The Reign retain a key piece of the best defense in the league last season with the re-signing of left back Stephanie Cox. Cox had been de-allocated by US Soccer, meaning her salary was no longer being covered by the national federation, so the team signed her to a separate deal to keep her on the roster.
In the offseason Cox took a job as co-head coach of a high school team near where she lives in Gig Harbor. But at 28, her playing career is clearly not over yet. Her return solidifies a solid defense that has yet to lose any players from last year.
Being de-allocated by the federation is a hint that Cox is unlikely to be called up for the World Cup in the summer, which is unfortunate for a player with nearly a hundred senior caps. But it's good for the Reign, who've positioned themselves to suffer as little as possible from a World Cup that's going to drain the league of many of its best players for over a month.
Cox joined the team in the middle of the 2013 season after taking time off to have a child and in 2014 started 20 of the team's 24 games as a left back.