With less than a week before the start of the 2019 NWSL regular season, teams are announcing their their final rosters today. There were a few surprises with the unveiling of Reign FC’s 23-player roster, which is the first to make use of the new supplemental roster spots added by NWSL this season.
The top-line is that Reign FC will start with a 20 player first-team roster and 3 players on their supplemental roster, which leaves two first-team spots and one supplemental spot open. Additionally, Reign FC sent a 2020 first-round college draft pick to the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for a 2019 international roster spot, which gives the team five spots for this season. Those spots will be used by Australian internationals Steph Catley and Elise Kellond-Knight, Danish international Theresa Nielsen, Japanese international Rumi Utsugi, and Spanish international Celia Jimenez Delgado.
Seventeen players return to Reign FC from their 2018 squad, including Reign FC originals Lauren Barnes, Megan Rapinoe and Jess Fishlock, along with six new signings. The supplemental roster consists of Morgan Proffitt, Jaycie Johnson, and Taylor Smith. Smith is expected to miss the season while rehabbing from an ACL injury. Fishlock remains on loan to Olympique Lyonnais and is expected to rejoin Reign FC in late May, at the conclusion of Lyon’s Champions League campaign.
“I am very happy with how the team has performed throughout preseason. The group has been focused and intense during training and our pre-season matches,” said Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski in a team release. “It feels like we have the right balance of returning players and new faces – the group has meshed well and we’re ready to face a strong challenge in Houston next weekend.”
2019 Reign FC Roster
Goalkeepers: Michelle Betos, Lydia Williams
Defenders: Lauren Barnes, Steph Catley (INT), Celia Jiménez Delgado (INT), Kristen McNabb, Theresa Nielsen (INT), Megan Oyster, Taylor Smith (SUP), Christen Westphal
Forwards: Shea Groom, Darian Jenkins, Jaycie Johnson (SUP), Megan Rapinoe (FED), Jasmyne Spencer, Jodie Taylor
Reign FC original Kiersten Dallstream is not currently under contract, but will continue training with the team as she works back from an injury she suffered last summer. Some other preseason camp invitees are also expected to continue training with the team and could be signed when up to eight Reign FC players depart for the World Cup.
Reign FC opens their season this Sunday at 3:00 PM PT at Houston, and makes their Cheney Stadium debut the following Sunday against the Orlando Pride.