To bolster an already deep attack and provide more creativity on the wings, Seattle Reign FC added Canadian international Adriana Leon to its roster, acquiring the wing player from Sky Blue FC in exchange for a 4th-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft.
The 25-year-old Leon has eight career goals in 44 games with the Canadian national team. She represented Canada at the 2015 FIFA World Cup, helping her country reach the quarterfinals. Leon also won an NCAA Championship with the University of Notre Dame in 2010 — scoring the game-winning goal in the championship match.
“I’m excited to join Seattle Reign FC,” Leon said in a Reign FC press release. “The group is very talented. I’m looking forward to bringing what I can to the group and improving the team.”
Leon had a breakout season with the Boston Breakers in 2017 — scoring six goals and tallying a team-high six assists. Reign FC fans might begrudgingly recall Leon’s Player of the Week performance last April, when she scored a goal and added two assists in Boston’s 3-0 win over Seattle.
After getting picked up by Sky Blue in the Boston Breakers Dispersal Draft this preseason, Leon struggled to find playing time on the New Jersey squad. Despite being healthy, she has played just 33 minutes under new head coach Denise Reddy and often hasn’t even been available on the bench. While she joins a team with significantly more depth than last-place Sky Blue, Leon should still get more opportunities to feature in matches — especially during busy weeks and while her Reign FC teammates are away on international duty.
“We’re thrilled to add Adriana to the team,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “She’ll add another piece to our attack and make us a better team heading down the stretch. I can’t wait for her to join us.”
Leon loves to play wide and stretch defenses, and she thrives in one-on-one situations — looking to get a defender wrong-footed and cut inside for a shot or take the ball to the end-line to whip a ball across the box for an onrushing teammate. She also offers a more physical presence when compared to players like Naho Kawasumi and Elizabeth Addo, which could come in handy against more physical opponents.
Leon’s coach at the Breakers, Matt Beard, was rather complimentary of what Reign FC got out of the trade with Sky Blue.
With the addition of Leon, Seattle now has a 24-player roster to choose from each match. While the league typically caps rosters at 20 players, Leon’s former Boston Breakers teammates — Christen Westphal, Megan Oyster, Morgan Andrews, and Elizabeth Addo — all got picked up by Reign FC in the Dispersal Draft and don’t count against the roster cap this season.
Leon started her NWSL career with the Breakers in 2013 before being traded to the Chicago Red Stars. From 2013 to 2015, she played in 35 matches and netted three goals for Chicago. From there she was traded to the Western New York Flash, and also spent time with FC Zurich Frauen in the Swiss national league.
Leon is not likely to feature this weekend, but she could certainly play a role in matches later this June, as Reign FC has another three-games-in-seven-days scenario at the end of the month.