Elli Reed is one of Seattle Reign FC’s original players. She’s been with the team since the inaugural 2013 season, but will be hanging up her boots at the end of the season. Reed plans to finish the remainder of the 2017 NWSL season with Reign FC before retiring as a professional soccer player.
“My five years with the Reign have been incredible and I will never forget them,” said Reed. “But it feels like to right time to move on and start the next chapter of my life. I am ready to settle down and focus on challenging myself and growing in new ways.”
Reed joined Seattle as a free agent in 2013 and has played all five NWSL seasons with the club — appearing in 78 matches and tallying four assists. While she was a consistent starter her first two seasons, Reed took on the role of a super sub in 2015 — often becoming the first person Laura Harvey called upon off the bench. Her versatility made her an easy option for defense, midfield, or as a winger up front.
Ahead of the NWSL Championship in 2015, Hope Solo said this about her stalwart defender.
It was really hard to come back from the World Cup, and not have Elli Reed as our right back. I had built such a great relationship with her on the field. I really had become reliant on her in the box — she cleared the ball off the line at least three times that I can remember. What is awesome to see is just how versatile she really is. She can go in as a midfielder or as a forward, especially in games where we need a defensive presence higher up on the field. As sad as I was to see her gone from the right side, I have a newfound sense of excitement when she comes into the game.
We agree, Hope. Those goal-line clearances were certainly memorable.
Reed’s minutes diminished even more in 2016, but she remained a critical part of the Reign FC backline — starting in four of the five matches in which Seattle earned a clean sheet. Still, as positional needs changed and the team brought in more talent, Reed’s time on the field was less and less.
“I was very honest with Elli in the off season about what I thought her role would be and I said to her then, not many people could do this role — having had the role she had before — and if she doesn't want to do it I totally understand that. But if she is going to do it, I need her to buy into it,” Harvey told Sounder at Heart.
Reed has, by all accounts, bought into this new role on the team. She’s rarely without a smile at practice, on social media, or along the sideline. While the 28-year-old is saying goodbye to her professional career, she’ll leave as a crucial component of Reign FC’s legacy.
“Elli loves everything about this club and she’s given everything to it,” said Harvey. “It’s hard to put into words what someone like that means. She’ll be remembered for all the positive things that she has done since day one, and going through all the ups and downs that this club has been through.”
Don’t take it from Harvey, though. Here are just a few of the kind words her teammates and staff had for her after Reed’s retirement was announced.
One of the good ones :). Good luck Reed-dawg https://t.co/d5E3zZzDmy— Ben Dragavon (@BDragoATI) September 23, 2017
Fundamental to Reign FC Success - Unsung Hero of 2014 Squad, A True Professional .. & A HARRY FAN. Myself & Football will miss you ! https://t.co/JH5hzhcvDY— Jessica Fishlock (@JessFishlock) September 22, 2017
Thanks for all the amazing memories, Elli.