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January 11, 2013 at 4:54 PM

A stop and chat with Reign FC general manager Amy Carnell

reign fc alternate.jpgFriday was a big day for the NWSL and Seattle’s Reign FC with the official announcement of where national team players would be allocated (you can check out the lists here). I caught up with general manager Amy Carnell to discuss the day and other team happenings over the phone this afternoon…

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(You mentioned in a statement earlier today that you were surprised by some of what happened in the allocation process. What about?) “I think generally speaking, I could speak for all the clubs when I say I’m extremely surprised they would place (Christine) Sinclair and (Alex) Morgan in the same city. Two of the best strikers in the world in the same city. I think that’s a shocker for everyone.”

(So was it a surprise in that she was paired with Sinclair or surprise that she wasn’t coming to Seattle?) “I think both. I don’t think there’s any team in this league that didn’t put Alex in the top two on their list. I think for us it’s a little bit surprising because she was here last summer with (the Sounders Women). I think U.S. Soccer made the decision there, and obviously a player like Sinclair has deep ties to Portland. … I think No. 1, everyone’s surprised those two forwards are on the same team, and then No. 2, I think we were a little surprised we didn’t get her.”

(What does a day like this mean to a brand-new franchise, filling out essentially one third of your roster with these seven players?) “Obviously it’s a very exciting day for us. It’s the first step in creating an identity. For a new club, it’s new logo, new name, new head coach, and then it’s like, ‘Who are you?’ So getting that together today and building that foundation with the seven players who were allocated was great. It’s definitely tough to build a squad without knowing who you core is, so today’s information was obviously important, and we’ll build our team from this seven.”

(What is Megan Rapinoe’s available going to be like now that she’s off to play for Lyon?) “I haven’t spoken with her personally on that, but she wanted to play there, U.S. Soccer OK’d it, and she won’t be done playing there until the beginning of June — around June 1. That being said, there’s an international break for all the national team players, so it’s possible we might not see Rapinoe until the end of June.”

(How do you feel about that?) “Honestly, it’s unfortunate. We’re thrilled to have her. She is a world-class player, and personally, her style of play is so unique. We wanted her, and she’s worth the wait, but it’s tough to essentially lose a core player for two thirds of your season. It’s unfortunate, but in the long term, when you’re building a team, you have to look at it that way, as well. We’re very happy to have her and she’s a big part of our club.”

(I think most people probably expected you to get Hope Solo, but what can you say about that addition?) “We feel like Hope could be a great leader within our team, a senior roster player with a leadership role in the back. I think what her role is going to be, that’s up to her to decide. Obviously she’s the best ‘keeper in the world still. I can imagine her goals are to make the World Cup team, and she wants to be in Seattle. This is her home, she loves it, and the fans adore her.”

(What’s next for you guys?) “I think right now the league is still deciding how the free agency process will work, and I don’t necessarily think it will be an open market. I think they’re going to put some rules in place and guidelines, because the whole idea of this league is to be sustainable. I don’t know what those terms are yet, but I think we should know something soon. Next up will be signing free agents, and obviously the college draft is coming up on the 18th in Indianapolis. Probably right around the same time we’ll announce a venue and when tickets are going on sale. So those are the probably the biggest pieces coming up for us.”

(Lastly, a lot of local fans were maybe disappointed that Veronica Perez wasn’t staying here. What do you think about that one?) “Yeah, we wanted her. Veronica Perez is so impressive, all around. She loved Seattle and she wanted to be here. We wanted her to be here. Unfortunately they had to make sure all the teams are even. I’m sure Abby Wambach is excited to have someone like her in the midfield, and at least we’ll have a scouting report on her when we play them. But we wanted Veronica Perez in Seattle, and unfortunately it didn’t work out for us.”


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