The way Laura Harvey sees it, all five goals Seattle Reign FC have conceded this season have been avoidable.
“We need to stop conceding silly goals,” the Seattle coach said. “The goals we’ve conceded so far in the league, every single one of them was preventable. No team has ripped us apart and scored an unbelievable goal. Every goal that’s been conceded has been through our error.”
“Every” goal totals five, enough to have the Reign 0-2-1 (1 point) and sharing the bottom of the NWSL table with the Red Stars, against whom the Reign earned their only point.
Asked to pinpoint what has gone wrong to allow the goals to slip through, Harvey indicated that no one area has been to blame.
“It’s something different every week,” she said. “That’s something we spoke about as a group. It’s not one thing, it’s something different every time we play. We work on one thing, we get that set, and then we make a mistake in a different area of the field.”
Saturday night the Reign will get their second straight chance at keeping FC Kansas City off the scoreboard when they host the Blues in a return match that also serves as the Reign’s home opener at Starfire Sports Complex. Last weekend in Kansas, FC Kansas City scored on a corner kick and a breakaway that was the result of a counterattack.
“We always knew that three games on the road (to open the season) was going to be difficult,” Harvey said. “But we have positives to take from each game. We feel like we’ve not just held our own in each game, we’ve actually competed to the level that either game could have gone in a different result than it was.”
To that end the Reign created far more chances against Kansas City than they did in a defensive opener against the Red Stars and subsequent loss in Portland. And while most observers agree the Reign are not doing enough in the attack, Harvey points out that statistically the possession stats are near even.
“If you look at the stats we’re 50/50 with every team that we’ve played in terms of possession,” she said. “No one has kept possession better than what we have. We probably in the first two games didn’t get enough shots on goal, that was the biggest issue. Last Friday (in Kansas City) we got a lot more shots on goal. We had a lot of possession in their half and we had a lot of chances but we couldn’t convert them.”
Welsh midfielder Jessica Fishlock has been the standout player for the Reign winning ball after ball in midfield with a wildly aggressive style. If Reign FC are to have success on Saturday, Fishlock will have to find a way to get past the defensive midfield duo of Desiree Scott and Jen Buczkowski. On the other side of that Fishlock can find rookie attacker Christine Nairn who scored early in the season opener but has been mostly quiet since, largely on account of not getting played enough balls.
Harvey acknowledges the Reign are a young side and added that things are continuing to improve as the club gets into the heart of the NWSL season.
“We’ve got a lot more to give and no one’s seen the best of us yet. Hopefully we can show that this weekend in our home opener.”
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