Seattle Reign FC
|Full name||Seattle Reign FC|
|General Manager||Laura Harvey|
|Head coach||Laura Harvey|
|League||National Women's Soccer League|
|Website||Club home page|
The Seattle Reign FC is an American professional women's soccer team based in Seattle, Washington. The team began play in 2013 in the new eight-team National Women's Soccer League that receives support from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF), the Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) and the Mexican Football Federation (FMF).
In November 2012, it was confirmed that a Seattle-based women's professional soccer team owned by Bill Predmore (founder and CEO of Seattle-based digital marketing agency, POP) had been accepted into a new women's professional soccer league, later named National Women's Soccer League. Former general manager of the Seattle Sounders Women and Seattle Sounders FC Director of Youth Programs, Amy Carnell, was named General Manager.
Team name, crest, and colors unveiled
On December 19, 2012, the name and logo was unveiled as Seattle Reign FC. The team's colors were announced as white, platinum, royal blue and midnight black. The name was selected in part as homage to the first professional women's sports team in Seattle, Seattle Reign, a defunct professional basketball team in the American Basketball League (ABL).
Owner, Bill Predmore stated, "Today's announcement is the result of a thoughtful process to identify the name that best represents the values of our club, articulates our long-term ambitions and celebrates the community within which our supporters live. Reign FC meets all of those objectives and at the same time honors the legacy of professional women's sports in Seattle. Like the Seattle Sounders, whose fans selected a name that honored those who pioneered the sport of soccer in Seattle in the early 1970s, Seattle Reign FC was, in part, selected to pay homage those visionaries — the leaders and players of the Seattle Reign women's basketball team — who pioneered professional women's sports in Seattle."
On December 21, 2012, the team announced Laura Harvey as their first head coach. Harvey was head coach of Arsenal L.F.C. from 2010-2012 after serving as an assistant for two years, assisted and then coached Birmingham City L.F.C. from 2002-2008, and served as an assistant coach for England's U-17, U-19 and U-23 women's national teams from 2005-2011.
On January 11, 2013, as part of the NWSL Player Allocation, Kaylyn Kyle (CAN), Teresa Noyola (MEX), Megan Rapinoe (USA), Amy Rodriguez (USA), Jenny Ruiz (MEX), Hope Solo (USA), and Emily Zurrer (CAN) were named to the Seattle team. On January 18, the Reign selected Christine Nairn, Mallory Schaffer, Kristen Meier, and Haley Kopmeyer at the 2013 NWSL College Draft. On February 4, 2013, it was announced that the team had signed four free agents: Kate Deines, Jessica Fishlock, Tiffany Cameron, and Lindsay Taylor. During the February 7, 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft, the team selected Nikki Krzysik, Lauren Barnes, Laura Heyboer, Liz Bogus, Michelle Betos and Kaley Fountain.
Leading into the preseason, it was learned that the Reign would be without all of their U.S. national team allocated players for almost half of the season. National team forward, Amy Rodriguez, announced she was pregnant with her first child and would not be playing during the inaugural season. U.S. national team goalkeeper, Hope Solo, would be away for the first part of the season after recovering from wrist surgery and Megan Rapinoe had signed with French side, Olympique Lyonnais, from January to June and would miss at least nine games. After traveling to Japan in the preseason to play matches against defending L. League champion INAC Kobe Leonessa, Fukuoka J. Anclas, and Nojima Stella Kanagawa, the Reign faced their first regular season match against the Chicago Red Stars at Benedictine University, in which Seattle's first college draft pick, Christine Nairn, scored the Reign's first goal of the season via a header off an assist from Liz Bogus. The Red Stars later tied the game 1-1, but the point that Seattle earned in the game would be its only for the next nine games. Without the U.S. national team players or a veteran goalscorer up front, the team struggled to win games. Although the losses were for the most part consistently low-scoring games, it was apparent that the Reign was missing some final ingredients for success.
In June 2013, head coach Laura Harvey began making some trades and signing new international players. With the trades and the return of U.S. national team players, Solo and Rapinoe, the Reign began to turn the season around with a 1-1 tie against the Western New York Flash. The game would be the first of a six-game undefeated streak for the Reign with two ties and four wins. After losing to regional rival, Portland Thorns FC, 2-1 in the season finale in front of a sold-out crowd of 3,855, the Reign ended the 2013 NWSL season seventh in the league with a 5-14-3 record.
During the 2014 season, the Reign set a league record unbeaten streak of 16 games. During the 16 game stretch, the Reign compiled a 13-0-3 record. The streak came to an end July 12, 2014 in a match against the Chicago Red Stars that ended 1-0 in favor of the Red Stars. The team finished first in the regular season clinching the NWSL Shield for the first time. After defeating the Washington Spirit 2-1 in the playoff semi-finals, the Reign were defeated 2-1 by FC Kansas City during the championship final. Following the regular season, the team earned several league awards. Kim Little won the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards; Laura Harvey was named Coach of the Year; Kendall Fletcher, Jess Fishlock, Little and Nahomi Kawasumi were named to the NWSL Best XI team while goalkeeper Hope Solo and defenders Lauren Barnes and Stephanie Cox were named to the Second XI team.
|Year||League||Regular Season||Playoffs||Avg. Attendance||Total Attendance|
|2013||NWSL||7th Place||Did not qualify||2,306||25,365|
During the inaugural season of the NWSL, Reign FC played at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington. The stadium is located approximately 12 miles from downtown Seattle and is the training facility for Seattle Sounders FC, as well as where the Sounders play their U.S. Open Cup matches. With a seating capacity for 4,500 spectators, the stadium also features a press box with full scoreboard and sound system capabilities. The pitch features FieldTurf.
In February 2014, it was announced that the team would be moving to Memorial Stadium, located at the Seattle Center, for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The stadium features an artificial turf pitch that was installed in 2013 and a seating capacity of 12,000 spectators although seating capacity was set at 6,000 for the beginning of the 2014 season. The stadium was the previous home of the Seattle Sounders from 1974-1975 when the team played in the North American Soccer League (NASL) and from 1995 to 2002 when the team played in the United Soccer League. It has also been the home of the main stage for the annual Bumbershoot Festival and numerous other festivals and concerts.
The main supporters group for the Reign is the Royal Guard. Founded by Matt Banks, Kiana Coleman, Stephanie Van Slageren, and Alex Thomas in April 2013, the group is the first fully professional women's supporters group in Washington state's history.
Ownership and team management
Reign FC is owned by Bill and Teresa Predmore. Bill Predmore is the CEO of POP, a Seattle-based digital marketing agency. After the agency did some work with the Seattle Sounders, Predmore had joked that he would give the team a discount in exchange for a piece of the team. Although it didn't happen, the experience inspired Predmore to begin thinking of owning a club. Although a Major League Soccer team was out of reach, he started to consider a women's team. "From a financial perspective, it was achievable," Predmore said. "But I also thought I could actually make a difference. Ultimately, my goal is to build the best women's club in the world. That won't happen tomorrow or this year, but in 10 years or 20 years that's where we want to be." Predmore's wife, Teresa, played college soccer at Oregon State University and soccer is one of her lifelong passions.
Leading up to the inaugural season of the NWSL, Amy Carnell was named General Manager for the team. Within a week of regular season play, Carnell resigned from her position citing "personal reasons" and head coach Laura Harvey assumed the role - a setup similar to what she was used to as coach of the Arsenal L.F.C. in England.
Seattle Reign games are broadcast live by Bootstrapper Studios via YouTube. The broadcasts are called by KOMO News Radio Sports Director, Tom Glasgow, with color commentary provided by Lesle Gallimore, head coach of the Washington Huskies. During the 2013 season, a select number of league games were broadcast on Fox Sports.
- List of top-division football clubs in CONCACAF countries
- List of professional sports teams in the United States and Canada
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