The flurry of off-season moves for Seattle Reign FC continued today with the team announcing the return of 2013 Reign original goalkeeper Michelle Betos. The Reign were in need of a second goalkeeper following this week’s trade of Haley Kopmeyer, and Betos has familiarity with both the club and the league.
“I’m incredibly excited to be re-signing for the Reign,” said Betos in a team release. “It has been a winding road back to Seattle and its pretty cool to consider how much we have both grown since 2013. I was so grateful to start my time in the NWSL there and feel the same about my return.”
Betos was last with Reign FC for their 2013 season, starting 7 games and earning a record of 0-6-1 before the arrival of Hope Solo midway through the season. In the 2013-14 off-season she was part of the blockbuster trade that sent her and Kristie Mewis to the Boston Breakers in exchange for Sydney Leroux. Almost immediately thereafter she was traded to the Portland Thorns FC for a fourth-round pick and never suited up for the Breakers.
In 2014, she was understudy in Portland to German international Nadine Angerer, earning two starts (both wins). Angerer made only six starts the following year due to international duty with Germany and the World Cup, giving Betos the lion’s share of playing time. The highlight of her season came in mid-June, when Betos headed home a remarkable stoppage time equalizer off a corner kick while Portland was down a player to salvage a point against FC Kansas City in front of a raucous Thorns crowd.
That goal played a significant part in her earning 2015 NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year honors, despite a middling 5-7-2 record and Portland missing the playoffs. 2016 again saw Betos earn the majority of minutes in goal for Portland, while the team acquired the promising Adrianna Franch as her understudy. Portland finished with a league-best 19 goals against and won the 2016 NWSL Shield, but Betos was out of contract following the season and opted to explore other opportunities.
She spent 2017 playing for Vålerenga in the Toppserien in Norway, where she recorded 19 starts, finishing with a record of 10-7-2 (WLD). Her club finished seventh last season in the Toppserien.
Lydia Williams remains the presumed starter for Seattle Reign FC going into the 2018 season, but with Betos, the club once again has an experienced backup in case Williams is injured or away on international duty.
“The packed schedule and international calendar meant that we need a pair of experienced keepers to see us through the season,” said Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “Michelle’s experience in the league and abroad — as well as her familiarity with the club — made her the perfect fit. Plus, as I witnessed first-hand, she may even be good for a goal or two this season.”