TUKWILA — An announced crowd of 2,618 turned out Saturday to watch Seattle Reign FC’s inaugural home game at Starfire Sports Stadium.
For most of the way, it seemed as if the crowd also might see the first scoreless match in the National Women’s Soccer League’s 14-game history.
However, in the 69th minute, FC Kansas City got on the scoreboard and then made that lead stand up for a 1-0 victory.
The play started around Kansas City’s penalty box. FCKC then strung together a series of passes down the right side before the attack culminated with a Becky Sauerbrunn pass to Renae Cuellar, who strongly finished in front of Reign goalkeeper Michelle Betos.
The result dropped the Reign to 0-3-1, while Kansas City climbed to 2-0-1.
The announced attendance was about 1,100 short of Starfire capacity, without some of the bleacher seating and standing room that Sounders FC of Major League Soccer uses for U.S. Open Cup matches.
Many fans waited in line before the gates opened an hour ahead of the first kick. Some awaited the start by checking out the Reign merchandise booth. Once the game began, they were generous in their support of the home team.
That generosity was tested as possession and best chances heavily tilted toward the visitors, who had beaten the Reign, 2-0, the week before at Kansas City.
The Reign goes back on the road next Saturday, visiting Sky Blue FC of New Jersey.Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/soccer @donruiztnt