A full slate of Saturday games provided plenty of excitement in Week 4. Here is how things went:
Reign back to winning ways
Seattle is the team least affected by World Cup absences and it showed already in the first week of (most) U.S. national team players missing. Kim Little, last year’s NWSL MVP, was brilliant again in her playmaker role, setting up two of the Reign’s three goals. The response was a strong one to the Reign’s first losing streak since 2013, and Seattle can build up a winning streak with an away match against Sky Blue FC on Saturday. Beverly Yanez’s goal was also a brilliant one-time finish.
Dunn’s play commands attention
Crystal Dunn has been nothing short of spectacular since being cut from the U.S. national team’s World Cup squad. She sought out to find herself in the NWSL this year and she is doing exactly that. Now, ironically, a sliver of the World Cup dream is being dangled in front of her again as she trains with the U.S. while Tobin Heath recovers from a right hamstring injury. Dunn will still be available for the Spirit the next two weekends, though her absence during the week will surely influence how coach Mark Parsons uses her.
Let’s talk about attendance
Western New York’s home opener on Saturday produced an embarrassing sea of green seats that was estimated by Rochester Democrat & Chronicle reporter Jeff DiVeronica to be under 1,000 people. There was no official attendance provided. This comes a week after Sky Blue FC registered a horrific three-digit figure for attendance. Sky Blue drew only 1,742 fans for the home opener on a beautiful night. It’s too early to totally panic about attendance, but there are some ugly numbers going up on the board.
FC Kansas City at Western New York Flash (7 p.m. ET Friday)
Boston Breakers at Chicago Red Stars (5 p.m. ET Saturday)
Seattle Reign FC at Sky Blue FC (7 p.m. ET Saturday)
Washington Spirit at Portland Thorns FC (10 p.m. ET Saturday)
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