Mele French – F – LA Blues (Oregon) – The quintessential Quadruple A player. French is probably one of the best modern era W-League players in the league’s history and showed as much this past season by winning the W-League MVP award for a rampant LA Blues side. But French has also failed to make the grade at the highest level before, and this is probably her last shot. At the very least, French could make a great amateur option for the Reign.
Jo Houplin – D – Western Washington – Another familiar face for the Reign, with Houplin having been an amateur call-up for last year’s side, though she did not see match action. Has also seen action as a player for the Philippines WNT in recent years. Was a solid but unexceptional player in lower division college soccer before a strong senior campaign. Should provide depth at full-back, though one wonders how many opportunities she’ll receive given the fact that all of the club’s first choice defenders should be with the team for the duration.
Lyndsey Patterson – F – Seattle Sounders Women (Tennessee) – The grand dame of journeyman WoSo strikers. Quick and snappy attacker might not have the top gear she once had at age thirty-two, but she has plenty of experience at many stops, including in Seattle over the years. Probably doesn’t have enough in the tank to make the full roster but could be a decent call-up.
Bree Rowe – D/MF – Oregon – Has hung around admirably after a rather nondescript college career with the Ducks that ended in 2010. Has been a reserve here in the past, so she knows the territory. Doesn’t seem likely to be anything more than a call-up though and plays positions where the club is already stacked in terms of depth.
Jaclyn Softli – F – Washington – Much was expected of the local Softli after she looked to be an exciting prospect in her freshman season at UW. But she followed that campaign with two mostly used off the bench, tempering expectations going into her senior season. She more than made up for lost time though, scoring ten goals and finishing #8 on the Four Factors chart for seniors with ten plus goals, netting six of her ten strikes against RPI Top 100 teams. Center-forward probably won’t crack active roster right away but has upside and could be one to watch in the future.
Caroline Stanley – GK – USC – Netminder certainly is not short for confidence. Was a highly heralded prospect going into college but was a major bust at Missouri before transferring to USC for final three seasons of collegiate career. Was solid but not a standout for the Trojans. Uses her size well to claim high crosses and shots cleanly. Superior shot stopper capable of making outstanding reflex saves while also being a fine penalty stopper. Needs to show she possesses more than just the physical tools to stick here.
Allie Wisner – MF/F – Braddock Road Stars Elite (Utah) – A major longshot in the attack after a collegiate career with Utah that didn’t feature a lot of goals. Netted just five on eighteen shots as a senior in 2013 despite starting every match for the club and actually didn’t score her first goal until her junior year in 2012. Spent last season playing for the W-League’s Braddock Road Stars Elite club and gave a good account of herself. Still faces a tough road forward given the roster here.
Released After First Roster Cuts
Dyanne Anderson – D/MF – Houston Aces (UC Santa Barbara) – Californian is a long time removed from college ball having graduated from UCSB in 2012 but has kept active, playing with WPSL powerhouse Houston Aces last year. Played some center-back with the Aces but isn’t big enough at 5’4″ to play there at the top level. A strong tackler but lacks great pace and agility and can be beaten by double moves from shifty attackers. Looks panicky in possession at times. A longshot.
Daniela Andrade – MF/D – South Florida – Guatemalan international is a surprise inclusion considering she struggled to make much of an impact at all with USF in four seasons. Played as a right-footed left-back at times for the Bulls but looked much more comfortable on the opposite flank. Decent service and likes to get up the line but nothing eye-catching about her game. Purportedly signed with the W-League’s Santa Clarita Blue Heat not long after first preseason rosters were released, which might be a wise move as she needs more seasoning.
Gurveen Clair – GK – Washington State – Canada’s youth system hasn’t exactly been great at turning out viable pro prospects. Except for in goal. Clair is another youth international who, in the shades of players like Justine Bernier and Erin McNulty, enjoyed fine college careers and have real professional potential. But like the above two, Clair might be forced abroad, as nobody’s going to use an international slot on a rookie backup goalkeeper. The WSU standout’s a jack of all trades but doesn’t have that outstanding quality to push her over the top, though she’ll probably do very well for herself overseas.
Hannah Kimsey – MF – Seattle Sounders Women (Concordia) – 2013 NAIA Player of the Year for powerhouse Concordia side. Simple central midfielder made a lot of her bones by turning through pressure and spreading passes out to the flanks, racking up fourteen assists as a senior. Also netted seven goals in 2013, showing a soft touch in front of goal. Physical tools likely aren’t there for this level though, as Kimsey lacks pace and can be muscled off the ball standing at just 5’2″. Might have a chance somewhere in the right lineup that can mask her weaknesses.
Kim Marshall – D – Wake Forest – A few years back, Marshall looked to be an elite pro prospect after helping to lead the Demon Deacons to the College Cup as just a freshman center-back. It didn’t quite work out for Marshall to that extent though, as despite starting all four seasons for the Demon Deacons, she didn’t really develop into the dominant player most had expected. Her stock sagged as a senior, as Marshall was forced into a target forward role at times for a toothless WF offense. Pro future is in defense though, and Marshall will be hoping to be a diamond in the rough for someone this Summer.
Alex Quincey – MF – USC – Perhaps one of the most unlikely ten goal scorers in recent memory. Quincey began her career at UC Riverside and scored five goals combined in her first two seasons with the Trojans before being tossed up front as a battering ram as a senior. Quincey did do much of her work against lesser opposition and had a bad shot on goal percentage but usually made it count when she did get shots on target. In any event, the big 6’1″ Quincey is likely to be either a defensive midfielder or center-back if she makes the grade. That’s far from a certainty though, and Quincey is most likely a project that needs time to develop.
Ashlie Stokes – F – Drake – Big forward who hardly had the best of seasons in front of goal in 2014, netting just four times on fifty-one shots. Efficiency numbers, as evidenced by the above, are quite poor, with Stokes also putting just 43% of her shots on frame. Solid in the air and can strike the ball from range decently enough but is also a ball stopper at times, trying to dribble through overwhelming pressure. Big uphill climb given this corps of attackers.
Signed With Aland United (FIN)
Holly Hein – D – Michigan – It’s been a whirlwind pro career so far, making the Dash as an undrafted free agent before catching back on with Seattle. Had a trying college career that included serious injury in 2010 followed by a successful fight against thyroid cancer a year later. Came back with a vengeance for her final two seasons with the Wolverines, turning into one of the nation’s best center-backs. Released in the offseason but back in camp as an invitee.