A jaw-droppingly great soccer week is about to unfold for the Puget Sound region.
On Tuesday, Argentina and Lionel Messi -- perhaps the best team and player in the world -- will meet Bolivia at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Field in Copa America Centenario.
On Wednesday, the Seattle Sounders enter U.S. Open Cup with a derby: a fourth-round match against the Kitsap Pumas at 7:30 p.m. at Starfire Sports Stadium in Tukwila.
And at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, the United States men’s national team will play a Copa Amercia quarterfinal at CenturyLink against an opponent to be determined Sunday.
Also Sunday, the Seattle Reign meets Houston in a home match. Here’s a preview for the club.
After a brief break in NWSL play, Seattle Reign FC returns to Memorial Stadium to host the Houston Dash on Sunday, June 12 at 4:00 p.m. PT. This is the first of two meetings between the teams this season.
The game will be live-streamed on the NWSL’s official YouTube channel and can be watched at youtube.com/nwsl. Fans can also follow live play-by-play at the Reign’s official Twitter page, @SeattleReignFC, and can join the conversation using the hashtag #SEAvHOU.
The Reign (2-3-2, 8 points) are coming off of a 0-0 tie against their Cascadia rivals, the Portland Thorns. While the Reign out shot the Thorns 9 to 6, no one was able to find the back of the net to break the deadlock.
The best chance of the match came in the 75th minute, as the Reign were pushing for a game-winning goal. Lauren Barnes sent a corner kick into the box, which went through the hands of goalkeeper Michelle Betos. Beverly Yanez was there to slot the ball home, but two Thorns defenders cleared the line before any damage could be done.
It was the third shutout of the season for the Reign, and the first shutout this year for goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer.
Goalkeeper Hope Solo did not play in the game due to international duty, but will be available for selection in this weekend’s game. Jess Fishlock, Kim Little, and Rachel Corsie, will also be back in the Pacific Northwest after playing for their national teams this past weekend.
The Dash (2-3-1, 7 points) will be looking to bounce back after a 1-0 loss to the Orlando Pride. This will be the Dash’s first game since May 20, as their game against the Washington Spirit on May 27 was postponed due to inclement weather.
Houston is just one spot behind Seattle in the NWSL standings with 7 points, and is currently on a two-game losing streak. The Dash will be looking to create offense after being held scoreless in those two losses.
Seattle defeated Houston 3-0 in the last meeting between the two squads, which was last season at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Reign have an all-time record of 5-0-0 against the Dash, scoring at least two goals in every match. Depending on other results, a win on Sunday could move the Reign up one spot into sixth place.
Up next, the Reign head to New Jersey to take on Sky Blue FC on June 19 at 3:00 p.m. PT at Yurcak Field in the first game of a two-game road trip. Seattle will look to improve on its all-time record of 3-3-3 against Sky Blue. The previous meeting between the two teams was a 2-1 win for Sky Blue in the season opener, the first regular-season home loss for Seattle since August 17, 2013 – a span of 974 days.
The Reign will return home to face the Boston Breakers on July 2 at 7:00 p.m. PT at Memorial Stadium. Tickets begin at $18 and can be purchased at reignfc.com/breakers or by calling (855)-REIGN-FC.