OL Reign’s debut in the NWSL Fall Series will finally happen this Saturday. Their first match was to be against rival Portland Thorns in Portland on Saturday, September 12. But that game was rescheduled twice due to an unprecedented body of smoke from wildfires in Oregon and California basically shutting down the Pacific Northwest region for the past week. The match with Portland at Providence Park will now take place on September 30, but before that, OL Reign will take a quick weekend trip down to Utah to face the Utah Royals FC.
Defender Madison Hammond was one of a few players who didn’t see the field at the NWSL Challenge Cup. She will look to make her professional debut in the NWSL Fall Series, hopefully as soon as Saturday’s match against Utah. She makes her “Coffee & Valkyries” debut on this episode and where representation matters more than ever in the times we live in, being the first Native American player in the NWSL is definitely important to Hammond.
“Once the Men in Blazers interview came out, I hadn’t really thought about how impactful it was to be the first anything in sports. You know you read stats that say this was the first person that did this – wow that’s so cool. I was actually talking to Jasmyne Spencer about I want to play and I want to get on the field and I know I’m a rookie. What if it doesn’t matter if I’m the first Native American in the league? And she literally looked at me and goes, ‘You could never step on the field and it is still incredible. No one can ever take that away from you and it’s going to open so many doors for people.’ I think for me that’s when it really set in. The Men in Blazers video got a ton of views on Twitter, but I hadn’t looked at Facebook because I never go on Facebook anymore and it was actually a family member who told me it had a ton of views on there. A lot of people from where I’m from in Albuquerque and a lot of Native people had seen the video on Facebook and their comments were like, ‘Keep going!’ ‘We believe in you!’ ‘Thank you for representing us!’ And so for me that was like wow – this is not only really cool, it’s just a big honor not only to be here, but get to represent something way bigger than you.”
Susie Rantz (@SusieRants)
Jacob Cristobal (@jacobcristobal)
Steve Voght (@voght)
Album artwork: Amy Camber
Music: “Sunglasses” by Loyalty Freak Music