This Is The NWSL Final You’ve Been Waiting For

Kansas City looks to keep title while Seattle will want it brought home to the Emerald City.
by Katherine Rupp   |   Thursday, September 17, 2015

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Although it’s not for a couple of weeks now – the schedule was set earlier this year for the Final on October 1st and many NWSL players will be participating in the US women’s national team victory tour with two games being played in the next few weeks against Haiti in Detroit and Birmingham – the NWSL Final will be played between the Seattle Reign and the reigning NWSL champs, FC Kansas City.

On a beautiful late summer day in Chicago at Toyota Park, with a little over 3,000 fans of the Chicago Red Stars and a respectable contingent of FCKC fans traveling up to the Windy City, Kansas City made their mark on the Red Stars. The White Whale for the Red Stars squad has been the Championship game, and this season is no different. FCKC were up to the task to push the Red Stars over the limit and take their number, and with a strong team consisting of players like HAO (otherwise known as Heather O’Reilly), Becky Sauerbrunn, Amy Rodriguez, and Lauren Holiday, the Blues make its way back to the ‘ship. However the 3-0 semifinal scoreline looked, the Red Stars and fans should be optimistic about the years to come because of the talent and drive of the players on the team.

On the other side of the country, the second semifinal was played in Seattle with the Reign beating the Washington Spirit. Although the first half was fairly uneventful – especially in terms of goals, and more than likely what could be called a dull half for Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo who had a recorded one save in the game – the second half upped the ante once the substitutions started. The Reign vs. Spirit semi, like the Red Stars against FCKC semi, finished 3-0 but with two of the goals coming off substitutes – of which, both subs had their first touch coming as a goal – Seattle was able to steer the team in the direction of the ‘ship. Additionally, with Rapinoe grabbing one of her signature goals, this Reign team looks to be ready for the Final. But similarly to the Red Stars, the Spirit can have a positive outlook for the future, especially if the team is able to keep and continue to showcase the brilliance of winger Crystal Dunn.

Now as the teams approach the Final in about two weeks, the two contending teams will come to terms with how best to face the match and their opponent. And though it may have been better to have a more neutral venue than Portland (Seattle is a short drive while KC fans will have to fly to the Pac Northwest), the Final should be a fun affair with many stars showcasing for Seattle while the same goes for Kansas City in addition to the desire of keeping the title of NWSL champions. When the players do take the pitch for the Final, keep a look out for Sauerbrunn in the defense for FCKC to hold the backline while her USWNT teammate, Lauren Holiday, takes the pitch for the last time before retiring as she hopes to control the midfield.

For Seattle, you might raise an eyebrow with the play from Megan Rapinoe – but that’s almost a given – and also from former Arsenal Ladies player and attacking mid, Kim Little. Whatever does happen during the Final, it’ll be a great matchup between two deserving teams with some extremely gifted players. Seattle versus Kansas City in Portland on the 1st of October should be something to put on the calendar.

Katherine RUPP

Nationality:
USA
College:
Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.
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