As preseason activities began Monday across the NWSL, the OL Reign officially announced its 35-player roster for training camp, which most notably included forward and U.S. Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe, who sat out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 precautions.
Rapinoe, who also was named to the USWNT roster for the upcoming SheBelieves Cup later this month in Orlando, could rejoin the Reign in March.
“After a very difficult and uncertain 2020 for all of us, I am feeling rejuvenated, healthy and really excited to get back on the pitch with my teammates for what I hope is a very exciting 2021,” Rapinoe said in a team-issued statement Monday.
The Reign returns nearly all of its starting unit, but will be without starting goalkeeper Casey Murphy who is replaced by newcomer Cosette Morche. Other additions for the team include defender Sam Hiatt, midfielder Angelina, forwards Ally Watt and Tziarra King, who was acquired in a trade with Kansas City for forward Darian Jenkins and the rights to midfielder Meg Brandt.
“It’s good that we have new players,” Reign coach Farid Benstiti said in a statement. “I think we’ve got a great core group that will be the future of the club. I’m excited to make the coordination between players who were already in the team and the new players who have so much potential to help us improve. That’s very exciting for me.”
In addition to Murphy, other departures from the Reign’s 2020 squad include defender Taylor Smith and Jodie Taylor, who were acquired in a trade with the North Carolina Courage in exchange for Watt.
Of the 35 players, 24 have signed for the year, 12 of whom are under contract for the 2021 season at the end of the NSWL Fall Series in October. The roster is expected to continue to change over the next several months.