteran defender Gina Lewandowski, who had spent the 7 previous years in Germany with Bayern Munich.
Sky Blue has struggled to find the back of the net in 2019, having been held scoreless in three of its five contests so far.
World Call-Ups Continue
Seven Reign FC players have been called in to their respective national teams for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, with one more called in to national team camp for the final phase of roster evaluations.
Megan Rapinoe (USA), Allie Long (USA), Elise Kellond-Knight (AUS), Lydia Williams (AUS), Steph Catley (AUS), Jodie Taylor (ENG) and Rumi Utsugi (JPN) will all represent their countries in France this summer. Celia Jiménez Delgado, meanwhile, was recently called in to Spain's national team camp as coach Jorge Vilda makes his final assessments before announcing his roster.
For Sky Blue, midfielder Carli Lloyd will join the U.S. Women's National Team for her fourth World Cup, while defender Estelle Johnson will play for Cameroon and Kailen Sheridan will play for Canada .
Lloyd, Sheridan, Johnson, Rapinoe, Long and Jiménez Delgado will all be unavailable for their respective sides in Saturday's contest.
Reign FC has three players unavailable for selection for Saturday's match:
Elise Kellond-Knight (hamstring)
Taylor Smith (torn ACL)
Jasmyne Spencer (torn ACL)
How to Watch
Tickets for Saturday's match can be purchased at Ticketmaster, via phone at 855-REIGN-FC, or at the Cheney Stadium Box Office.
Fans in the U.S. unable to attend the match in person can watch the game on their phone, computer or streaming device on Yahoo! Sports, while fans outside of the U.S. can watch the match live on NWSLsoccer.com.
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