We now have the first Seattle Reign FC roster move of the Vlatko Andonovski era. Richard Farley of FourFourTwo first broke the news today that English international striker Jodie Taylor will be joining Reign FC for the 2018 NWSL season; the team confirmed the signing a few hours later. She is a strong target forward who can get on the end of crosses in front of goal, a role Seattle lacked for much of last season.
Prior to arriving Seattle in the spring, Taylor will join Melbourne City of the W-League as a guest player, joining Jess Fishlock, Rebekah Stott, Larissa Crummer, Lauren Barnes and Lydia Williams with the team in Australia.
Taylor has past experience in the NWSL, having played for the Washington Spirit in 2014 and the Portland Thorns in 2015, before most recently signing with Arsenal of the FA Women’s Super League.
Taylor’s NWSL discovery rights were originally held by Seattle in 2013, but were sent to the Spirit before the 2014 season as part of a series of trades that also resulted in Seattle acquiring Kim Little’s discovery rights and Christine Nairn moving to the Spirit. Taylor was a significant part of Washington’s improvement in 2014, scoring 11 goals in 21 matches to help lead the team to their first playoff appearance.
Her following season in Portland was hampered by injuries, but she managed three goals in only seven appearances before a knee injury derailed her season. Internationally, Taylor has also found success in front of goal, scoring 15 times in 30 caps, including a hat-trick against Rachel Corsie’s Scotland side in the group stage of the 2017 Women’s Euros.
Taylor will require an international roster slot. Reign FC currently have one open international slot after exercising 2018 contract options for Corsie, Stott and Crummer, but they also have new contract offers pending for Nahomi Kawasumi and Rumi Utsugi, meaning that the team could potentially need to trade for two additional slots if all six players are on the roster next season.