By GARRETT CLEVERLY
With just a few months remaining before the National Women’s Soccer League is set to kick off, the league is coming together with numerous off the field announcements. Coaching hires and the unveiling of clubs names and logos have dominated the recent headlines for the league during the past week.
The busiest team over the past few days has been the Seattle Reign FC. Owner Bill Predmore unveiled the name and crest on Wednesday and on Friday the club announced that Laura Harvey will be the Reign’s first head coach.
Harvey has coached Arsenal Ladies for the past three seasons and brings very impressive resume to the Reign FC. During her time at Arsenal Ladies, she has guided the club to three consecutive domestic titles and in 2011 added a treble to her name, by winning the FA Women’s Super League, Continental Cup and FA Cup.
At the clubs name and crest unveiling event on Wednesday, Predmore explained that the name was chosen to pay homage to a previous pro club in Seattle. This is similar to the way the MLS Sounders name was picked. This time without the drama and outcry of fans.
In 2007, the new ownership group omitted the name Sounders in the original fan voting. Fans in the community were outraged at this which forced the ownership group to include a write in choice. Close to 50% of the votes were in favor of the Sounders, which then became the clubs official name.
The roots of the name “Reign” can be traced back to the Seattle Reign. The first pro women’s basketball team in Seattle that played in the now defunct American Basketball League from 1996-1998.
The Reigns main rival has also been keeping busy as Thorns FC have announced that Cindy Parlow Cone will become the new head coach.
Parlow Cone was capped 158 times for the USWNT from 1996-2006, and was on the USWNT squad that won gold with the 1999 World Cup.
After retiring in 2006 from international competition, due to suffering from post-concussion syndrome, she joined the her Alma mater, University of North Carolina, as a assistant coach. During her time there, UNC won national championships in 2009 and 2012.
The Mexican Football Federation has increased their commitment of 12 subsidized players to 16. This will give every club 7 allocated National Team players.
The league will also hold their inaugural draft on on Friday, January 18th. The draft will be 4 rounds in total with the selection order determined by random draw. The draft will also be conducted in a “snake” format. The team that is drawn as the first pick in the first round will have the last pick in the second round. That means the team that has the last pick in the first round will have the first pick in the second round.
The only players that can qualify for this draft will be ones that completed their college eligibility during 2012. The U.S., Mexican and Canadian National Team players will be distributed to clubs at a date yet to be determined.
Any player that does not qualify for this draft or National Team slot will become a free agent. The league has yet to announce when these players will be able to sign.
What do you think of these recent developments? Do you like the Reign name, crest and coaching hire? Think Cindy Parlow Cone is a smart hire for Thorns FC?
Share your thoughts below.