Dave ClarkReign FC

Match Forecast: Reign FC travels to face the Houston Dash

Dave ClarkReign FC
Match Forecast: Reign FC travels to face the Houston Dash

Reign FC (5-3-5, 20 points) will face Houston for the final time during the regular season on the road on Friday, August 2 at 4:00 p.m. PT. Reign FC and Houston have drawn both of their previous meetings this season.

“This third match against Houston will be important for us,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Twice now we’ve battled against them and haven’t quite been able to finish the job, so we’ve got to make sure we do everything right to try and win against a good team in a tough environment.”

Late on the Draw

Both of Reign FC’s matches against Houston have ended in late drama this season. The club’s opening match on the road ended in a 1-1 draw after Houston keeper Jane Campbell saved a penalty in the match’s dying moments. On June 2, Christine Nairn scored in the 90th minute past Casey Murphy to save a point for the Dash at Cheney Stadium.

“I think our matches against Houston so far this year come back to missed opportunities,” Anodnovski said. “We had chances to put each of those games away, but weren’t able to capitalize in front of goal. We have to put our chances away to beat a team like Houston.”

Fixture Congestion

Friday’s contest is the first of three matches in a 10-day span for Reign FC as the club looks to rebound from the first pair of consecutive losses under Andonovski.

Centerback and captain Lauren Barnes said the players and technical staff work hard to keep everyone as fresh as possible.

“This league, even if you don’t have a midweek game, it’s important how you manage that stuff,” Barnes said. “We have a great staff that does that for us, so we don’t really have to worry about it as athletes. We know our bodies pretty well. We know what works now and what doesn’t. It’s just about getting your body right as fast as you can and focusing on the game ahead of us.”

Catch it on ESPNNews

Friday’s match will be the first of three Reign FC matches to be broadcast on television as part of the NWSL’s deal with ESPN. Reign FC will also have its August 18 match against Sky Blue and the September 29 home game against Portland Thorns on ESPNEWS and ESPN2, respectively.

“Playing on television is great for us,” Andonovski said. “There’s a lot of buzz following the United States’ World Cup win and we’re excited to put on a show for everyone who is interested in our game and our league.”

Injury Report

Nine Reign FC players are unavailable for Friday’s contest:

Taylor Smith (torn ACL)

Jasmyne Spencer (torn ACL)

Jess Fishlock (torn ACL)

Michelle Betos (ruptured Achilles)

Jaycie Johnson (SEI knee)

Scout Watson (SEI concussion)

Lydia Williams (45D – L ankle)

Steph Cox (calf)

Rumi Utsugi (calf)

How to Watch

Fans in the U.S. can watch the game on television on ESPNEWS, or on the ESPN App, while fans outside of the U.S. can watch the match live on NWSLsoccer.com.