After an offseason of departures and retirements, the Seattle Reign open the season at home on April 15 with a brand new starting XI
The Seattle Reign lost a number of veteran players to retirements and transfers in the offseason, and are looking to redefine their identity. These five players are the leaders the club will look to to help the team through its first season with its newly reconstructed roster.
D Lauren Barnes
Recently appointed a co-captain, Barnes played in 20 matches last season and returns to Seattle fresh off a championship-winning stint with Melbourne City of Australia’s W-League. She will lead the Reign backline again this year.
M Jessica Fishlock
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Fishlock, the Reign’s other co-captain, holds the distinction of being the only Welsh soccer player to ever get to 100 international caps – a stat which speaks to her wealth of experience. She functioned as player-coach for the championship-winning Melbourne City that Barnes also played on.
Drafted as the second-last overall pick in 2013, Kopmeyer has now grown into the starting goalkeeper job. If her performance last season is any indication, the Reign is in good hands. Kopmeyer allowed 13 goals in 11 starts, with three shut outs, and she led the defense through a league record 531 minutes without conceding a goal.
MF Christine Nairn
Nairn was acquired from the Washington Spirit this offseason. She tarted 53 games in three seasons with the Spirit, but was originally the Reign’s first round draft pick in the 2013 NWSL College Draft. She’s known as a corner kick specialist.
F Megan Rapinoe
Rapinoe made headlines last year for her decision to kneel in protest during the playing of the national anthem. Even though international duty limited her to five games for the Reign last year, the dynamic, creative Rapinoe is undoubtedly still the club’s biggest star.