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Reign FC sign two players to bolster attack

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One has experience playing under Vlatko Andonovski. The other comes from Reign FC’s rival.

Nikita Taparia

As the World Cup departures begin, Reign FC has made two signings in recent weeks to bolster its attack. The club brought in forwards Ifeoma Onumonu and Maegan Kelly as National Team Replacement players.

Kelly joined the club before their most recent match against the Washington Spirit, subbing on in the 82nd minute. Onumonu will be available for selection in Reign FC’s May 18 home match against Sky Blue FC.

Kelly, 27, comes to Reign FC with experience playing under Vlatko Andonovski. She made 22 appearances for FC Kansas City in 2017, when he was head coach, and scored five goals. Kelly was primarily utilized as a sub, but she was a proficient goal scorer with her limited minutes at FCKC.

After being released by the Utah Royals last season, Kelly moved to Italian side Atalanta Mozzanica, where she scored 8 goals. She’s a quick and strong attacker with experience on the wings and in a more central role, and she’s not afraid to release a shot from distance.

Onumonu, 25, was waived by the Portland Thorns on May 8. The forward made eight appearances for Portland last season, having been acquired in the dispersal draft after her rookie season with the Boston Breakers.

While she’s listed at 5’ 10”, Onumonu seems taller than that. Her long legs make her quick and she is a strong distributor, but she often looked unsure in the attack last season and didn’t quite fit with Portland’s style of play. That’s nothing Andonovski can’t improve upon, however. Onumonu brings height, pace and additional goal-scoring acumen to a Reign FC attack searching for more goals.

Onumonu played collegiately for the Cal Golden Bears, earning the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year award in 2012. The forward scored 33 goals in 82 career games and was named to the All Pac-12 First Team and the NSCAA All-Pacific First Team in 2012 and 2016.

“We’re looking forward to having Ifeoma join the team,” Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “I think she is a player who will help us during the World Cup and hopefully beyond.”

Reign FC has only scored two goals in four matches so far this season. Both Kelly and Onumonu should provide attacking help — and hopefully some goals — over the next few months, and possibly beyond.