Match Forecast: Reign FC to Open 2015 NWSL Season Against Western New York Flash
A year after winning the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) Shield, Seattle Reign FC will open the 2015 regular season on Sunday, April 12 against the Western New York Flash. Kick-off is set for 4 p.m. PT on the Moda Pitch at Memorial Stadium.
2014 NWSL MVP and Golden Boot winner Kim Little, and U.S. Women’s National Team standout forward Megan Rapinoe and goalkeeper Hope Solo all return for Reign FC, with head coach Laura Harvey retaining a majority of last year’s roster.
After allowing a league-low 20 goals in 2014, the entire defensive unit of Lauren Barnes, Kendall Fletcher, Elli Reed, and former U.S. Women’s National Team defender Stephanie Cox remains intact.
Midfielders Jess Fishlock and Keelin Winters — both of whom started 22 games last season — are also back for Seattle. Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, midfielder Mariah Nogueira, and forwards Kiersten Dallstream, Danielle Foxhoven, and Beverly Yanez round out the returnees.
Ultimately, Reign FC boasts just five new players. Among the additions are Scottish international Rachel Corsie, who started 22 matches for Notts County Ladies F.C. of the FA WSL last year, defender Michelle Cruz, previously of Apollon Limassol F.C. in the Cypriot First Division, and forward Merritt Mathias, a key member of FC Kansas City’s frontline last season.
Reign FC’s newest additions include midfielders Havana Solaun and Amber Brooks. Solaun was acquired in the second round of the 2015 NWSL College Draft. Brooks, along with the rights to U.S. Women’s National Team star Abby Wambach and a 2016 first round draft pick, was brought to Seattle in a trade that sent forward Sydney Leroux and defender Amanda Frisbie to the Flash.
With an average age of 24, the Flash’s young roster includes just three returning players from their 2014 campaign: Defenders Brittany Taylor and Kristen Edmonds, and forward Jasmyne Spencer.
Seattle was 2-0-1 against Western New York in 2014, winning both road matchups at Sahlen’s Stadium in Rochester 2-1, while playing to a 2-2 draw in their lone game in Seattle.
Reign FC are pleased to announce two new additions to its broadcasting team for the 2015 season, play-by-play announcer Chuck Sekyra and color analyst Amy Griffin.
Sekyra quickly propelled Seattle Pacific into one of the nation’s elite women’s soccer programs when he was at the helm between 2003-2014. Sekya coached his team to three Final Four appearances and won the NCAA Division II national championship in 2008. He finished his tenure at Seattle Pacific with a 210-35-22 record.
A native of Federal Way, Wash., Griffin played on the 1991 Women’s World Cup championship team. She has been coaching at the University of Washington for the past 20 years and was the assistant goalkeeper coach to the Under-20 Women’s National Team that won the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. She has served as a broadcast commentator for NBC, ESPN, and Fox Network.
Both Sekya and Griffen coached Reign FC and U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo during her time at the University of Washington.
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