OL Reign : Time to start the season!
It is a new adventure that began this week in Seattle foe OL Reign, the American women's football franchise acquired by OL. While the first matchday of the championship, the NWSL, will take place on April 18 at Washington Spirit field, the OL Reign players returned to training this week, under the direction of their new coach, Farid Benstiti.
The former professional player trained at OL, and then became the first coach of the OL women's team (from 2004 to 2010) before working in Russia and China, took his first sessions with his group of players and his staff. While still waiting for star Megan Rapinoe, who will make her return on April 17, after having played the SheBelieves Cup with the USA, and 4 players (Barnes, Catley, Jenkins, Huerta) who are finishing their season with the Australian W-League, the first training sessions took place this week.
OL Reign's squad includes 23 players under contract, 1 player drafted during the draft, and 7 players to pre-season camp. The team's rookies are Ashley, Brooks, Huerta, Weatherholt and Hedge. The most famous players are those of the American internationals and world champions Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long. There is also good news in the form of the return of the Welsh international, formerly of, OL Jessica Fishlock, who had suffered a knee injury last season. Also included in this squad are former Montpellier goalkeeper Casey Murphy, and the Englishwoman Jodie Taylor.
Farid Benstiti will be joined in forming his staff by assistants Sam Laity, who has been present since the formation of the team, and Carrie Kveton, who faced OL with Fotuna Hjørring in the Women's Champions League this season. Ljupco Kmetovski will be responsible for goalkeeper training, Matt Dorman for video analysis, and Nick Leman will be the performance director.
OL Reign's upcoming matches :
- 29/03 : Pre-season: OL Reign - USA U23
- 01/04 : Pre-season: Chicago Red Stars - OL Reign
- 04/04 : Pre-season: Portland Thorns - OL Reign
- 18/04 : NSWL J1 Washington Spirit - OL Reign
- 26/04 : NSWL J2 Sky Blue FC - OL Reign
- 03/05 : NWSL J3 OL Reign - Chicago Red Star