Seattle Reign FC

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This article is about the professional soccer club, Seattle Reign FC. For the former professional basketball team, see Seattle Reign (basketball).
Seattle Reign FC
SeattleReignFC.png
Full name Seattle Reign FC
Nickname(s) Reign
Founded 2012
Stadium Memorial Stadium
Ground Capacity 6,000 (12,000)[1]
Owners Bill and Teresa Predmore
General Manager Laura Harvey
Head coach Laura Harvey
League National Women's Soccer League
Website Club home page
Current season

The Seattle Reign FC is an American professional women's soccer team based in Seattle, Washington. The team began play in 2013 in the then 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).

History[edit]

Establishment[edit]

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.[2][3] Former general manager of the Seattle Sounders Women and Seattle Sounders FC Director of Youth Programs,[4] Amy Carnell, was named general manager.

Team name, crest, and colors unveiled[edit]

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.[5] 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).[5]

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."[6]

Inaugural season[edit]

Goalkeeper Hope Solo makes a save during a match against the Chicago Red Stars on July 25, 2013 at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington.

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.[7]

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.[8][9][10] On January 18, the Reign selected Christine Nairn, Mallory Schaffer, Kristen Meier, and Haley Kopmeyer at the 2013 NWSL College Draft.[11][12] On February 4, 2013, it was announced that the team had signed four free agents: Kate Deines, Jessica Fishlock, Tiffany Cameron, and Lindsay Taylor.[13] During the February 7, 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft, the team selected Nikki Krzysik, Lauren Barnes, Laura Heyboer, Liz Bogus, Michelle Betos and Kaley Fountain.[14]

Seattle Reign FC pose for a photo before a match against the Chicago Red Stars on July 25, 2013.

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.[15] 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.[16][17] 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,[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] The game would be the first of a six-game undefeated streak for the Reign with two ties and four wins.[21] 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.[22]

2014 season[edit]

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.[23] The team finished first in the regular season clinching the NWSL Shield for the first time.[24] 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.[25] Following the regular season, the team earned several league awards. Kim Little won the Golden Boot[26] and Most Valuable Player awards;[27] Laura Harvey was named Coach of the Year;[28] 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.[29]

2015 season[edit]

The Reign finished the 2015 season in first place clinching the NWSL Shield for the second consecutive time.[30] After defeating the Washington Spirit 3-0 in a playoff semi-final, the Reign were defeated 1-0 by FC Kansas City during the championship final in Portland.[31] Following the regular season, the team earned several league award nominations. Kim Little, Jess Fishlock, and Beverly Yanez were nominated for league Most Valuable Player, Laura Harvey was nominated for Coach of the Year; and Lauren Barnes and Kendall Fletcher were nominated for Defender of the Year.[32]

Laura Harvey was ultimately named Coach of the Year for a second consecutive year.[33] Barnes, Little, Yanez, and Fishlock were named to the NWSL Best XI team while Kendall Fletcher, Stephanie Cox, Megan Rapinoe, and Keelin Winters were named to the Second XI team.[34]

Year-by-year[edit]

Year League Regular Season Playoffs Avg. Attendance Total Attendance
2013 NWSL 7th place Did not qualify 2,306 25,365 (11 regular season home games)
2014 NWSL 1st Place Runner-up 3,632 43,581 (12 regular season home games)[35]
2015 NWSL 1st Place Runner-up 4,060 40,595 (10 regular season home games)
2016 NWSL 5th Place Did not qualify 4,602 46,018 (10 regular season home games)

Stadium[edit]

See also: NWSL stadiums

During the inaugural season of the NWSL, Reign FC played at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Washington.[36] 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.[37]

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.[38] 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.[39] 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.[39]

Supporters[edit]

The first supporters group that was formed for the Reign is the Royal Guard. Founded by Matt Banks and Kiana Coleman in April 2013, the group became the first fully professional women's supporters group in Washington state's history.[40][41][42] Other supporters groups for the team include: Fortune's Favourites and Queen Anne Collective.[43][44]

Ownership and team management[edit]

Reign FC is owned by Bill and Teresa Predmore.[45] Bill Predmore is the CEO of POP, a Seattle-based digital marketing agency.[46] Prior to the start of the first season, Predmore stated, "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."[47] Predmore's wife, Teresa, played college soccer at Oregon State University and soccer is one of her lifelong passions.[47]

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.[48][49][50] Sam Laity is the team's lead assistant coach,[51] while Ben Dragavon is the goalkeeper coach.[52]

Broadcasting[edit]

Seattle Reign games are streamed 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.[53] During the 2013 season, a select number of league games were broadcast on Fox Sports.[54] During the 2014 season, several league games were broadcast by ESPN.[55] In March 2015, the team became one of the first sports teams to use the newly released app Periscope to stream a preseason friendly against the Portland Pilots.[56] In 2015, six select regular season games and the playoff matches were broadcast by Fox Soccer.[57] The playoff final featuring Reign FC and FC Kansas City set a league record averaging 167,000 viewers on Fox Sports 1 – an increase of 7 percent compared to the 2014 final broadcast on ESPN2.[58]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of July 29, 2016.[59]

No. Position Player Nation
1 Goalkeeper Hope Solo      United States
3 Defender Lauren Barnes      United States
4 Defender Rachel Corsie      Scotland
6 Midfielder Lindsay Elston      United States
7 Defender Elli Reed      United States
8 Midfielder Kim Little      Scotland
9 Forward Merritt Mathias      United States
10 Midfielder Jess Fishlock      Wales
11 Midfielder Keelin Winters      United States
13 Defender Kendall Fletcher      United States
14 Forward Manon Melis      Netherlands
15 Forward Megan Rapinoe      United States
16 Defender Carson Pickett      United States
17 Forward Beverly Yanez      United States
19 Midfielder Havana Solaun      United States
20 Midfielder Rumi Utsugi      Japan
21 Defender Michelle Cruz      United States
25 Forward Kiersten Dallstream      United States
28 Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer      United States
36 Midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi      Japan

Honors[edit]

See also: NWSL awards

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lauletta, Dan (February 6, 2014). "Reign moving downtown to Memorial Stadium". The Equalizer. Retrieved February 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Seattle Club Selected as Founding Member of New Women's Professional Soccer League". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
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  4. ^ "Amy Carnell, the Sounders FC Director of Youth Programs since 2008, has helped build the largest youth camp system in Major League Soccer.". Seattle Sounders FC. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  5. ^ a b Mayers, Joshua. "Seattle's professional women's soccer team will be called Reign FC". Seattle Times. Retrieved December 19, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Seattle's NWSL team will be named Seattle Reign FC". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
  7. ^ Mayers, Joshua. "Reign FC hires Laura Harvey of the Arsenal Ladies as its first head coach". The Seattle Times. Retrieved December 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ "NWSL allocation easier said than done". ESPN. Retrieved January 12, 2013. 
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  14. ^ "NWSL Supplemental Draft results". The Equalizer. Retrieved February 7, 2013. 
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  16. ^ "Seattle Reign's Hope Solo will miss 3-4 months after wrist surgery". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
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  35. ^ Gerhke, Sarah (September 30, 2014). "NWSL: Breaking down 2014 attendance numbers, part". SoccerWire. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
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  37. ^ "Outdoor Turf Fields". Starfire Sports. Retrieved January 23, 2013. 
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  47. ^ a b "Bill Predmore: 'My goal is to build the best women's club in the world'". Seattle Times. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  48. ^ "Amy Carnell out as Seattle Reign GM, Laura Harvey assumes role". Sounder at Heart. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
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  50. ^ "Tom Glasgow, Sports Director". KOMO News. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
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  52. ^ "Reign FC Signs Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer". National Women's Soccer League. February 13, 2014. Retrieved March 31, 2015. 
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  59. ^ "Roster". Seattle Reign FC. Retrieved October 20, 2015. 

External links[edit]