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USWNT plays tonight; Reign opens Sunday

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on April 10, 2014 at 8:50 am with No Comments »
April 10, 2014 8:54 am

Reign trains Wednesday at new home: Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center.
Reign trains Wednesday at new home: Memorial Stadium at Seattle Center.
The United States women’s national team meets China at 8 p.m. Thursday in San Diego (NBCSN). Then four of its players — goalkeeper Hope Solo, defender Stephanie Cox, midfielder Megan Rapinoe and forward Sydney Leroux — will head to Seattle, where Reign FC will open its 2014 NWSL season 4 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Stadium.

Here’s a conversation with Reign coach Laura Harvey, held after the Reign training session Wednesday at Seattle Center:

On the second edition of the Reign: We’ve worked hard in the offseason to put a team together that we think can be competitive in the league. We spent a lot of time on it. We think we’ve picked pretty specific characters and types of players that we want in terms of our style of play. We hope obviously that we can put it on the field, and that starts Sunday with Boston.

On the status of the nationl team players: It’s difficult with the national team players because there’s so much commitment with them with the Algarve (Cup) and the friendlies that they just have coming up. But we managed to get 12 days in of practice with them, which was great. I think that’s always a difficult part is that we get them just a very limited time before the game. My biggest hope is that they’ll all come back fit and healthy, and if they do, then that’s a huge bonus to us. It will be great to start the season with the national team players who are all fit and healthy and ready to go.

On if all the national teamers will play Sunday: We’ll see. Obviously they’ve got a game on Thursday, and so it depends what happens in the China game and how they all come back. I’d like to think they’ll all be available and fit and healthy, but until the game on Thursday I’m not going to say anything about it, because then obviously it can backfire on you if you say that.

On moving to Memorial Stadium: I love it. It’s great. We played our first game here on Saturday in front of a crowd. It was a fantastic atmosphere. It’s just got a little bit of soccer nostalgia to it really, and great backdrop, and everything around it’s fantastic. We’ve managed to do all the sort of things we wanted to in terms of the locker room and getting the stadium up to scratch for how we wanted it to look for this first season, and hopefully we can build on that moving forward.

On the National Women’s Soccer League’s second season: To expand in the first season is huge. I think that the structure of the league is something that is a sustainable model. And I think from the meetings in the offseason that everyone’s invested in it from a financial point of view, as well as an on-the-field point of view, and I think that’s huge for this league moving forward. … The fact that (the United States) hasn’t had a sustainable league is a shame. I think it’s everybody’s responsibility to make sure that happens.

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