Changes and hard goodbyes at Reign FC continue as forward/midfielder Beverly Yanez announced her retirement today.
“It’s meant the world to me,” Yanez said of her time with the club in the team’s press release “A 26-year-old comes in and is trying to make an impact. To have a club be interested in me, invest in me and believe in me? To have them care for me and support me? It means the world.”
Yanez, nee Goebel, joined Reign FC in 2014 on a season-long loan from Japan’s INAC Kobe Leonessa, along with Japan international Nahomi Kawasumi. Yanez made 26 appearances for Reign FC in that NWSL Shield-capturing 2014 season, claiming 5 goals.
The loan spell proved to be more than successful, as Yanez signed permanently with the club for the 2015 season. That season, she made 19 appearances and claimed 10 goals. That tenth goal might be the most signature goal of her career as it came in the NWSL Playoff Semi-finals against Washington Spirit on her first touch after returning from injury.
With the match scoreless, Yanez entered the match in the 70th minute, replacing Katrine Veje, and one minute later, one touch, one kill, Yanez found the back of the net for Reign FC and broke the deadlock. Yanez’s goal opened the floodgates for Reign FC as they’d go on to defeat the Spirit for the second straight year in the NWSL Playoffs.
Normally a forward or attacking midfielder, Yanez made the change last season to become more of a defensive midfielder, and in a season where the squad was ravaged with long-term injuries, she remained a beacon of stability on the field. Off the field, her leadership as team and league veteran was invaluable to welcoming the revolving door of players the club brought in over the course of the season due to national team player absences and injuries.
“It’s such a welcoming environment and we take a lot of pride in that. The players that came in have been working so hard and we’ve been so happy to have them. We appreciate everything that they’ve done. It’s been such an easy transition, we all just become family,” said Yanez after a mid-July training session.
Her influence and leading by example wasn’t limited to just the first team last season, as Yanez became a recurring guest coach at the team’s youth academy. Yanez was one of 21 players who attended a U.S. Soccer C License coaching course in Utah after the 2018 NWSL season. Her husband, Othaniel Yanez, was also a coach in the Reign Academy system last season. It’s no surprise that passing on her knowledge of the beautiful game on and off the field to the next generation is what’s next for Yanez, as in the team’s announcement, she will be joining the staff at Copa Soccer Training Center in Walnut Creek, California.
“One chapter ends and the next begins. I’m extremely passionate about sharing the game with the youth. What I’ve learned through my pro career in the WPS, in Japan and in the NWSL, collecting everything I learned in that period and giving it to youth players—things that I wished I had learned at their age. I’m excited to see how I can make an impact in the growth of soccer in the US. It’s a huge passion of mine. I’m especially passionate about giving back to the women’s game and empowering other women to chase their dreams,” said Yanez about the next chapter of her life as Coach Yanez.
While Yanez spent her entire NWSL career at Reign FC, this was not her first go-around playing in a US professional league. Yanez was a third-round selection by the Washington Freedom in the 2010 WPS Draft, starting in 9 of 16 matches for the club and claiming one goal. She was then selected by the Western New York Flash in their expansion draft, and appeared in 14 matches (3 starts) and claiming a goal and an assist in their WPS-winning season.
When the WPS folded in the following off-season, Yanez took her talents abroad, playing in Finland’s Pallokerho-35 (now called PK-35 Vantaa) for the remainder of 2011 and then two years at the aforementioned Japan’s INAC Kobe Leonessa, before establishing herself in the friendly confines of the Puget Sound region.
On the field, Yanez was the very definition of a professional and team player. You’d be hard pressed to find a Reign FC fan that wouldn’t come up with those as the first adjectives to describe her. She was a frequent starter, sometimes a substitute off the bench, and occasionally just not featured in the 18 at all. Playing time in the NWSL is very scarce, and while Yanez may have wanted to always be a starter, playing the full 90 minutes every week, she was willing to do whatever was asked of her for the team, without complaint and always with her trademark smile.
“I know Bev was an important part of any team she played on, not only through her talent on the field, but in her ability to bring people together off the field,” said former Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski in a team release. “I always found Bev to be a true pro. She was a tremendous leader and student of the game who was always trying to get better. She was also a great role model and friend to her teammates and she was truly a pleasure to coach. She is player that every coach would love to have on their team and she made an important contribution to the NWSL during her career. I consider Bev and her husband good friends and I wish them all the best in the next steps of their lives. I know they will continue to give back to the game, because that’s the kind of people they are.”
Off the field, Yanez exuded that professionalism and team player spirit. She was seemingly present at just about every Reign FC public appearance, always approachable for an autograph and/or selfie. And no article about the career of Beverly Yanez can be written without mention of her children, Avocado & Maverick, whose Instagram is a must-follow for Reign FC fans.
Thank you, Bev.