Just over a week ago, the Seattle Reign were steamrolled by the Portland Thorns in the last game of the regular season, losing their grip on second place and their chance at hosting a semifinal. Yesterday, Seattle made adjustments and played a much better match but still fell 2-1 to the Thorns, ending their hopes for a return to the NWSL championship. Here are my thoughts on shot conversion, injuries, and closing out games.
Making chances count
It’s always going to take something special to get past Adrianna Franch, especially when she’s having a day like she had yesterday, and when the Reign got on the board in the 29th minute, that’s exactly what it was. Megan Rapinoe bent her free kick in a way that few can, and when she was denied by the crossbar, the ball fell fortuitously into the path of Jasmyne Spencer, who made a well-timed (and unmarked) run into the box to one-time her finish, allowing Franch very little time to react – and the keeper almost saved it anyway.
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