Tonight: It’s FC Kansas City vs. Seattle Reign for the NWSL title

Jessica Fishlock of Seattle brings the ball forward against Kassey Kallman of FC Kansas City. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

Jessica Fishlock of Seattle (right) brings the ball forward against Kassey Kallman of FC Kansas City in the 2014 NWSL championship game. (Craig Mitchelldyer/Getty Images)

The championship game of the third season of the National Women’s Soccer League takes place at 8:30 p.m. CT.  It’s on Fox Sports 1.

FC Kansas City, the reigning champs, will play the Seattle Reign, the team with the best regular season record this year.

Here’s a good preview by Liviu Bird of SI.com.

It’s a rematch of last year’s title game, which KC won 2-1.

Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City)

Lauren Holiday (FC Kansas City)

It will be the final game for the great Lauren Holiday, the U.S. women’s team star and FC KC midfielder who is retiring.

Other standouts for KC are Amy Rodriguez, Becky Sauerbrunn, Heather O’Reilly, Yael Averbuch, Leigh Ann Brown, Jen Buczkowski, Mandy Laddish, Amy LePeilbet,  and Erika Tymrak.

Seattle hopes to become the first NWSL team with the best regular-season record to go on to win the championship.

The Reign is led by Kim Little, Jessica Fishlock, Megan Rapinoe, Beverly Yanez, and Hope Solo.

Megan Rapinoe

Megan Rapinoe. (Seattle Reign)

For the first time, the game is being played at a neutral site — Providence Park in Portland — though it’s not clear just how neutral it will be.

On the one hand, Portland is about 1,600 miles closer to Seattle than it is to Kansas City, which would argue for a crowd heavily tilted toward the Reign.

On the other hand, Providence Park is the home field of the Portland Thorns, Seattle’s archrival, which could suggest an unfriendly reception for the Reign.

We’ll see soon enough. According to Merritt Paulson, the owner of the Thorns, more than 12,000 tickets have been sold. (The Thorns, by a huge margin, always have the best attendance in the league.)

 

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