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

About Jeffrey Lageson

Father, Brother, Son, Goalkeeper, Writer, Dancer, Minion, [E] Enforcer, Marathoner, Rocker, Black Belt, Coug, ECS, Keeper Studios, Teacher, Shotgun Trapper ... WellDressedGandalf