PORTLAND, OR— For a second straight season Seattle Reign FC will have to settle with a regular season shield. Again on Thursday night at Providence Park in Portland the Reign fell to FC Kansas City by a single goal in the NWSL Final. Last season at Starfire Seattle lost to FCKC 2-1 in the Final played at Starfire.
Amy Rodriguez, who was once with the Reign, but missed a season due to a pregnancy, has scored all three FCKC goals in the two Finals. In Thursday’s match her 78th minute header was enough for a 1-0 KC win.
PHOTOS: by Jeff Halstead
REIGN FC FALLS 1-0 TO FC KANSAS CITY IN 2015 NWSL CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
SEATTLE (October 1, 2015) — Seattle Reign FC (13-3-4, 43 pts) fell 1-0 to FC Kansas City (9-6-5, 30 pts) in the NWSL Championship Final on Thursday, October 1 at Providence Park in Portland, Ore.
Seattle finishes the 2015 campaign as the league runner-up, as well as the NWSL shield winners after posting 43 points during the regular season.
Despite pressuring the Kansas City backline throughout the match, FCKC grabbed the lead courtesy of an Amy Rodriguez goal in the 78th minute that proved to be the difference.
Reign FC got its first chance in the sixth minute on an excellent solo effort from forward Megan Rapinoe. The U.S. Women’s National Team star used some short-space quickness to get around Brown before putting a dangerous ball in towards goal that FCKC goalkeeper Nichole Barnhart deflected away.
FC Kansas City worked the ball down the right-hand side before Rodriguez had an open chance to put the Blues ahead in the 15th minute, but placed her shot wide of the target.
In the 20th minute, Reign FC started a quick counter as the ball found Rapinoe in stride. Rapinoe sent a long cross to midfielder Kim Little who carried the ball into space before playing a strong shot from the top of the box that Barnhart was able to smother.
The second half started off slow for both sides as possession swayed from end to end. The next best chance of the match came in the 63rd minute as Rapinoe sent a stunner from 25 yards out that beat Barnhart but deflected off the far post and away from goal.
FC Kansas City found the opening and eventual game-winner in the 78th minute as a long ball found Heather O’Reilly on the left flank. The midfielder sent a pin-pointed cross to Rodriguez and the subsequent point-blank header gave Kansas City the 1-0 lead.
In the final 12 minutes, Reign FC upped the pressure in search of an equalizer which created numerous chances that all fell short of target.
With three minutes remaining in regulation, Reign FC’s final chance came and went as Danish international Katrine Veje played a low cross into the box that Rapinoe hit one-time with power but it went right at Barnhart.
“Credit to Kansas for reducing us to shooting from distance,” said head coach and general manager Laura Harvey. “Both teams are the best at playing under pressure but our pressure got better in the second half. We’re massively disappointed but we will learn from it.”
Seattle finishes the season series with FC Kansas City with a record of 1-2-0. The two teams met twice during the regular season, with both sides taking a win at home.
The first time the two sides squared off, at Swope Soccer Village on April 23, Seattle fell 1–0 behind a goal from Rodriguez. In the second and final matchup on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium on May 9, Reign FC grabbed all three points as Little and Beverly Yanez tallied goals in the 2-1 win.
Match: Seattle Reign FC vs. FC Kansas City
Date: October 1, 2015
Venue: Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. PT
Goals by Half 1 2 F
SEA 0 0 0
KC 0 1 1
KC — Amy Rodriguez (Heather O’Reilly) 78′
KC — Becky Sauerbrunn, 76′
Shots: SEA- 7, KC- 10
Shots on goal: SEA- 3, KC- 3
Saves: SEA- 2, KC- 3
Corner kicks: SEA- 5, KC- 2
Fouls: SEA- 9, KC- 3
Offsides: SEA- 3, KC- 1
SEA: GK Hope Solo, D Rachel Corsie, D Kendall Fletcher (D Elli Reed, 77), D Lauren Barnes, D Stephanie Cox, M Keelin Winters, M Jessica Fishlock, M Kim Little, F Merritt Mathias (Katrine Veje, 72), F Beverly Yanez, 80, F Megan Rapinoe
Substitutes not used: Kopmeyer, Foxhoven, Dallstream, Brooks, Bullock
KC: GK Nicole Barnhart, D Becky Sauerbrunn, D Becca Moros, D Leigh Ann Brown, D Amy LePeilbet, M Jen Buczowski, M Heather O’Reilly (M Tori Huster, 84), M Erika Tymrak (M Shea Groom, 77), M Mandy Laddish (M Yael Averbuch 92+), F Amy Rodriguez(F Sarah Hagen 93+), F Lauren Holiday
Substitutes not used: Rowland, Clark, Bogus, Kastor
Referee: Ekaterina Koroleva
Assistant Referee: Amanda Ross; Jennifer Garner
Fourth Official: Margaret Domka
About Seattle Reign FC:
Seattle Reign FC is one of nine teams in the National Women’s Soccer League. The NWSL is supported by the Canadian Soccer Association, Federation of Mexican Football and the United States Soccer Federation. The NWSL is the premier women’s professional soccer league in North America, featuring many of the top players from the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as talent from around the world. Seattle Reign FC train and host home matches at Memorial Stadium, located in the shadow of the Space Needle next to the Seattle Center. For more information on the club visit http://www.ReignFC.com or call 855-REIGNFC.