The Reign roster took some big cuts today, as they pared down from a 25-player preseason roster to an 18-player roster heading into the final week before the season opener on Sunday. The most notable changes were the upgrades of Carson Pickett and Lindsay Elston from non-roster invitees to players under contract.
For Pickett this isn't much of a surprise. Seattle's first-round draft pick had some mixed moments in the last preseason match against UW, both getting in some dangerous offensive moments (including a long, curling cross to assist a Manon Melis goal) and some dangerous giveaways in Seattle's end. But she clearly has the ability to be a solid professional and will be competing for the starting left back spot.
Elston is the bigger surprise. The former four-year starter at UW and former US youth international had struggled to catch on at the pro level after graduating in 2014. She played a few games for the Dash in 2014 before being sidelined by an injury, then went to Europe to play with FC Metz in France. She had a solid game on Saturday against UW as a two-way midfielder and clearly impressed the coaches enough to make the roster.
The other draft picks and non-roster invitees make up the 8 cuts to get from 25 plus the re-addition of Megan Rapinoe (who's still out with a long-term injury and is just being moved around for roster accounting) down to 18. That includes Dani Foxhoven, who stepped away from the team last year due to a medical issue, but surprised us by showing up on the preseason roster this year. And it means that the team is down to two goalkeepers again, with no one behind backup Haley Kopmeyer on the depth chart (though we should expect short-term additions when Hope Solo is away on national team duty).
It should be noted that the team release makes it clear that this is the roster until Friday, and that the maximum roster size is 20, leaving room for two more additions.
Here's the full updated roster:
2016 Seattle Reign FC Pre-Season Roster – as of Monday, April 11
ROSTERED PLAYERS (18 of 20 spots filled):
GOALKEEPERS (2): Haley Kopmeyer, Hope Solo (FP-USA)
DEFENDERS (6): Lauren Barnes, Rachel Corsie (INT’L-SCO), Elli Reed, Kendall Fletcher, Carson Pickett, Michelle Cruz
FORWARDS (5) Merritt Mathias, Manon Melis (INT’L-NED), Beverly Yanez, Kiersten Dallstream, Megan Rapinoe (FP-USA-)
FEDERATION PLAYERS (FP): 2
INTERNATIONAL ROSTER SPOTS FILLED (INT’L): 3