OL Reign announced on Saturday that the club has signed defender Shae Holmes to a one-year deal, with a one-year option. After trading up for the 19th overall pick in the 2023 NWSL Draft, OL Reign selected the 23-year-old as the first of their two draft picks.
The University of Washington graduate, who trained with the Reign last summer, appeared in OL Reign’s friendly against Club América and started in the club’s recent preseason match against Racing Louisville FC. Ride of the Valkyries sources indicated that getting Holmes in the draft was OL Reign’s top priority, as they see her as a player with the potential to have a long future with the club.
“I couldn’t be more excited to sign with the Reign and join this deeply talented roster for my first professional season,” Holmes said in a team release. “I enjoyed playing collegiately in the Pacific Northwest, and I am so happy to continue my career up here.”
After overcoming three ACL tears, the defender started in 32 of 44 games played at the University of Washington, adding two goals and seven assists. That includes this free-kick goal in 2022 to give the Huskies the win over Utah.
As a graduate student in 2022, Holmes started all 19 matches and was selected to the All-Pac-12 Second Team after helping the Huskies earn five clean sheets. In addition to being familiar with the Pacific Northwest, Holmes spent time with Laura Harvey in 2020 when she was called up to the U.S. U-20 women’s national team.
With Holmes’ signing OL Reign now has 28 players on their roster, with Jimena López’s just-announced loan to Selfoss through June and Angelina still with a “Season Ending Injury” (SEI) status meaning they don’t count toward the NWSL’s 26-player roster limit for the moment.