Elli Reed is returning for her third season with the Seattle Reign.
The right back talked to Nutmeg Incorporated about building on the Reign’s success from last season, and the places where she developed as a player.
Last season the Reign defense became a group that worked well as a unit. What do you think was the key to developing that?
I think Laura [Harvey] had a lot to do with, she taught us and introduced to some things and how she wanted us to play as a unit and we just had to get used to each other and I think we meshed really well. Throughout the season we learned to work well together as a unit.
What is your favorite memory from last season?
I would say as a backline finally getting those shutouts because in our first season I don’t think we had a single shutout. So it was a really big deal for us and the team as a whole to strengthen our defense to get those shut outs and I was really happy about that.
Besides the World Cup, what do you think will make this season with the Reign different than the previous two?
It’s a new season as a whole so just building on what we had last year and working on what we need to do, just being more successful. We had a very successful season last year but ultimately we want to come away league champions.
After the huge success last season, how does the Reign improve that in 2015?
At the end of the day it’s just who comes out victorious in that final game and that’s our goal this year. We have a lot of positives out of last season and we just want to keep building on that and play the kind of soccer we like to play and win the big games.
What are your goals as a player this season?
I would like to remain healthy throughout the whole season, I had a few little injuries last year so I just want to remain healthy and play my role for the team 100 percent, what ever that might be. As an outside back I want to keep getting forward and into the attack.
This season you played in Australia with the Melbourne Victory. What was that like?
It was a really great experience. I had heard a lot of things about Australia and the Australian League and the Melbourne team so I was excited to get over there. It was a really good experience, I got some quality games and good practices.
What did you do for the rest of the offseason?
After Australia I went back home to Utah to spend some quality time with my friends and family and I was also in Portland a bit with my boyfriend and then Seattle just preparing and training for the season.
You have played internationally in Germany, Sweden, and in Australia. How does the soccer compare between these countries?
It’s a little bit different everywhere which is pretty cool, and as player I think I’ve learned a lot from these different countries. In Germany they’re a physical league and there’s a lot of really intelligent soccer players. And I just learned a lot over in Sweden, it felt very team-oriented, working as unit, working as a whole, and very tactical over there. So I’ve just taken a lot from each of those spaces.
Many Reign players, including yourself, played their college career at the University of Portland. What does this bring to the Reign?
I think it’s pretty cool that a lot of us have played together previously so we kind of know how each other works and how we play on the field. At the University of Portland, when I was there we wanted to play nice soccer, move the ball around and similar things to what we do at the Reign so I think that’s helpful as well.
Many people mention the similarities between you and Kim Little appearance wise, but what are the differences in your personality?
Well we’re both quiet sort of when you first get to know us. As far as differences, I don’t know, that’s a tough one, there’s a lot of them but I don’t know how to put it into words.