The Battle for Second Place: Seattle Reign-Chicago Red Stars Ends in Scoreless Draw

Seattle Reign-Chicago Red Stars

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON (May 19, 2018) — The battle for second place rages on.

The North Carolina Courage have taken first place in the NWSL and are running away with it. However, the race for the number two spot in the standings is alive and well.

While the Chicago Red Stars sit in fifth place, all hope isn’t lost. The club has 12 points and in second place, the Seattle Reign only have 14.

Seattle Reign-Chicago Red Stars Play to Scoreless Draw

If Chicago would have beaten Seattle on Saturday night, they would have jumped up to second place. That is how tight the NWSL competition is this season.

However, that wasn’t the case.

Instead, the match ended in a scoreless draw. Goalkeepers Alyssa Naeher and Lydia Williams put on displays of dominance with four saves each.

Williams earned her first start of the season over Michelle Betos.

Returning to action was Megan Rapinoe. The forward recovered from a hamstring injury, which was suffered on April 15.

Before the match, Reign FC Head Coach Vlatko Andonovski spoke on the importance of having their top goal-scorer back.

“We’re happy to have Pinoe back, obviously,” Andonovski said. “If you give her an inch, she’ll take advantage of it. She’s hungry. Every time she scores a goal, she wants to score another. She wants more, she feels like this is the time when she plays her best soccer. It’s good for the team.”

“It’s good for young players to see.”

Rapinoe currently is tied for second in the NWSL with Crystal Dunn, scoring four goals. Ahead of them is Christine Sinclair of the Portland Thorns FC with five.

Meanwhile, returning for the Chicago Red Stars was defensive midfielder Julie Ertz.

Three Takeaways

  1. Why fix what isn’t broken? There is no doubt that Lydia Williams has much more experience than Michelle Betos. However, the Reign had started Betos in goal for the entirety of the season, up until Saturday’s match. Betos complied a 3-1-2 record. That’s pretty darn good, so why is Andonvoski trying to fix what isn’t broken? Put Betos back in net.
  2. The Averbuch answer: There is finally an answer to what has kept Reign FC defender Yael Averbuch off the pitch. On her personal Instagram account, Averbuch said that an ulcerative colitis flareup was to blame for her sidelining.
  3. Chicago showed positives: For the last two weeks, Alyssa Naeher has been fantastic in net. Sam Kerr showed signs of dominance, but both side’s defenses were too good to allow a goal past. The scoreless draw isn’t a bad thing for Chicago. They might sit in fifth, but one win will get them far ahead.

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