Dave ClarkReign FC

Match Forecast: Reign FC Wrap Up Road Stretch at NC Courage

Dave ClarkReign FC
Match Forecast: Reign FC Wrap Up Road Stretch at NC Courage

Reign FC (5-1-5, 20 points) will look to defend their position at the top of the table when they take on second-place North Carolina Courage (5-2-4, 19 points) on Saturday, July 13 at 4:00 p.m. PT. Reign FC won the first meeting of the season between the clubs at home on May 27.

“We’ve been on a really good run of form lately,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “I think the group’s confidence is high right now, but their drive is even higher to finish off this stretch of road matches the right way.”

Last Match: 1-0 W at Portland Thorns FC

Celia Jiménez Delgado scored her first NWSL goal in the 55th minute, helping Reign FC defeat the Portland Thorns at Providence Park on July 5. The club held the Thorns scoreless in front of an announced crowd of 19,116 as keeper Casey Murphy kept her third straight clean sheet.

“If I had to summarize everything in one word, it would be resilience,” Andonovski said. “I think that we did a good job physically and we were mentally tough and able to hold off all the attacks that Portland threw our way.”

End of the Road (Stand)

Saturday’s match marks the end of a four-match road stand for Reign FC, the club’s longest consecutive stretch away from Cheney Stadium this season. Reign FC is currently 3-1-2 on the road this season, having taken 11 of its 20 points away from home.

After Saturday’s match, the club will play four of its next five matches at home, where the club is an unbeaten 2-0-3.

Top of the Table

Reign FC enters the weekend at the top of the NWSL table thanks to their league-best eight-match unbeaten streak. The club has gone 5-0-3 since its lone loss to Chicago on April 28.

Still, Andonovski is focusing on his club’s play rather than the standings as the midway point of the season looms.

“I don’t look at the standings,” Andonovski said. “I’m not going to look at that, but I will look at the performance of the team. Considering everything that we have gone through in these first 11 games, through all the adversity: the injuries, the obstacles and challenges we have had to overcome, we rose above all of them and became a better team and a stronger group. We became a true family. As much as I’m not happy with the adversity, I’m happy that it happened to us because it made us closer and it made us better.”

Three Make Team of the Month

Three Reign FC players were named to the NWSL Team of the Month for June. Defender Megan Oyster, midfielder Jess Fishlock and forward Ifeoma Onumonu were all recognized by the NWSL Media Association, a panel of independent journalists who regularly cover the league.

Oyster played a key role in a defensive back line that conceded just two goals in four matches in June. Onumonu was recognized as the Player of the Week for Week 10 and scored her first NWSL in a 2-0 win over the Utah Royals. Finally, Fishlock earned both the Week Nine Player of the Week award and the NWSL Player of the Month award, despite suffering a season-ending ACL tear against Utah.

Injury Report

10 players are unavailable for selection in Saturday’s match:

Taylor Smith (torn ACL)

Jasmyne Spencer (torn ACL)

Jess Fishlock (torn ACL)

Michelle Betos (ruptured achilles)

Jaycie Johnson (SEI knee)

Scout Watson (concussion)

Morgan Andrews (hamstring)

Darian Jenkins (hamstring)

Rumi Utsugi (calf)

Stephanie Cox (calf)

How to Watch

Fans in the U.S. 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.