Seattle Reign FC Re-Signs Seven Players For 2016 NWSL.
Seattle Reign FC announced today the signing of seven players from the club’s 2014 and 2015 NWSL shield-winning seasons, all of whom will return to Seattle for its fourth season in the NWSL, beginning in March of 2016. Of the seven players re-signed, five were named to the NWSL Best XI or Second XI in 2015.
Reign FC has re-signed defenders Lauren Barnes, Kendall Fletcher and Elli Reed, midfielders Jess Fishlock, Keelin Winters and Kim Little, and goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer. Per team and league policy, terms of the deals were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to be bringing back the core of our squad from last season,” said general manager and head coach Laura Harvey. “The entire lot have been brilliant for us over the last two years, so we’re excited to bring them together again as we work towards our goal of an NWSL Championship.”
Little, 25, had a terrific sophomore season in 2015 following her 2014 League MVP and Golden Boot accolades. Little led the team with 10 goals and added a league-high seven assists on the season. The Scottish international has 26 goals through 43 games, and is the NWSL’s all-time leading scorer. Little was named to the NWSL Best XI in both 2014 and 2015.
“I’m extremely excited to be returning to Seattle Reign for my third season and I feel so grateful to be a part of such a unique organization for another year,” Little said. “Everything about Seattle and the Reign made me want to come back: the city, the club, the people.”
“I also feel that for me to keep developing as a player, the NWSL is the best place for me to be next year. With its continued expansion and development, the league is an exciting thing to be a part of.”
In addition to Little, Reign FC has re-signed its midfield duo of Jess Fishlock and Keelin Winters. Both members of the team since the club’s inaugural 2013 season, Fishlock and Winters make up one of the league’s most cohesive and dangerous midfield pairings. They each appeared in 19 games for Reign FC in 2015, all starts. The Welsh international scored seven goals and tallied two assists while Winters tallied one goal. Fishlock was named to the NWSL Best XI for the third time in 2015 (one of only two players to be named to the Best XI in 2013, 2014 and 2015), while Winters was named to the NWSL Second XI in 2015.
“Returning to Reign FC is a great feeling for me. It’s no secret I love this club and I can’t wait to return and start a new year,” said Fishlock of her re-signing. “There are so many positive factors in returning to Seattle. It’s a place you find extremely difficult to leave, from the club to the people and the city. I would also like a Championship with this team.”
On the defensive end, key members of Reign FC’s backline will return as Lauren Barnes, Kendall Fletcher and Elli Reed have all re-signed with the club.
Barnes played all 1,800 minutes of Seattle’s 2015 season, scored her first NWSL goal and added two assists. A member of Reign FC since 2013, Barnes leads the team in regular season games played and games started at 65 and 64, respectfully. Barnes was named to the NWSL Best IX in 2015.
Elli Reed also returns to Seattle for her fourth season. She made 18 appearances (9 starts) for Reign FC in 2015 and had one assist.
Fletcher, a key member of a defense that allowed just 21 goals in 2015, will return for her third season with the club. She scored two goals and added two assists in 19 matches, all starts. Fletcher was named to the NWSL Second XI in 2015.
In the net, the club has re-signed GK Haley Kopmeyer, who ranked third on the league’s goalkeeper leaderboard in 2015 with a GAA of 1.00. Kop started 11 matches for a total of 990 minutes. She finished second in wins with seven and led Reign FC on an eight match unbeaten streak that saw the club go 5-0-3.
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Reign FC currently owns the No. 4, 25, 30 and 40 overall selections in the 2016 NWSL College Draft, which will be held on Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Baltimore.
Season ticket packages for Seattle’s 2016 season start at just $180. Fans looking to purchase tickets can call (855) REIGN-FC or visit ReignFC.com today.
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