Reign eliminated from playoffs after 1-0 loss to FC Kansas City

Several players stay in the locker room during the national anthem.

For the second consecutive season, the Seattle Reign won’t be playing in the National Women’s Soccer League playoffs.

The Reign (8-8-7) were eliminated with a 1-0 loss to FC Kansas City (8-9-6) on Sunday night at Memorial Stadium.

Several Reign and KC players stayed in the locker room during the national anthem as protests were common across the sports world. Among them was Megan Rapinoe, who began protesting during the anthem last season.

A report on Twitter said nine players missed the anthem.

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The loss gave the Orlando Pride one of the four playoff spots. North Carolina, Portland and Chicago have the other three.

“I thought we had a really strong start to the game, but once we started chasing the game it got tough,” Reign coach Lauren Harvey said via Twitter.

The Reign had a steep climb to earn a postseason berth even before the loss. Seattle needed to win its final two games, have Orlando lose its finale and overcome a seven-goal differential.

It’s the third time in the five-year history of the Reign the club has failed to make the postseason.

The Reign have gone 1-3-1 over its last five games.

“There’s some good talent in this club, and there’s an exciting future ahead of us if the balance comes together,” Harvey said.

Shea Grooms scored the only goal, finding the back of the net in the 23rd minute.

It was the last home game for Seattle defender Elli Reed, who announced her retirement on Friday.

“I hope this league can continue to grow and players can live out their dreams like I did,” Reed said.

Reed has been with the club since its inaugural season in 2013.

“Elli Reed is a very good teammate all the way through. She gives absolutely everything every day,” Harvy said.

The Reign’s season concludes Saturday against the…

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