Preview: Sky Blue FC takes on Seattle Reign FC

Photo: Colin Keaveney

By MC Bousquette

Although Sky Blue FC is out of playoff contention, the side can still go out with a bang tonight against 2015 NWSL Shield winners, Seattle Reign FC. Sky Blue must face the Reign at home, but come in poised to present a heady challenge.

The Competition:

Seattle presents a formidable challenge in their depth and consistency of performance at home- the Reign haven’t lost in 21 games at home. It’s difficult to preview the highlights of the Reign’s roster- one might end up naming the entire side.

The Reign’s attack is a dominant force- Scottish wonder Kim Little and Beverly Yanez shred defenses, helped by the speed and tactical strength of Jess Fishlock, Amber Brooks and Megan Rapinoe. Have a glance at Little’s final goal from her hat trick against the Houston Dash, which can only be described as completely and totally lit:

The Reign’s back line is just as strong, and is led by another name you may recognize in goal- none other than the 2015 World Cup Golden Glove winner, Hope Solo. There’s not a tremendous amount that needs to be said about Solo’s prowess in goal, except the obvious- she’ll make it tremendously challenging for Sky Blue to find the back of the net.

Sky Blue FC:

It is a tremendous shame that Sky Blue didn’t have its current roster and form for the first half of this season- this side looks like one that should absolutely be in the playoffs. From the firepower of Kelley O’HaraSam KerrNadia Nadim to the midfield strength of Taylor Lytle, Katy Freels, and Sara Killion, Sky Blue looks ready to challenge the shield winner in their final third. 

The back line has synced up as well- captain Christie Rampone leads a crew rounded out well by Cami Levin, Lindsi Cutshall, and Caitlin Foord, and are increasingly impactful not only in preventing damage but also moving the ball into scoring position.

Sky Blue’s unsung hero is goalkeeper Brittany Cameron, who stopped a penalty kick from Alex Morgan and her subsequent follow-up shot last week:

The Bottom Line:

Tonight, Sky Blue FC have the chance to prove exactly what should have been. The odds are stacked against Sky Blue in taking on the Shield winners, but the Jersey side is sure to come out firing. 

“This is a great opportunity for our club to play a Seattle team that just won the NWSL Shield,” said Jim Gabarra, Sky Blue FC Technical Director & Head Coach. “They have not lost in their stadium, and this gives us the chance to play against them in what will be close to a playoff atmosphere. We are happy with the way we have been playing lately, and our club will be up to the task of going against the top team on the NWSL Table.”

Sky Blue FC takes on Seattle Reign FC tonight at 10pm EST at Moda Pitch Memorial Stadium in Seattle, WA.

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