Here are a few notes from Reign FC, the first-place team in the National Women’s Soccer League, heading into Saturday’s rivalry clash with Portland:
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— First off, Seattle forward Sydney Leroux has been voted NWSL Player of the Week for her game-winner against Washington. It was the first goal of the season for the U.S. international, and she becomes the first player in league history to claim three Player of the Week awards (she won twice last year). Leroux, who turns 24 Wednesday, is the first Reign player to win the award this season.
— “I’m really really happy for Syd,” said Laura Harvey, coach and general manager, after the game according to a team release. “She deserved that one. Her work rate has been remarkable, and it was only a matter of time until she scored.”
— Seattle, of course, swept its two-game road trip, beating Sky Blue FC on Wednesday (2-0) and then Washington on Saturday (2-1), to improve to 5-0.
— The Reign’s biggest test of the season will come against reigning champion and Pacific Northwest rival Portland Thorns FC. In an important note, the kickoff Saturday has been moved to 4 p.m. from 7 p.m. so not to conflict with the Trail Blazers NBA playoff game against San Antonio at 7:30 p.m.
— Seattle has had six players called in for national team duty coming up. The biggest loss will be Japanese newcomer Nahomi Kawasumi, who has left the club to prepare for the Asia Cup. She is not expected back until a June 1 against Sky Blue FC.
— The USWNT trio of Hope Solo, Leroux and Stephanie Cox are getting ready for Thursday’s game against Canada but should be back by the weekend. Seattle defender Carmelina Moscato was called in by Canada, but she’s currently on mend from a foot injury.
— Also, Wales captain Jess Fishlock has been called up for a World Cup qualifier against Montenegro but should be back for Saturday’s game, though that’s a quick turnaround since she gets back to town Friday.
— Lastly, Megan Rapinoe was not called in for the Canada game and is still questionable with a foot injury.