Reign, FC Kansas City Speak On Upcoming Championship Match

NWSL championship

By MC Bousquette

On Thursday, coaches and players from NWSL finalists Seattle Reign FC and FC Kansas City joined NWSL Commissioner Jeff Plush to discuss the upcoming final on a conference call.

Seattle Reign FC’s Head Coach Laura Harvey and defender Stephanie Cox both cited the extended time between the semifinal, held on September 13th, and the final as a positive, noting it gave the clubs more time to rest and more time for the excitement to build.

Although Harvey noted the ideal would be playing at home, she shared, “We all understand why the reasoning was made to go to Providence Park, and the league took the view they wanted to make [the NWSL Final] into a huge event, and with Providence Park set up the way it is and how much flexibility we have around that. I think for us, if we couldn’t play at home, the next best place for us to play would be Portland, for lots of different reasons… I think it was a good decision.”

Cox chimed in that having the final in Portland is,”very exciting for a lot of players on the Reign,” noting that a number of them came from playing in college in Portland.

FC Kansas City and USWNT striker Amy Rodriguez emphasized the final, “I think the whole season has been a preparation leading up to this match- our whole goal leading up to this year was making it to the final and defend our championship from last year. This is what we play for… physically we are ready for the moment,” continuing, “It would be a dream come true to win for both club and country this year.” She also emphasized wanting to win for FCKC and USWNT teammate Lauren Holiday, to cap off her final season of professional soccer.

As of the time of publishing, ticket sales were said to be around 10,000. SI’s Grant Wahl tweeted a similar number:

FC Kansas City’s Coach Vlatko Andonovski, shared his expectations for the final; “It’s going to be a good game and a good show- both teams are very creative and can change games on a dime. They have individual players who have individual brilliance who can come out and score a goal at any time.”

Reflecting on the state of the NWSL as a whole, Rodriguez was hopeful; “I am so happy to have that opportunity to play [in the NWSL] and to enjoy playing in front of a home crowd… I do think the league has come a far way in four years, and I still see a lot of grwoth needed, but we’re working really hard to make that happen. The talent level and competition of our league is pretty good and getting better, and we’re moving in the right direction.”

The final will take place at Providence Park in Portland, OR on Thursday, October 1st at 9:30pm EST (Fox Sports 1).