According to a new report in The Athletic, OL Reign are close to signing a deal with Canadian national team and Paris Saint-Germain forward Jordyn Huitema. This comes after the club announced Kim Little would join on loan for a couple of months and The Equalizer reported Tobin Heath is heading to Seattle. The Athletic notes that Heath’s move should be officially announced on Thursday.
The 21-year-old joined PSG in 2019, skipping college to sign with the French club at 18. In her three years with PSG, the center forward featured in 62 matches — including 17 Champions League games — and scored 18 goals while earning eight assists (according to fbref). Huitema won the Division 1 Féminine title with PSG in 2021 and the 2022 Coupe de France.
Huitema has one year left in her four-year contract, which means OL Reign would need to pay a transfer fee to bring the forward to Seattle. However, The Athletic did not have financial details confirmed at the time of their story’s release. Huitema would also likely require OL Reign’s final open international spot.
The move might not come as a surprise to those following PSG. A number of players have departed the French club recently, with reports of turmoil within the organization. Head coach Didier Olle-Nicolle was provisionally suspended in May following allegations of inappropriate behavior. If Huitema does join the Reign, she would be reunited with Alana Cook, who played at PSG from 2019-2021, and her Canadian national teammate Quinn. Like Cook during her stint in France, Huitema did not have consistent minutes at PSG. A move to the NWSL could give the young forward a chance to change that.
According to Wikipedia, Huitema has 49 caps and 14 goals with Canada. She was part of the 2019 Canadian World Cup squad and the 2020 Olympics team that won gold in Tokyo.
Bringing Huitema on board would give the Reign more depth in the No. 9 role, with Bethany Balcer being essentially the only natural player in that position. The 5’ 11” forward brings a lot of height, providing a great option for Sofia Huerta crosses, and Huitema is a player that loves to use her body against defenders and provide pressure to backlines.
The length of her contract with OL Reign was also not reported in The Athletic, but this appears to be a longer-term deal considering it looks to be a transfer rather than a loan. What this means for the full roster is still a question mark, as the Reign would be at 28 players with Little, Heath, and Huitema — with 26 being their maximum. And as for how OL Reign are making all these moves while staying under salary cap rules? Your guess is as good as ours right now.