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Reign International Recap: Grit and Golazos

Six Reign players featured during an international window full of ups and downs. 

Last Updated
2 min read
Ji So-yun of South Korea challenges the USWNT's Jaedyn Shaw for a ball in an international friendly match.
© Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

A couple of captains, a few stellar goals, and mixed results were the themes of the most recent international window.

Huitema returns for Canada

On Tuesday, Jordyn Huitema logged her first international minutes since recovering from the back injury that sidelined her from NWSL play for most of May. She subbed in for the Canadian Women’s National team at halftime of a friendly against Mexico that ended in a 1-1 draw. She did not play in Canada’s 2-0 win over Mexico three days earlier. These matches were part of the send-off series for Canada before the reigning Olympic champions head to Paris to defend their title. Huitema is hopeful about the Olympics, telling, “We have a pretty good track record at the Olympics. I think that's our tournament to shine in… I think we're in a good place and the team is in a good mindset.”

Adversity for Wales

After sailing through their first two Euros Qualifiers against Kosovo and Croatia, Cymru met a tougher challenge in their pair of matches against Ukraine during this window. Angharad James-Turner wore the captain’s armband in the first matchup. She previously captained the side last July in a friendly against the USWNT, which she described as a “really proud moment,” but told the BBC before the game that this one would be even more special because her family could attend. 

Jess Fishlock and Lily Woodham also started the match, fighting to a gritty 1-1 draw after Wales gifted Ukraine an early lead on a defensive mistake. They played Ukraine again four days later, highlighted by a vintage Jess Fishlock goal.

Wales held on to a 2-1 lead for most of the second half but gave up a devastating equalizer in the 7th minute of second-half stoppage time to split points and fall to second in the group behind Croatia. Ukraine only had three shots on target across both games and scored on all of them. Despite the disappointment, Cymru are still in position to grab the top spot as they look ahead to the final two group-stage games next month. 

The Kid’s alright

Emeri Adames played a brilliant game for the US U-20 Youth National Team as they took on South Korea in the first of a pair of friendlies, creating several chances for herself and her teammates. Her efforts were rewarded with an assist and a beautiful goal in the form of a Latsko-esque shross. 

Adames also started in the second friendly, which South Korea won 4-2. 

USA stifles Korea

Ji So-Yun reunited with her longtime Chelsea head coach and friend Emma Hayes as Korea Republic played a pair of friendlies against Hayes in her debut as USWNT head coach. Ji captained the Korean side in the first match, where they struggled offensively and lost 4-0. Korea had better chances in the second game, including a classic Ji free kick which forced a fingertip save by US goalkeeper Casey Murphy, but they couldn’t break through and lost 3-0.

All six players are now back with the Reign ahead of their weekend match against Kansas City Current. The game at CPKC Stadium kicks off on Sunday, June 9 at 3 PM PT and will air on KONG-TV in Seattle, as well as stream on NWSL+, CBS Sports Golazo, and KING5+.