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Reign Retain Core: Seven Re-signed, Including Little and Fishlock

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Seattle keeps hold of the majority of the starting lineup that won two NWSL Shields.

Mike Russell

The Reign have announced the re-signing of seven players for the 2016 season, successfully maintaining the core of the team that won consecutive NWSL Shields in 2014 and 2015 and advanced to consecutive finals.

The group is headlined by the team's two British superstars: perennial team MVP Kim Little and midfield engine Jess Fishlock. Both have been named to the NWSL Best XI every year that they've been in the league. Also signed to re-join them on the team next year will be midfielder Keelin Winters; defenders Elli Reed, Kendall Fletcher, and Lauren Barnes; and goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer, who'll be expected to make significant contributions once again with Hope Solo away for the Olympics (assuming the US qualifies).

"We are pleased to be bringing back the core of our squad from last season," said GM and coach Laura Harvey in the team release. "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."

With today's signings — and assuming the US player allocation of Solo and Megan Rapinoe is unchanged — that leaves only Bev Yanez and Merritt Mathias among regular 2015 starters unconfirmed for next year. Left back Stephanie Cox has already announced her retirement from the game, leaving at least one hole to fill in the lineup.