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Rumi Utsugi stays with Reign FC for 2018

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The Japanese international is a key cog in Seattle’s possession-oriented style of play.

Photo credit - MikeRussellFoto

Seattle Reign FC’s week of re-signings continued today with the announcement that Japanese international midfielder Rumi Utsugi will stay with the team for the 2018 season.

Utsugi first joined Reign FC in the middle of their 2016 campaign, making seven appearances, mostly at fullback, and scoring one goal in the process. 2017 saw her move to her more accustomed midfield position, where she, Jess Fishlock and Christine Nairn typically interchanged between defensive, shuttling and playmaking duties in Reign FC’s “defend from the front” and possession-oriented style of play.

Utsugi had 20 appearances for Seattle in 2017, tallying one goal and two assists in the process, all while leading Reign FC midfielders in passing accuracy. That prowess and consistency earned her 2017 team MVP plaudits from her teammates, and also drew praise from new Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski.

Said Andonovski in a team press release, “Rumi is probably one of the most creative players in the league. Her decisions in the build-up phase are superb. She is very comfortable on the ball and is always an option for her teammates. She’ll have a crucial role in establishing the style of play.”

Utsugi’s signing brings the 2018 Reign FC roster to 17 players, plus contract offers still pending for Lauren Barnes, Carson Pickett, and Lydia Williams.