Reign and Royals split needed points in Seattle

Seattle Reign FC 1
Utah Royals FC 1
July 7, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Reign FC and Utah Royals met Sunday afternoon in Seattle in the final regular season NWSL matchday prior to the Olympic break. Both clubs find themselves looking up from the bottom of the table, but a little run of a few matches could jump a side up near that playoff line.  Three points was essential.

The Utah return to NWSL play has been a rough start, with a coaching change in the middle of this first season. Jimmy Coenraets will serve as interim head coach for the Royals.

Seattle finally caught a break nabbing a late point from a stoppage time ownb goal last week at Gotham FC. Many more breaks are needed to claw back up the table. Late season runs have been a thing for the Reign in recent seasons.

The first half was a hard hitting affair. Both sides contested loose balls and passes with the intensity of teams that needed the result.

Seattle was able to get in front of the Utah goal a number of times in the early stages, but the Royals were defending well in numbers. Pushing the ball up either flank with overlapping outside backs, the Reign were getting the ball into the dangerous places.  Utah managed to congest the front of their goal and converged, blocking lanes.

The attacks were creating chances, but few really good looks on goal for either side as the half wound down. Bethany Balcer saw a good chance go wide in the 36th minute. Utah hit the crossbar from range after a bad Reign giveaway in stoppage time.

The match would go into the half level and scoreless.

VAR would come into play early in the 2nd half. Seattle would find the back of the net, but in the sequence leading in there was a collision in front of the goal with the Utah keeper. The review would pull the goal back and leave the match goalless.

Much of what was happening in the first half continued well into the second.  Each team was moving the ball, sometimes getting it into dangerous positions, but ultimately unable to get many good clear chances in front of the goal before team defending mucked up the works.

On the artificial surface in the unusual Seattle heat, the subs came on in waves, both coaches trying to get fresh legs on. Even so, the pressing by both teams continued, but the field seemed more spread.  Under these conditions it was not a surprise when a giveaway in the defense led to a goal.

Ally Sentnor would take her chance and get Utah their goal in the 67th minute, gaining possession in the Seattle third and managing to hold off defenders and getting the ball past Reign keeper Claudia Dickey.

Seattle would get their goal in the 75th minute to bring matters level. Veronica Latsko would get in behind the Utah defense and left foot a volley home. The goal brought the energy back to both sides in the sweltering conditions, breathing life back into the pressing.

Points have been at a premium for both Seattle and Utah in 2024. Even though one point would be something, both really needed three.  Play would get more and more direct in the waining minutes and stoppage time, with both taking risks forward, but with fewer numbers.

This was a match where the team defenses ultimately clogged up the chances enough to keep the score low.  Each side grabbed a goal and therefore a point, but in the end it isn’t what either club needs to push up the table this season.

The clubs and the league now enter the Olympic break with the draw. After a brief respite, the same two teams square off in two weeks in Seattle in the NWSL X Liga MX Femenil Cup on July 19th.


Scoring Summary

SEA: Latsko – 75’
UTA: Sentnor – 67’


SEA: None
UTA: None


SEA: GK Dickey, D Huerta, D Brown (Holmes 59’), D McClernon, D Cook, M Fishlock (c) (James-Turner 59’), M Quinn (Athens 90+1’), M Ji, F King (Adames 90+1’), F Balcer (Latsko 64’), F Huitema Unused substitutes: GK Ivory, D Woodham, M Mercado, M Stanton

Total Shots: 20 (King, Latsko – 4)
Shots on Goal: 6 (King – 3)
Fouls: 4 (Four tied with– 1)
Offsides: 4
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 7 (Dickey – 7)

UTA: GK Haught, D Del Fava, D Burns, D Pogarch, M Foederer, M Nyberg (Flynn 46’ (Merrick 8`’)), F Mozingo, F Monaghan (c) (Tucker 81’), F Sentnor, F Betfort (Onumonu 77’)Unused substitutes: GK Roque, M Gray, D Riehl

Shots: 15 (Sentnor – 7)
Shots on Goal: 7 (Sentnor – 7)
Fouls: 8 (Betfort, Tejada – 2)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 5 (Haught – 5)

Referee: Matt Thompson
Assistant Referee 1: Darren Bandy
Assistant Referee 2: Matt Trotter
4th Official: Kelsey Harms
VAR: Alexandra Billeter
AVAR: Kaili Terry

Lee Pate Photos

Reign host Louisville needing points

Seattle Reign FC 1
Racing Louisville FC 1
June 23, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Seattle Reign FC hosted Racing Louisville FC on Sunday afternoon in Seattle as the second half of the NWSL season began. Seattle comes in having only secured eight points in the first thirteen matches and in desperate need of answers as much as points. Louisville has fifteen points and is just in the cluster of teams at the playoff line. Racing Louisvulle FC is coached by long time Reign FC player Bev Yanez.

It did not take long for the match to get interesting. Louisville’s Arin Wright was sent off after VAR review for taking down Reign forward Jordyn Huitema in the box. The ensuing penalty was taken and converted by Bethany Balcer for an early home side one nil lead.

With Louisville playing with ten and Seattle with an early lead, both sides took the time to set the tone as best they could. The Reign would find much of the possession and attack, but as the half moved along they did not find a second goal.

The hosts would press their advantage, pushing hard for the second goal. Louisville was weathering the pressure, but it was keeping them on the heels and minimizing their own opportunities forward. Tziarra King and Ji So-Yun would find opportunities thwarted by the Racing defense and keeper Katie Lund.

Taylor Flint would need to come off before the half after a flying collision with Reign keeper Claudia Dickey, adding to the first half difficulties for the visitors.

The single goal from the early penalty would carry the match into halftime.

Louisville would look to try and level in the early stages of the second half. Coming out of the gate and pressing, getting a few good looks on goal. The single goal margin stayed in place well into the second half as the two sides began to use the bulk of their substitutions. Seattle would create chances, but the one nil scoreline kept the tension on the pitch and the chance of nabbing at least a point within reach for the visitors.

The Reign continued to create chances, but the lack of a second goal into the final stretch of the match would bring more import to each possession and transition.

Louisville handled their early hardships well, staying in the match with patient team defense and picking their spots.

Late in stoppage time Louisville would take chances forward. Keeper Lund would come forward and take a long cross, with teammates getting on the end of it and Reilin Turner poking it home to bring the match level. Nabbing a road point under the circumstances was an amazing finish for Racing and meant the home Reign would not grab the three points they really needed and seemed to have in their grasp.

Photos by Lee Pate

Reign FC sale finally complete

Seattle Reign FC has officially announced the sale of the club to a group including Seattle Sounders FC ownership and global investment group Carlyle.

The transaction completion brings to an end one era and begins another.  However, the ownership sale has been long acknowledged as in progress and today’s announcement finally gives players, supporters, and the city a chance to move forward.

The group includes Carlyle’s Head of Private Credit, Alex Popov along with Sounders FC Owner Adrian Hanauer.  Maya Mendoza-Exstrom will be Chief Business Officer and joins General Manager Lesle Gallimore and Head Coach Laura Harvey as the women led leadership team.

Cascadia NWSL Derby Turns 40

Seattle Reign FC 0
Portland Thorns FC 0
June 16, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

When the NWSL began in 2013 there was hope amongst supporters and the Cascadia clubs that the regional rivalry could become something more than merely regional.  In over a decade both clubs have won trophies, played dramatic matches, and seen the rivalry actually develop across multiple competitions.  The Sunday match in Seattle is the 40th match between the two sides and a real rivalry has emerged. Both rosters have had long tenured players and coaches embrace the rivalry.  Traveling supporters have added atmosphere to matches.  The games have had consequences. Just over a month ago, the Thorns dropped four on the visiting Reign in Providence Park in a match that went sideways for the Reign late.

Since the match in Portland, the Thorns have maintained their spots near the top of the table. The hosts Reign have seen their usually stingy defense suddenly giving up goals in bunches and a season looking like it could slip away. Sophia Smith would not be available due to a red card suspension.  Sam Coffey, Olivia Moultrie, and Morgan Weaver were also out for the Thorns due to injury, while the Reign came in reasonably healthy. Claudia Dickey returned from injury in goal for the Reign, getting her first start in several weeks.

The Cascadia derbies have often been intense and physical affairs.  The level of intensity matching the level of the rivalry as it has grown.  It did not take long for the intensity to manifest in the form of a yellow card.  The first booking came a mere three minutes in to Portland’s Janine Beckie for a foul on Reign midfielder Jessica Fishlock. 

The first half would play out in waves of pressure. The early stages seemed as though both sides were poking and prodding, looking for any advantage that did not come.  As the middle of the half progressed, the hosts seemed to have the better of the ball and possession, but the Thorns counter was dangerous.

Eventually, both would get some good looks and set pieces, creating moments of danger in front of both goals.  Neither would break through.  Late in the half it appeared as though the Reign might grab a first goal, but the Portland defense handled Jordyn Huitema getting in behind.  The first half would end goalless.

Coming out of the interval the intensity ramped up.  Only a few minutes into the half and Reign defender Ryanne Brown would be booked for a foul on Christine Sinclair.  The physical play continued with several hard fouls causing a number of stoppages.

Seattle would find some good chances on goal in the middle third, but chips from Brown and a shot from Bethany Balcer  would go high.

Portland did not hold back attacking, even with so many injuries, but their forays forward tended towards counters and the defense stayed home.

The final stages of the match was a continuation of the pressure and physical intensity that had been the story of the match. All the stoppages led to significant added time, giving both clubs a chance to throw forward a few more attacks.

The goalless draw at least was a point for the Reign and clean sheet, given the 15 goals they had conceded over the previous four matches.  The single point for Portalnd was a well deserved grinded out road point given the circumstances.

The home side might rue the draw, given several really dangerous chances, but the point was their first since a similarly hard fought goalless home draw with Kansas City in May.

With this draw, the NWSL Cascadia derby has now run 40 matches.

Photos by Lee Pate

Reign drop points at home against Orlando on Sunday afternoon

Seattle Reign FC 2
Orlando Pride 3
May 19, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Unbeaten Orlando Pride made the long trek cross country to Seattle to face the host Reign FC on a Sunday afternoon. Seattle finds itself in the unusual position of looking up from the bottom of the table. Meanwhile, the Pride has leveraged a stingy defense into a spot up near the top.

Three points would do wonders for the Seattle place in the standings, potentially moving them up several spots in the congested table. Those same three points could start to give the Pride some separation as the table begins to stretch out into the midseason.

Seattle would need to shake off a difficult loss to Cascadia rivals last weekend away at Portland.

The early stages were a little less end to end than recent matches. But, in just the ninth minute Orlando would open the scoring with a long range shot from Emily Sams left foot past the lunging Laurel Ivory.

With the early goal, Orlando was able to pick their spots. As the Reign began to press forward looking for the equalizer, the Pride would grab a second goal in the 18th minute when Barbra Banda would get a header from close range.

Seattle would try and rally. In a season that has been a struggle, going down two early at home is not what Reign players or fans are used to. For a club traveling cross country, the Pride found itself in ideal circumstances as the middle of the first half approached. Tziarra King would nearly grab one back in that middle phase of the half, but her long range crack was handled. Kylie Strom looked to have made it three nil in the 32nd minute on a header from a set piece that took an interesting bounce, but VAR would rule it offside and giving the home side a lifeline.

The VAR lifeline brought some life back to the hosts, as they pressured the Pride defense and created a number of chances as the half wound down. But, this is the Reign 2024 so far in a nutshell; some good sequences and pace, chances in front of the opposing goal, and then they find themselves somehow behind and playing catch up.

The break Seattle needed would come late in first half stoppage time. Ji So-Yun would lay off a ball to Angharad James-Turner and James-Turner would bring the match back to a one goal margin. A bit of a deflection would help, but it was the sort of break the Reign have not been getting.

The breaks would continue for Seattle, as Bethany Balcer would level the match shortly after the restart in the 48th minute. From two goals down just before the break to level just after brought the Seattle crowd to life.

The Pride continued to do what had worked so well in the early stages of the match and for the season so far and showed no panic. Orlando has proven to be a stingy defense, but their counter down the wing continued to create dangerous situations. The Pride moved the ball about well, holding possession for stretches and looking for their spots.

The match would not remain level for long. The visitors were dangerous on set pieces and grabbed the lead back in the 59th minute as Banda would grab her 2nd of the match off a corner.

Orlando would see out the match and grab the three points, maintaining their unbeaten 2024 season through ten matches. With 24 points they sit two points clear at the top.

It was another heartbreaker for the Reign. At the very least it appeared they had grabbed a gritty point when they leveled, but it was not to be.

Late in the match more cards would emerge as the physical play intensified and some frustrations came to a head. Cook would see yellow in the 76th and Balcer would be sent off in the 84th with a second yellow for dissent after a first half yellow in stoppage time.


Weather: 63, partly sunny

Scoring Summary

SEA: James-Turner – 45+5′, Balcer – 48′
ORL: Sams – 9′, Banda – 18′, 58’


SEA: Balcer (Caution – 45+1’, Second yellow – 83′), Cook (Caution – 76′)
ORL: Doyle (Caution – 90+4’), Allen (Caution – 90+8’)


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c) (Holmes 46’), D Cook, D McClernon, M Fishlock, M Van der Jagt (Latsko 67’), M Ji (Weinert 87’), M James-Turner (Athens 83’) F Balcer, F King (Adames 83’)
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Brown, D Woodham, M Stanton

Total Shots: 15 (Three tied with – 13
Shots on Goal: 6 (Balcer, James-Turner – 2)
Fouls: 14 (Three tied with– 3)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 1 (Ivory – 1)

ORL: GK Moorhouse, D McCutheon, D Sams, D Souza, D Strom, M Abello, M Lemos (Watt 78’), M Yates (Doyle 46’), F Adriana (Dyke 63’), F Banda (Allen 90+2’), F Marta (c) (Martinez 78’)
Unused substitutes: GK Crone, M Duljan, F Kerr, D Lawrence

Total Shots: 8 (Banda, Marta 3)
Shots on Goal: 4 (Banda– 2)
Fouls: 8 (Eight tied with – 1)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 4 (Moorhouse – 4)

Referee: Elijio Arreguin
Assistant Referee 1: Seth Martin
Assistant Referee 2: Salma Perez
4th Official: Iryna Petrunok
VAR: Shawn Tehini
AVAR: Kaili Terry

Photos by Lee Pate

Reign visit Portland for Cascadia Derby part 39

Seattle Reign FC 0
Portland Thorns FC 4
May 11, 2024
Providence Park – Portland, OR
NWSL Regular Season

When the NWSL began in 2013 the Cascadia Derby was ready made for Thorns and Reign supporters and players. There was hope it would grow into something. Both clubs embraced the notion and also both clubs have been good. Shields and championship banners have helped boost the legacy and long serving players passed along the rivalry to newer teammates.
Traveling supporters were there from the very start. Saturday night in Portland and June 16 in Seattle will be the 39th and 40th matches in the series across all competitions.

The early goings of the 2024 campaign were not great for either club, but recent matches for both show that perhaps corners have been turned. Seattle has grabbed four points from six the past week, including winning playing the bulk of a match with ten and holding the highest scoring side goalless. Portland seemed to right the ship a bit quicker and went into the match with four wins on the trot.

Three points would help each club significantly in overcoming their slow starts.

A packed house in Portland was loud and rocking from the opening whistle. It was clear from the opening minutes that the match was going to be played with the intensity of a must win match and of a rivalry match.

Sophia Smith made herself known quickly, making dangerous runs and getting looks on goal in the first several minutes. The host Thorns have been clicking on offense in recent matches and that looked to be continuing as the first half progressed. The visiting Reign defense was tested early, but was playing with a similar resilience from recent matches.

Christine Sinclair has been a part of the rivalry since the beginning with Reign originals Lu Barnes and Jessica Fishlock. Sinclair combined with Smith and teenage teammate Olivia Moultrie early for a couple of decent looks on goal.

The first half heat index hydration break saw the match still level and goalless in the 31st minute. For the visitors playing their third match in nine days, there was a potential question as to whether a hot night might prove additionally challenging.

The Thorns had the statistical bulk of possession, pushing forward at every opportunity to get their attacking players forward. Seattle likes to play out of the back and appeared to be will to play pragmatic and absorb and counter. The majority of the Reign looks on goal came from the outside in, generally in the air on the cross.

Before the half could draw to a close level, Moultrie would crack a top of the box shot from right to the far post left, beating Reign keeper Laurel Ivory in the 42nd minute.

The Moultrie goal only added to the raucous Portland atmosphere. Seattle would get late chances in the half before the break, including a couple of set pieces.

A goal line clearance from Kelli Hubly on a Bethany Balcer header in first half stoppage time was potentially match saving for the Thorns, keeping the one goal margin going into the interval.

The physical intensity of the match amped up as the second half progressed. Eventually, a few yellow cards would emerge from the pocket as players from both sides pressed hard after every ball.

Seattle began to push forward more and quicker, looking to catch Portland on a quick counter. The Thorns did not attack less, but sent smaller numbers forward with the single goal lead and the clock in their favor.

VAR would award Portland a penalty in the 78th minute on a review of a hand ball against Reign defender Sofia Huerta. Thorns forward Sophia Smith would convert and the match went into the final stages with the hosts up two nil.

Seattle would play forward for the miracle finish, with Balcer having a header cleared off the line in the 89th minute. With thirteen minutes of stoppage time announced, there seemed to be a chance should they get one back quickly. Instead, Thorns midfielder Hina Sugita would make it a three nil lead three minutes into stoppage.

An intense rivalry game would end with the home side claiming victory and a four goal victory, as Payton Linnehan would tack on another in the 98th minute. After that, the Thorns saw out the lengthy stoppage time.

The win is the fifth consecutive for the Thorns and an offense that is really clicking. For Seattle, it was four of nine possible points from the three match week, but a brutal ending.

Emeri Adames entered the match in the 71st minute, allowing both sides to be featuring 18 year old attacking players. Moultrie has been in the rivalry for a few seasons now, but it was an introduction for Adames.

The match was played in Portland’s Providence Park in a sea of red. Over twenty thousand were on hand and were loud and engaged throughout. For a rivalry turning 40 in Seattle in a few weeks, the home crowd set a bar.



2024 NWSL Regular Season
Seattle Reign FC 0 – 4 Portland Thorns FC
Date/Time: Saturday, May 11, 7:00 p.m. PT
Location: Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
Weather: 80, sunny
Scoring Summary

SEA: None
POR: Moultrie – 42′, Smith – 80′, Sugita – 90+3’, Linnehan – 90+8’


SEA: McClernon (Caution – 58′), Huerta (Caution – 79′), Athens (Caution – 89)
POR: Moultrie (Caution – 61′)


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c), D Holmes, D McClernon (Brown 83’), M Fishlock, M Van der Jagt (Stanton 83’), M Ji, F Latsko (Adames 72’), F Balcer, F King (Athens 87’)
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Lester, D Woodham, M Stanton, F Weinert, M James-Turner

Total Shots: 13 (Holmes – 3)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Three tied with – 1)
Fouls: 10 (King – 5)
Offsides: 0
Corner Kicks: 4
Saves: 2 (Ivory – 2)

POR: GK Hogan, D Muller (Klingenberg 90+9’), D Sauerbrunn (c), D Hubly, D Payne (Reyes 85’), M Coffey, M Moultrie (Wade-Kotoa 90+9), M Fleming (Linnehan 61’), M Sugita, F Sinclair (Beckie 62’), F Smith
Unused substitutes: GK Alvarado, D Reyes, F Dias, M Sheva, D Nally

Total Shots: 14 (Smith – 5)
Shots on Goal: 6 (Smith – 2)
Fouls: 15 (Hubly – 3)
Offsides: 2
Corner Kicks: 3
Saves: 3 (Hogan – 3)

Referee: Abdou Ndiaye
Assistant Referee 1: Noah Kenyawani
Assistant Referee 2: Cameron Siler
4th Official: Jamie Padilla
Var: Adorae Monroy
Avar: Kaili Terry

Reign 0-0 versus Current in Seattle on Wednesday night

Seattle Reign FC 0
Kansas City Current 0
May 8, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Seattle Reign FC hosted Kansas City Current Wednesday night in Seattle.

The host Reign had the chance to grab three more points after a cathartic win over the weekend pulled them up out of the cellar. Wednesday’s match with KC is the second of three matches in nine days for the Reign.

Kansas City entered the match with the opportunity to tie or go top of the table with one or three points. KC also enters the match on short rest, having played away at Houston on Sunday.

Short rest and midweek match ups are a test of roster depth for clubs, and squad rotation was in full swing with the starting elevens.

The match was also a return to Seattle for Current head Coach Vlatko Andonovski. Andonovski was the Reign FC head coach in 2018 and 2019 prior to his stint with the USWNT, winning league coach of the year in 2019. Even with all the shifting and changing in between of stadiums and coaches, the match was essentially a Seattle versus KC with Harvey versus Andonovski like in the 2014 and 2015 NWSL Championship matches.

The early minutes saw the Current on the front foot, trying to press for an early goal. The Reign was without late scratch Alana Cook, but the defense was still primarily those that have played much of the minutes this season. Seattle was also starting goalkeeper Laurel Ivory for the fourth consecutive match. Ivory came up big over the weekend and was called upon early in this match.

The Current entered the match with the league best goal scoring offense, but also one of the most porous defenses. Seattle appeared willing to absorb and counter in the early going as the KC offense continued to look for openings and through balls. Reign teams have long preferred to play the ball out of the back.

Disaster nearly struck for the Reign in the 32nd minute as a Current cross deflected off two Reign defenders, but was cleared off the line by Ivory with a fantastic reflex save. Seattle had worked themselves into the match, but the later stages of the half saw KC once again on their front foot, pushing hard against the Reign defense.

Moving into the interval level and goalless seemed against the run of play; as KC had really tested the Seattle defense, and Seattle had a few nice opportunities on the counter. However, it was Ivory with several first half saves that was keeping her side in the match.

The Current front foot on the gas approach continued in the second half. KC continually put pressure on Seattle, but as the second half progressed the match remained a goalless affair.

Stoppage time found Seattle with some opportunities up front, but the Current defense also held tight. In the end, it was a hard fought goalless draw.

Defender Sofia Huerta was proud of how the Reign has responded to adversity early in this season. “I think tonight’s performance was big. I mean, we’re playing, right now, the best team in the league. We had a slow start to the season, but like we know, people who have been in this league for a long time, as you guys know, since you’ve been observing for a long time, the league is wild. You can’t let the losses get you down, you just have to turn them into lessons and I think we’ve done a really good job at not getting down. To not win five games in a row is really challenging as a team. So, to go down a man versus San Diego and then concede a goal immediately after, come back and score two goals in that game and win was a big game for us and I think we just got confidence after that game.”

Kansas City only grabs two points from the two matches on the road. These are two matches they dominated statistically, but just ended up drawing.

Seattle grabbed four gritty points from the two home matches and finds itself in much better position going into the Cascadia Derby match in Portland Saturday.


Scoring Summary

SEA: None
KC: None


SEA: None
KC: None


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c), D Holmes, D McClernon, M Athens (Balcer 62’), M Van der Jagt (Fishlock 78’), M James-Turner (Stanton 61’), F Ji (Mercado 90+6’), F Latsko, F Adames (Woodham 61’)
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Brown, D Lester, F Weinert,

Total Shots: 5 (Ji – 2)
Shots on Goal: 1 (Ji– 1)
Fouls: 4 (James-Turner – 2)
Offsides: 0
Corner Kicks: 2
Saves: 5 (Ivory – 5)

KC: GK Franch (c), D Rodriguez, D Robinson, S Ballisager Pedersen, D Steigleder (Mace 46’), M Feist, M Hutton (LaBonta 75’), M DiBernardo (Spaanstra 75’), F Chawinga, F Cooper (Pfeiffer 89’), F Lavogez (Debinha 65’)
Unused substitutes: D Wheeler, D Ball, M Scott, GK Silkowitz

Total Shots: 19 (Cooper – 5)
Shots on Goal: 5 (Cooper – 2)
Fouls: 6 (Cooper – 3)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 7
Saves: 1 (Franch – 1)

Referee: Anya Voigt
Assistant Referee 1: Art Arustamyan
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Schwartz
4th Official: Kelsey Harms
VAR: Shawn Tehini
AVAR: Tom Felice

Lee Pate photos

Reign 2-1 over Wave in Seattle

Seattle Reign FC 2
San Diego Wave FC 1
May 3, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Seattle Reign FC hosted San Diego Wave FC in Seattle on Friday evening. Both clubs entered the match below the playoff line. Although still early in the season, a sense of urgency is beginning to creep in else a season can get away from a team.

The Wave entered the weekend in the 8th spot in the table, mere points from crossing the line and moving up. The Friday match would also be the club’s sixth of the season, drawing them level in matches played with the teams just above.

Seattle finds itself in troubled waters. With three points from six matches and looking all the way up the table, points are at a premium now. Some of the dropped points can be attributed to bad luck like a late own goal, but a lack of goals has put their defense into a place with limited margins for error. Friday was the first of three matches in nine days and a chance to right the ship and grab a cluster of needed points.

It did not take long for the match to get interesting. Reign forward Tziarra King was sent off with a straight red in the ninth minute after a VAR revue. Within minutes of the restart the Wave had grabbed a goal. Kyra Carusa managed to find the net amidst a loose ball scramble off the goalpost.

With the goal and the 11 v 10 advantage, San Diego took the opportunity to pick their spots. The Wave were also without Naomi Girma and Alex Morgan, so the early advantage was an opportunity to play safer.

Seattle looked to push, pressing hard and pursuing every loose ball, working to nab an equalizer they got in the 34th minute. Bethany Balcer leveled the match by intercepting a clearance from Wave keeper Kailen Sheridan and pouncing on the loose ball.

The first half ended level, with the red and five yellows being issued in what had become a tense and physical affair.

The pace of the match continued to be brisk in the early stages of the second half. Fresh legs looked to be a factor. San Diego brought Jaedyn Shaw in at the half and Maria Sanchez with a half hour remaining.

Seattle countered with Ji So-Yun and Veronika Latsko as veteran reinforcements. Reign teenager Emeri Adames had been the dangerous presence she has been all season.

Reign keeper Laurel Ivory kept the match level with a huge save in the 67th minute, just getting a right hand on a ball that seemed destined for the upper far corner.

In the 89th minute, Veronica Latsko got a header on a Ji free kick, floating it to the upper far corner for the improbable lead.

San Diego would throw everything forward after the Reign goal, pushing forward throughout stoppage time to create several chances and corners. Then, late in stoppage, another VAR review would send Wave defender Kristen McNabb off. The whistle would blow with both sides at ten players.

In the end, Seattle would not concede an equalizer, making several late defensive stops to hold on to the win.

After the match, Latsko was full of praise for the Reign effort. “I think it just shows that the team has grit and that’s the backbone of a championship kind of team. So, you don’t win anything without grit and we showed that
for 90 minutes tonight.”

The two reds and eight yellows is also noteworthy in that it set a league record for most bookings in a match with ten.

Seattle had not lost five in a row since the 2013 first club season. The Reign had suffered five single goal losses since the opening win. The three points are potentially season saving. San Diego has still not managed to grab points in matches in Seattle.


Scoring Summary

SEA: Balcer – 34′, Latsko – 89′

SD: Carusa – 11′


SEA: King (Red Card – 9’), James-Turner (Caution – 21′), Athens (Caution – 45+6’), Huerta (Caution – 65′), McClernon (Caution – 78′)

SD: Lundkvist (Caution – 24′), Bennett (Caution – 38′), van Egmond (Caution – 45+5’), McCaskill (Caution – 90+1’), McNabb (Red Card – 90+15’)


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c), D Cook, D McClernon (Holmes 90+2’), M Athens (Ji 67’), M Fishlock, M James-Turner (Weinert 90+2’), F Balcer (Van der Jagt 67’), F King, F Adames (Latsko 52’)
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Brown, D Woodham, M Stanton

Total Shots: 8 (Eight tied with – 1)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Three tied with – 1)
Fouls: 17 (Fishlock– 3)
Offsides: 1
Corner Kicks: 0
Saves: 5 (Ivory – 5)

SD: GK Sheridan, D McNabb, D Torpey, D Wesley, D Lundkvist, M McCaskill (Ascanio 90+4’), M Colaprico, M Van Egmond (Jones 90+4’), F Doniak (Ali 80’), F Carusa (Sanchez 63’), F Bennett (Shaw 46’)
Unused substitutes: D Westphal, M Enge, GK Messner, GK Beall

Total Shots: 12 (Carusa – 4)
Shots on Goal: 6 (Shaw, van Egmond – 2)
Fouls: 17 (Bennett, Lundkvist – 3)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 7
Saves: 1 (Sheridan – 1)

Referee: Danielle Chesky
Assistant Referee 1: Bennett Savage
Assistant Referee 2: Darren Bandy
4th Official: Christopher Calderon
VAR: Adorae Monroy
AVAR: Kelsey Harms

Red Stars take all three points in Seattle

Lee Pate

Seattle Reign FC 1
Chicago Red Stars 2
April 21, 2024
Lumen Field – Seattle, WA
NWSL Regular Season

Seattle Reign FC hosted Chicago Red Stars at Lumen Field on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The two clubs have already got the Chicago stop out of the way, in an unusual quick turnaround return match. With the two clubs completing their season series in April, it will be at least six months before they would possibly face each other again should a postseason match play out.

Both clubs need the points with slow starts, but the Seattle slow start made grabbing three points at home essential.

The hosts were missing their starting keeper and striker, with Claudia Dickey and Jordyn Huitema both unavailable due to injury. Laurel Ivory would get the start in the nets opposite Alyssa Naeher. Seattle would also start 18 year old rookie Emeri Adames.

Early goals can open up a match. Chicago would strike early, grabbing a fourth minute goal on the counter.

Mallory Swanson would time the pass well, keeping Ally Schlegel onside to strike a top of the box shot past Ivory and the early lead. Swanson’s return to form from injury has been a positive story in the early stages of the 2024 season, and she would nearly break the game open in the 29th minute when her near post shot was pushed out by Ivory. Minutes later, she would break into the Reign penalty area and her left footed shot would make the match two nil in the 31st minute.

Chicago continued to have the more dangerous possessions as the half progressed. Seattle was pushing, working both sides of the field attacking, but with little actual pressure on Naeher.

Seattle was fortunate to be heading into the interval only down two. With Swanson leading the way, Chicago could have been up more if not for offsides and a crossbar.

The Red Stars came out of the break with their foot on the gas, immediately pressing for the third goal and putting the Reign on their heels. Seattle needed an early break to cut the lead and get back into the match. After the initial Chicago pressure to begin the half, Seattle did begin to maintain stretches of possession in the offensive third. Adames nearly broke through in the 59th minute off a corner, but the Red Stars held the line.

Playing with the two goal cushion allowed the Red Stars to hold the line defensively and pick their spots going forward. Swanson continued to be a threat, being dangerous numerous times in the Seattle defensive third.

Reign coach Laura Harvey would bring on fresh attackers for the final fifteen minutes. Moments after entering the match, the changes would pay off as Tziarra King’s long range shot would find the upper far post, making it a single goal match. With that one strike, the final stretch of the match was immediately going to be different.

A mad scramble in front of the Chicago goal in the 82nd minute following a corner nearly saw the match become level. The hosts would continue to push for the equalizer, but each time the Red Stars would manage to clear or dodge, holding the lead into and seeing out stoppage time.

Harvey after the match, “I thought first half we were indecisive and timid and when you’re playing against a player like Mal Swanson, you can’t be that way. Our quality wasn’t good enough and we gave it away and they transitioned on us and I thought both goals were poor from our perspective. I thought in the second half, we showed who we want to be, who we want to try and be – obviously some quality from Zee (Tziarra King), I thought the subs did well when they came off the bench. Five more minutes of the game and maybe we get an equalizer. I think obviously we had the momentum, but overall, it doesn’t matter at this stage, we’ve got to get results.”

Chicago would grab all three points, helping them jump a bit up the table. Seattle finds itself in unusual territory, with few points and looking all the way up.

Lee Pate Gallery


Scoring Summary

SEA: King – 79’
CHI: Schlegel – 4′, Swanson – 31′


SEA: Ji (Caution – 51′), Huerta (Caution – 66′)
CHI: Malham (Caution –7′), Hocking (Caution – 54′), Bianchi (Caution – 90+5’)


SEA: GK Ivory, D Huerta, D Barnes (c), D Cook, D Woodham (McClernon 46’), M Van der Jagt (Quinn 46’), M Ji (Athens 72’), M Fishlock, F Latsko (Weinert 77’), F Adames (King 77’), F Balcer
Unused substitutes: GK Perez, D Holmes, D Brown, M James-Turner

Total Shots: 14 (Four tied with – 2)
Shots on Goal: 3 (Three tied with – 1)
Fouls: 10 (Ji– 3)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 7
Saves: 6 (Ivory – 6)

CHI: GK Naeher, D Malham, D Staab, D Kuikka, D Milazzo, M Roccaro, M Bianchi, F Hocking (Joseph 70’ (Gomes 90+3’))), F Swanson, F Schlegel (Cook 70’), F Bike
Unused substitutes: M Groom, M Nesbeth, GK Wood, M Franklin, D Biegalski, D Anderson

Total Shots: 12 (Swanson – 6)
Shots on Goal: 8 (Swanson – 4)
Fouls: 9 (Bianchi – 4)
Offsides: 3
Corner Kicks: 5
Saves: 1 (Naeher – 1)

Referee: Elton Garcia
Assistant Referee 1: Christian Clerc
Assistant Referee 2: Melissa Gonzalez
4th Official: Justin St. Pierre
Var: Adorae Monroy
Avar: Kaili Terry

Ballard FC hosts Spokane Velocity FC in 2024 US Open Cup First Round

Ballard FC 0
Spokane Velocity FC 1
March 20, 2024
Seattle, WA – Memorial Stadium
2024 US Open Cup – First Round

Ballard FC hosted Spokane Velocity FC in the 1st round of the 2024 US Open Cup in Seattle Wednesday evening at Memorial Stadium. The USL League One and League Two clubs both entered the tournament at this stage.

The 2024 US Open Cup opened play amidst controversy. With US Soccer and MLS at odds over participation, the tournament was modified with a compromise of some but not all MLS clubs participating.

2023 League Two champions Ballard FC were playing their first competitive match of 2024 with new head coach James Riley in a different setting. Seattle’s Memorial Stadium is the temporary home for the club due to renovations at Interbay Stadium. Memorial Stadium has an interesting soccer history in the town with the NASL and USL era Seattle Sounders, NWSL Seattle Reign FC, and other clubs and colleges having used the stadium for many decades. The old crumbling stadium has seen much better days.

Spokane Velocity FC are joining the USL League One in 2024 as an expansion side. This first season also gives them their first opportunity to play in the national cup. Having already played and split two league matches, the midweek cup match is sandwiched between two home league matches. The Velocity dropped their opener on the road, but opened the brand new One Spokane Stadium this past weekend with three points.

The early stages of the match was played at a fairly brisk pace. Both sides attacked long and direct, trying for the early lead on the Memorial Stadium fast and narrow pitch. The challenges were tough, neither side flinching from contact with only the winner advancing.

Ballard took it right at their new cross state rivals. But, despite the pressure and chances, the Velocity defense did not break. Near misses in the middle of the first half could have really altered the match. Spokane pressed back, having success on the flank getting into dangerous places. However, the lack of goals and score remaining level into the interval set up an interesting dynamic for the second half.

The second half showed no signs of the match slowing down. Ballard kept their foot on the pedal, but the goal did not come. Eventually, Spokane began to own more of the possession and as the second half progressed, the ball was more and more in front of the Ballard goal.

The later stages got tense, as the ongoing physical play led to a number of second half yellow cards in short succession. Even with all of the action in front of both goals the regulation ninety minutes did not see either side breaking through, setting the match into stoppage time looking for the goal that actually came late in the chilly March Seattle evening.

Spokane would take their chance on what was essentially the final sequence of the match late in stoppage time. Andre Lewis’ late stoppage volley in the 96th minute would suddenly silence the 2,452 raucous fans. Moments later, it was the final whistle. Spokane moves on. Ballard now has a bit of a wait to regroup and sort out their regular season roster prior to the May opener.

Ballard is looking to build on their two seasons of success, and the Wednesday night cup crowd was loud and solid from the early stages. A bit of a makeshift line up was needed due to the scheduling of the first round, but that did not seem to be evident from watching the match. Ballard has a solid core of players to continue to build on.

Spokane new must quickly return to league play at home this weekend, with a second round match also now on their schedule.