Seattle Reign FC didn’t change much over the offseason, but one move was massive.
On March 30, the Reign announced that it had traded U.S. national team forward Sydney Leroux and Amanda Frisbie to the Western New York Flash in exchange for midfielder Amber Brooks, the rights to U.S. national team forward Abby Wambach and a draft pick.
Now the schedulers have conspired to send Leroux and the Flash to Seattle for the Reign’s National Women’s Soccer League opener, 4 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Stadium. And she returns toting a grudge.
“I am excited to play Seattle,” Leroux said. “I’m excited to see some of my (former) teammates, but most importantly I’m mad.”
Leroux reportedly had asked the Reign about a possible trade to Kansas City, where husband Dom Dwyer plays for Major League Soccer’s Sporting Kansas City. However, she has said that if such a trade couldn’t be arranged, she would be happy to remain in Seattle, where her mother lives.
Instead, she was sent to the Flash, which is based in Rochester, New York.
Leroux will face a familiar team led again by 2014 NWSL coach of the year Laura Harvey.
The Reign also returns 2014 league MVP and goals leader Kim Little, national team forward Megan Rapinoe and former University of Washington star goalkeeper Hope Solo. Also back are midfielders Jess Fishlock and Keelin Winters, who each started 22 games last season, when the Reign finished a league-record 16-2-6. Lauren Barnes, Kendall Fletcher, Elli Reed and Stephanie Cox return from a defense that allowed a league-low 20 goals last season.
Newcomers include Brooks, draft pick Havana Solaun, Rachel Corsie, Michelle Cruz and Merritt Mathias. Wambach is sitting out this season to concentrate on the Women’s World Cup.
The Flash finished 8-12-4 last season and returns a roster averaging 24 years of age.
Tickets remain available. The game will be streamed live at youtube.com/NWSL.