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Manon Melis retires from soccer

Melis led the team with seven goals in 2016.

Seattle Reign vs. UW: Photos Photo Credit - MikeRussellFoto

Seattle Reign forward Manon Melis has announced her retirement from professional soccer. The Netherlands international recently retired from the international game after helping lead The Netherlands to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup in the Summer of 2015.

Melis played one year with the Reign — appearing in 16 games, 15 of them starts. She led the team with seven goals scored and scored a goal in five straight games at one point in the season. She also tallied two assists.

Melis missed four games after she fractured her left tibia in a game against the Portland Thorns. She originally thought the injury was much worse.

“I was actually a little relieved because it could have been worse like an ACL, and then your whole season is over,” said Melis. “This was like ‘OK its four to six weeks you can manage it’ and it’s a quick recovery actually. It still wasn’t fun but it’s better than nine months.”

Melis joined the Reign after eight seasons in Sweden and decided she was ready for a new challenge. That new challenge became the NWSL. After speaking with head coach and general manager Laura Harvey, Melis knew where she was going.

“Laura called me and after 30 minutes I was like, ‘Okay, I want to go to Seattle,’” said Melis. “She said if you’re coming here [the United States], the Seattle Reign wants to have you.”

“[I am] really lucky. I mean, I get the opportunity to play in the USA. Almost nobody gets [that chance]. It’s something big. It’s a privilege,” Melis said. “There are also only ten teams here, so if a team wants you, that’s a big thing because you don’t have many spots and there are so many girls who play soccer here in the United States. I’m from Europe and I get this chance?”

She took the chance that Harvey gave her and soared. She caused issues for opposing teams back lines all year long. So far, Melis is the second player to announce her retirement from professional soccer. Former captain Keelin Winters announced her retirement before the season ended.

The Ride of the Valkyries 2016 award votes are currently open.

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