Reign FC announced today the return of veteran defender Lauren Barnes for the 2020 season, with a team option for 2021.
“Bringing Lu back to Reign FC for the 2020 season was one of our most important objectives in the off-season,” said Reign FC CEO Bill Predmore in a team release. “She has been one of the most consistent, reliable, and accomplished defenders in the NWSL since its inception. Lu is a brilliant leader and truly great person. We are thrilled to have her back for the upcoming season.”
Barnes, a Reign original, will return for her eighth season of play, having made 149 appearances for the club to date. She has anchored the Reign back line every year, was named 2016 NWSL Defender of the Year, and has made the NWSL Best XI twice and Second XI twice, including last season.
“It’s truly an honor to play for the Reign,” Barnes said in the release. “The club strives to provide a culture where players can grow and reach their potential. I’m proud to be a ‘Reign original’ back for my eighth season and can’t wait to see what the 2020 version of the Reign can achieve. It’s going to be an exciting year with the addition of the OL Groupe and our originals Bill and Teresa.”
In a separate release, the team announced that they have waived backup goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme and that she plans to retire from professional play. Prudhomme was acquired last summer from the Washington Spirit in exchange for Australian international Elise Kellond-Knight, and served as back-up to Casey Murphy for the final eight games of the season.
“Sammy Jo solved a massive challenge for us last season given all our injuries,” said Predmore. “She was a great professional, worked hard, and was a solid member of the squad. We are sad to see her leave the game and wish her all the best in the future.”