Seattle (0-6-1) returns to the spotlight this week following two consecutive defeats against Sky Blue and Washington in week six. Last Saturday, Seattle suffered another knock to their back line when Jenny Ruiz was shown a red card in the 62nd minute against Sky Blue. Ruiz's dismissal comes shortly after Elli Reed was sidelined with an ankle injury. Seattle has now lost three defenders, hardly optimal if they hope to keep the Portland (5-1-1) offense at bay.
On Friday night the Reign revealed that Hope Solo has been medically cleared and added to the active roster. The prospect of having Solo on the field is appealing but her playing at an elite level after so much time off is hardly a given. To expect Solo to gift Seattle with a win immediately is short-sighted. Solo can provide leadership and instruction from between the posts -- but if the team has not trained together in previous sessions then the guidance she has to offer may well be futile.
Portland, on the other hand, has no shortage of talent in their back line. Rachel Buehler and Marian Dougherty are perceptive and aggressive when they need to disposes the opposition. Jessica Fishlock and Tiffany Cameron might find the Portland back line a challenge. Seattle's best option for scoring is probably to utilize the area outside of the box before midfielders Becky Edwards or Nikki Washington close them down.
Seattle Reign FC Injuries
Out: Jenny Ruiz (red card), Kate Deines (ankle injury), Elli Reed (injured), Megan Rapinoe (overseas) and Amy Rodriguez (pregnant)
Portland Thorns FC Injuries
Out: Emilee O'Neil
Match Date/Time: Saturday, May 25 2013 at 7:00 pm PST
Venue: Starfire Stadium, Tukwila, WA
Online: NWSLSoccer YouTube Channel