WHO HAS THE EDGE?
GOALKEEPER: Seattle Reign FC
When it comes to American goalkeepers, it is hard to find a name bigger than Hope Solo. Although FC Kansas City’s Nicole Barnhart had more shutouts, Solo allowed 11 fewer goals. Either way, it should be a low-scoring match.
DEFENDERS: FC Kansas City
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The Blues have one major advantage and that is two-time NWSL Defender of the Year Becky Sauerbrunn leading the backline. Along with Barnhart in goal, the defense had a league-best nine shutouts.
MIDFIELDERS: Seattle Reign FC
One of the biggest keys for FC Kansas City will be trying to stop Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little, who led the league with 16 goals and had seven assists this year. She is joined in the midfield by fellow NWSL Best XI pick Jessica Fishlock, who had four goals and eight assists.
FORWARDS: FC Kansas City
It is hard to find a more efficient combination than the national team duo of Amy Rodriguez and Lauren Holiday. Rodriguez ranked second in the league behind Little with 13 goals, and Rodriguez had three assists. Holiday added eight goals and seven assists.
COACHES: FC Kansas City
Another intriguing battle comes from the sideline where the two NWSL Coach of the Year selections prepare to meet. FC Kansas City’s Vlatko Andonovski (2013 winner) gets the edge because of the team’s consistency which has produced the league’s best two-year record.
BOTTOM LINE: Seattle Reign FC
Seattle has proved to be the toughest team in the league to beat and FC Kansas City is well aware of the challenge. In three previous meetings, the Blues lost 3-2 in Seattle and forced a pair of 1-1 draws at home. The sold-out Starfire Stadium will not make their battle any easier.
BY THE NUMBERS
4: FC Kansas City is winless in its last four matches on the road and 4-7-1 on the year. Seattle Reign FC is 8-0-4 at home.
8: Eight players from FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC will join the U.S. national team training camp following the match.
9: FC Kansas City led the league with nine shutouts in 24 games this season, including a 2-0 victory against Portland Thorns FC in the semifinals.
10: The NWSL Best XI and Second XI included 10 players from FC Kansas City and Seattle Reign FC. The past two MVP, Coach of the Year and Defender of the Year selections will also be playing.
16: Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little broke the NWSL scoring record with 16 goals in 23 games this season. FC Kansas City’s Lauren Holiday set the record last year with 12 in 18 games.