Reign original and team captain Lauren Barnes will be staying in the Emerald City through at least 2024. She and OL Reign came to agreement on a two-year contract, it was announced today.
“I care so deeply for this club, my coaches and teammates, this city and our fans, which is why there is no other place I would rather play,” said Barnes in a team release. “For over a decade, we’ve built a special culture here that is hard to replicate elsewhere, and I’m committed to using my experience to help lead us towards our goals on the field and in the community that we proudly represent.”
Barnes was originally selected by the Reign in the second round of the 2013 Supplemental Draft, part of the process by which clubs built their rosters ahead of the inaugural season. She has been a mainstay on the Reign backline for her entire time with the club, leading the league in all-time appearances (189), starts (185), and minutes played (16,369). She is also one of only five players to have been with the same club for the league’s entire existence, along with teammates Jess Fishlock and Megan Rapinoe. Barnes was NWSL Defender of the Year in 2016 and has been named to the Best XI twice and Second XI two more times.
“Lu has been an integral part of building the Reign’s culture and values for over a decade and has played an instrumental role from the very beginning,” said head coach Laura Harvey. “What Lu brings on and off the field has allowed our club to grow tremendously towards the level we’ve envisioned. Her ability to play consistently at the highest level for over 10 seasons shows her true value and capabilities that she brings to this team. I am very happy we were able to keep Lu at the club for another two years.”