In just one day, Reign FC have added three important pieces to reshape their roster after suffering an abundance of injuries this season. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski has been forced to make multiple unexpected roster moves this season, and he has been able to draw a lot of talent back into the National Women's Soccer League from Europe.
Goalkeeping depth a priority for the Reign
First, news broke of a trade between Reign FC and the Washington Spirit. The Spirit traded backup goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme for Australian international midfielder Elise Kellond-Knight. The Reign have suffered injuries to both of their original goalkeepers, Michelle Betos and Lydia Williams. When Williams left to play for Australia in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, the Reign were able to add goalkeeper Casey Murphy from Montpellier HSC in France's Division 1 Féminine. Now, with Betos and Williams both out for the foreseeable future, the addition of Prudhomme was necessary.
Andonovski addresses key needs with further signings
Next, the team announced the additions of two other players that had gone overseas to play. The first was Canadian midfielder Rebecca Quinn, who had left the Spirit to play for Paris FC in France. The second was forward Schuyler DeBree, who had been playing for AC Sparta Praha in the Czech Republic.
In conjunction, these three moves will help the Reign remain competitive with a large number of players out due to injuries. In the game last weekend against the North Carolina Courage, Reign FC was forced to make all three of their allotted substitutions before the second half due to injuries.
The Reign already had 10 players out with injuries for that match, and there were three other players away for international duty. Of those 10 injuries, six of them are season-ending. The biggest of those injuries was to midfielder Jess Fishlock, who suffered a knee injury just weeks after rejoining the team.
To add to the injury problems, Andonovski said after the game on Saturday that he was uncertain about the fitness of United States Women's National Team star Megan Rapinoe. He said that she came back from the World Cup a little banged up.
The Reign will have a bye this weekend to help assess the fitness of their players and integrate the new ones into the team. Their next game will be at home on July 28th against the Chicago Red Stars.