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OL Reign sign centerback Alyssa Malonson

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The 2021 SEC Defender of the Year was a five-year starter at Auburn.

Sweden v USA - Women’s U23 International Friendly Photo by Jose Breton/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The signings continue for OL Reign, with the club announcing on Tuesday that they have signed defender Alyssa Malonson to a one-year contract with an option for 2023. The Reign obtained Malonson’s NWSL rights in a trade with North Carolina earlier this month. She was originally drafted by the Courage 20th overall in the second round of the 2021 NWSL Draft, but opted to remain in college to play her final year of eligibility at Auburn University.

“It’s a dream come true to become a professional athlete, and I am so blessed for my rookie season to begin with OL Reign,” said Malonson in a team release. “Having grown up in the South, the chance to play in a city like Seattle is so exciting. I’m so thankful for Laura and the coaching staff for allowing me this opportunity and eager to learn from the other veterans on the team. I can’t wait to get started!”

Malonson was a five-year starter at Auburn, setting school records for appearances (97), starts (97), and consecutive appearances. Although primarily a centerback in her final year at Auburn, Malonson also spent time at midfield and forward, and scored four goals and notched 23 assists during her college career. She was named the 2021 SEC Defender of the Year, First-Team All SEC and United Soccer Coaches All-America Second Team after helping lead the Tigers to an 11-4-1 record and NCAA tournament berth.

“Alyssa is an exciting young talent with tremendous upside,” said OL Reign head coach Laura Harvey. “She will add something a bit different to our backline, provides valuable depth, and will be in a great position to enhance her craft by working with our veteran players. We are really excited to see what she brings to the team this year.”

Malonson is the 22nd player under contract with OL Reign for 2022, with the status of Lauren Barnes, Rose Lavelle, Megan Rapinoe, and Quinn still to be announced.