National Women's Soccer League / Seattle Reign FC

DRAFT PREVIEW: Reign quietly aim for NWSL title in 2015

After a plethora of offseason moves by Laura Harvey ahead of the 2014 draft, the NWSL shield-winning squad has had a much quieter offseason heading into 2015.

The Reign racked up the points in 2014, going unbeaten in Seattle’s first 16 matches en route to a regular season finish of 16-2-6. After struggling to score in their inaugural season, the Reign added firepower for 2014—and plenty of it.

Scottish midfielder Kim Little led the team—and the league—in scoring with 16 tallies and added another seven assists on the season. She earned MVP honors for her performance and will be with the Reign for the duration of the 2015 season as Scotland did not qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Welsh midfielder and fan favorite Jessica Fishlock will also be available for the 2015 season. Fishlock is currently on loan with FFC Frankfurt but will return prior to the 2015 NWSL season. She scored four times and added eight assists in 22 appearances for the Reign

Megan Rapinoe, who spent the entire season in Seattle, added four goals in time limited by a foot injury that plagued her throughout the season and fellow U.S. international Sydney Leroux added five goals.

Laura Harvey’s squad does not have a pick until midway through the second round where the club will likely look for some attacking depth. Both Rapinoe and Leroux will likely be missing a significant chunk of the season along with goalkeeper Hope Solo during World Cup preparations. Look for Harvery to select versatile players with the two selections the club holds.

Key Stats: 50 goals scored, 30 goals allowed

Key Losses: Naho Kawasumi (M, back to Japan), Kate Deines (D, traded to FC Kansas City)

Additions: Michelle Cruz (D), Merritt Mathias (M/D), Beverly Goebel (F)

Losing Naho after an impressive 2014 season is a big loss for the Reign. She scored nine times during the 2014 season and added five assists as a wide player in Seattle’s multi-faceted attack.

The Reign were able to re-sign Beverly Goebel, which was something that was a priority during the offseason for Harvey’s club. Goebel spent the 2014 season on loan from INAC-Kobe in Japan and will be an impact player, particularly with Leroux’s absence. She scored five times and assisted on another four in 24 appearances with the Reign.

Draft picks held: No. 15, 34


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