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Reign eliminated from playoff contention after 1-0 loss to FC Kansas City
The loss snaps a 28-game home scoring streak for Seattle

Seattle Reign FC lost 1-0 to FC Kansas City on Sunday night and are now eliminated from playoff contention. The loss came in the Reign’s 2017 home finale, and snaps a 28-game home scoring streak.

With Seattle’s loss, the Orlando Pride have clinched the fourth and final playoff spot.

Seattle is now 8-8-7 with 31 points and in fifth place in the NWSL standings. FC Kansas City is just one behind with 30 points (8-9-6 record).

The Reign started out strong with a couple of good early chances, but could not find the back of the net. Rumi Utsugi hit a shot off the post in the 17th minute that would’ve given Seattle the early lead.

FC Kansas City  scored minutes later, against the run of play. Forward Shea Groom scored in the 23rd minute after Sydney Leroux sent her a well-timed through ball. Leroux threaded it between three Reign defenders before Groom calmly hit a left-footed shot to the far post to make it 1-0.

FC Kansas City defender Becky Sauerbrunn controlled the game on the defensive side of the ball as the Reign managed just one shot on goal. She led the team with 13 clearances and two blocks.

 

The Reign had a number of close chances to get on the board, but luck was not on their side on the evening. Seattle forward Beverly Yanez entered the match in the 75th minute and minutes later nearly got onto the end of a dangerous cross as the Reign pushed hard to tie the game.

 

Reign defender Elli Reed entered the match in the 78th minute. Reed, who has spent all five NWSL seasons with the Reign, announced on Friday that she will retire at the end of the season — so Sunday night’s game was her final appearance in front of the home crowd. It was her cross that Yanez nearly scored on in the 83rd minute.

The Reign had one final opportunity to score in the 88th minute, but Utsugi’s shot went over the bar.

 

Reign forward Megan Rapinoe received her fifth yellow card of the season in the 69th minute and will be suspended for Seattle’s final game of the season. She’ll end the season with 12 goals, which currently has her tied for second in the NWSL with Pride forward Marta.

 

Before the game, four members of FC Kansas City — Sauerbrunn, Leroux, Yael Averbuch and Desiree Scott — remained in the locker room during the playing of the National Anthem as athletes across the country reacted to President Donald Trump’s comments on Friday night. Rapinoe, who knelt during the National Anthem last year, was also not on the field during the playing of the anthem. She was reportedly joined by Seattle teammates Reed, Madalyn Schiffel, Lauren Barnes and Diana Matheson.

We are extremely proud of our players for their commitment to their craft and their community. We recognize and support their efforts to use their unique position to raise awareness of social issues in a positive manner,” FC Kansas City said in a statement released Sunday night.

The Reign will play their final game of the season on Saturday night in Washington. FC Kansas City will host the Dash on Sunday in the last game of the NWSL regular season.

 

 

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