Seattle Reign FC’s preseason still feels miles away, but at least fans now know what to expect before the 2017 season kicks off. Seattle Reign FC’s preseason will feature two exhibition matches against UCLA and the University of Washington in early April.
On April 4, Reign FC will face UCLA on the road in Norco, California. This is the squad’s first match against UCLA, and could prove to be an exciting one. Not only were the Bruins national champions in 2013, and quarterfinalists in 2014, they have a number of exciting young prospects on the squad right now.
UCLA, where Lauren Barnes played, returns nine starters from a team that advanced to the NCAA Round of 16, including Canadian international Jessie Fleming, who at 18 years old earned All-American honors. Fleming was a star in the Rio Olympics and produced magic like this for UCLA during a season where she scored 11 goals and assisted on five others.
Mal Pugh and Marley Canales will also be available for the preseason match. Both rising U.S. stars took the fall season off — Canales to play in the U-20 World Cup and Pugh to play in the Olympics and U-20 World Cup.
Seattle Reign vs UCLA
Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Time: 7:30 pm PT (Gates open 5:30 pm PT)
Location: SilverLakes Complex, Norco, CA
On April 8, Reign FC will be back in Seattle to face the University of Washington at Husky Soccer Stadium — the fourth meeting between the two sides. Reign FC’s Lindsay Elston played for UW from 2010 to 2013. Admission and parking are free. Be sure to arrive early, as seating will be limited.
Fans attending the UW match will have the opportunity to enter a raffle benefiting the Austen Everett Foundation, a long-time Reign partner that works to inspire, empower, and improve the lives of kids battling cancer by teaming them up with professional and collegiate athletic organizations.
Seattle Reign FC vs UW
Date: Saturday, April 8, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm PT (Gates open at 6:00)
Location: Husky Soccer Stadium
Last year, Laura Harvey opted to bring her team to Portland for a three-game tournament against the Portland Thorns, Houston Dash, and Oregon State University. While Seattle came out on top after three matches, Harvey indicated some concerns about the structure.
The squad, unsurprisingly, had some preseason jitters in the tournament, but they didn’t necessarily get punished for them — even against other NWSL competition. As a result, they weren’t able to tighten up their play before the season kicked off. This wasn’t the only cause for Seattle’s slow start in 2016, but it is probably one reason Harvey changed up the team’s preseason approach this year.
Going up against strong college talent, and pushing themselves in an environment outside the Pacific Northwest, might help alleviate some of these concerns for the Reign this year. So, start making your preseason plans now, and be on the lookout for the full NWSL schedule to get announced in the next few weeks.