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Hello hockey, let us tell you about the Seattle Reign FC

Seattle Reign is a great sports team name. Just ask the NWSL team.

Photo by MikeRussellFoto

Tuesday, Dec. 4 was a milestone day for Seattle and its robust sports community as the NHL officially announced Seattle as the 32nd NHL franchise, with play scheduled to start in the 2021-22 season.

This news was expected as Key Arena at Seattle Center is now beginning renovations, funded by the Oak View Group as part of their intention to bring the NHL to Seattle and possibly the NBA and the much sought-after revival of the Seattle SuperSonics.

The hockey community welcomed the announcement of Seattle joining the league in the near future, and unsurprisingly, the conversation quickly turned to the topic of what to name the new franchise.

The sentimental choice has been to bring back the Metropolitans moniker as the Seattle Metropolitans of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association won the Stanley Cup in 1917, the first American team to do so. Seven years later, the Metropolitans — along with the entire league — ceased operations, and that was it for top-flight hockey in Seattle, with just the major junior Seattle Thunderbirds representing the city for the last three decades.

It didn’t take long after the start of Tuesday’s press conference for social media to light up with suggestions for the team name. You can see some of the replies within Stephen Whyno’s tweet of a quote from Hollywood’s Jerry Bruckheimer, who serves as the No. 2 of the ownership group, which also includes Seattle Sounders FC’s Adrian Hanauer. Most of the suggestions are what you’d expect, with efforts to connect the team name to characteristics of Seattle, the Puget Sound region, and Pacific Northwest as a whole.

The suggestions range from decent to just plain lame, and while the NHL Seattle ownership group hasn’t given any public hints as to what the team will be called, Darren Rovell might have revealed what might be their shortlist based on domain registrations.

However there was also a name tossed around that, while a damn good one, was incredibly curious if one only took a couple of seconds to search Google first.

“Seattle Reign”

Open up a search on Twitter and marvel at how many times the name “Reign” has been suggested by hockey fans. On one hand, it’s great to see a positive reception to a team called Seattle Reign. On the other hand, you may find yourself internally commentating, “How hard is it to Google?!

You can forgive most hockey fans, especially those who live elsewhere on the continent and likely aren’t in the know of an existence of a pro women’s soccer team in Seattle. However, as the day went on and more suggestions kept coming in, it was notable that it wasn’t just hockey fans suggesting it, but also sports media outlets and local sports fans! Again, that internal commentary of, “How hard is it to Google?!?,” comes to mind.

Over the course of Tuesday, women’s soccer Twitter did their part and point out the existence of Seattle’s NWSL franchise, including Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock, who kindly educated someone at FOX Sports Arizona.

However, even the morning after, there were still suggestions coming in for Seattle’s NHL team being called Reign. Probably the most eye roll-inducing instance was Wednesday morning’s edition of The Dan Patrick Show.

So you want a pro sports team called Seattle Reign...

Well good news everyone — there is one! And we’re gonna tell you all about it.

They’re called Seattle Reign FC! They’ve been here since 2012 and are one of the founding clubs of the National Women’s Soccer League! Their name is an homage to the Seattle Reign of the now-defunct American Basketball League, predecessor to the WNBA’s Seattle Storm (who, by the way, are that league’s... reigning champions). Yeah, Seattle’s quite cool like that with having women’s professional sports teams. But back to the soccer team called Seattle Reign.

The league they play in, the NWSL, has some of the world’s best players, and some of those players are here in Seattle. Let’s introduce you to some of them...

You have forward Megan Rapinoe, who you may know as one of the stars of the World Cup-winning United States Women’s National Team. In addition to returning to Seattle for the 2019 NWSL campaign, she’s likely to feature prominently for the United States at next summer’s FIFA World Cup in France.

Expect to see her doing very cool things like this.

And this.

Seattle Reign FC also has a dragon who has been the heart & soul of the club since Day 1 in Welsh international midfielder Jess Fishlock. A common role in hockey is an enforcer, someone who will not hesitate to muscle through opponents. Yeah, we definitely got one of those in Fishlock, who is just a dynamo on the field.

There’s also England international Jodie Taylor, who is also heading to next summer’s World Cup. She frequently scores some wonderful goals for Seattle, as well.

But Seattle Reign FC are more than just about beautiful goals. Sometimes the buildup to the goals is just as much a masterclass in communication and working as a team. And with intelligent players like Allie Long and Beverly Yanez, it’s damn near a symphony.

And Seattle Reign FC are just as stout on the defensive side of the game. The 2018 Seattle Reign FC squad had the league’s second-best defense, conceding only 19 goals. It’s a defense anchored by Australia international (and also World Cup-bound) goalkeeper Lydia Williams, and let me tell you — she knows how to stop a shot.

In front of Williams is a defensive unit featuring stalwarts like Lauren Barnes, another holdover from the original team.

And Australia international Steph Catley, who can shut down an attacker and go racing up the field and serve it up on the attack with the best of them.

And this season, we saw the growth of Kristen McNabb, as the second year pro made a case that she can hang on a team that is star- and veteran-loaded right now, and will be for years to come.

The conductor of Seattle Reign FC is Vlatko Andonovski. This season was his first as Seattle’s head coach (replacing the franchise’s only other coach, Laura Harvey). He guided the team back to the playoffs after they had missed out the previous two seasons.

Hopefully by now you’re hype for the Seattle Reign FC and women’s soccer in general. There’s a lot to love about it, and there are far more words we write about here about the Seattle Reign FC. There’s also Coffee & Valkyries, a podcast featuring interviews from some of these Seattle Reign FC players. The Seattle Reign FC also have their own YouTube channel where you can watch highlights and profiles on the players. There are plenty of avenues to get more Seattle Reign FC content into your veins!

And if you don’t want to take our word for it, consider the words of ESPN’s Sarah Spain, who recently hosted Rapinoe and Seattle Storm guard Sue Bird on her That’s What She Said Podcast.

In closing, we agree — Seattle Reign is a great name for a sports team! That’s why Seattle’s NWSL franchise is named Seattle Reign FC. They’re a great team, filled with world-class players. Their 2019 NWSL campaign kicks off in April 2019 at Memorial Stadium (just around the corner from the future NHL Seattle arena!), so you’ve got plenty of time get on board and join the fun. We’ll even help you brainstorm more hockey team name ideas at halftime.

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