The Seattle Reign conducted open tryouts last weekend and 35 players participated, hoping against all odds to make one of the deepest rosters in the league. Or — failing that — to impress the variety of coaches present to get an invite to another local team and stick in Laura Harvey's mind enough that a future injury or national team call-up could be their opportunity.
A few of the players were recognizable to even casual local women's soccer fans. Megan Kufeld was one of the best keepers in Washington history, earning more shutouts than even school legend Hope Solo. But the competition for backup keeper spots in NWSL is brutal and even a player with her pedigree went undrafted in January.
Izzy Farrell was the Gatorade State Player of the Year in 2012 and was called up to the U20 national team. She spent just over a year at Washington then transferred to SPU, where she was one of the top offensive players in the GNAC for two seasons. Now she's trying to find a roster spot as a pro.
Through two days the players ran a variety of drills and small-sided games, and now have to wait to see if they'll get their chance with the Reign or some other local team.
After the first day of tryouts, we talked to coach Harvey about the upcoming season. She acknowledged that the Reign players who had full (and mostly very successful) seasons in Australia will need to have their minutes managed a little more in preseason, but should be fully fit for the season opener. She also spoke a bit about Jess Fishlock's future as a coach, the new Reign Academy, whether that open international spot will stay open, and more. Here's the full audio: