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February 13, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Reign FC headed to Japan (Wednesday links)

reign fc alternate.jpgInteresting news from Reign FC came late Tuesday night, as the team announced it will take a preseason trip to Japan next month.

The group will head out on March 12, start a two-week training camp the next day and play three preseason games, including one against two-time Japanese league champion INAC Kobe Leonessa (which features 2011 FIFA Player of the Year Homare Sawa).

Here’s a brief schedule:

March 17 — INAC Kobe Leonessa

March 20 — Fukuoka

March 24 — Opponent TBD

“Our objective is to become one of the top women’s football clubs in the world,” said GM Amy Carnell in a news release. “That process will start by testing ourselves against a talented, championship club that features some of the world’s strongest talent. We’re excited by the opportunity to play and train in Japan and are honored to play out first match against one of the giants of women’s soccer.”

Twenty-four players are expected to go on the trip (players under contract and trialists). The plan is for Hope Solo and Jess Fishlock to join after the Algarve Cup, and for Canadian internationals Kaylyn Kyle and Emily Zurrer to join after the Cyprus Cup.

Let’s get to some links:

* * *

— First off, I was on the Pitch Pass podcast the other day. I never think I’m good at those on-air things, but check it out if you like.

— Keeping with the women’s soccer lead, Reign FC coach Laura Harvey looks to be headed stateside for good. Plus, here’s an interview with free agent signing Jess Fishlock, and did Portland get a slight advantage over Seattle in the NWSL schedule?

— Game tickets for the Sounders Women are on sale.

— The U.S. women’s national team will face Scotland again today and Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe will be available after missing the first game. Abby Wambach is set to earn her 200th cap. Also, here’s information on the upcoming Algarve Cup.

— Regarding Sounders FC, looks like Osvaldo Alonso, Eddie Johnson and Michael Gspurning have joined up with the team in Arizona.

— Around MLS, here’s a good story on San Jose star Chris Wondolowski, Vancouver has a trialist in camp with an interesting back story, and it looks like goalkeeper Will Hesmer won’t be joining the Galaxy this season.

— Elsewhere, the New York Cosmos of the NASL have signed former MLS defender Hunter Freeman. And Thierry Henry hopes to have some role with Arsenal in the future.

— Here is some illuminating financial info regarding U.S. Soccer and here’s some fascinating ratings information from Nielsen (including a section on soccer that references the Sounders).

— Here is a UEFA Champions League roundup for Tuesday’s games. And here’s another piece on FOX Soccer’s new voice, Gus Johnson.

— GoalWA.net has all the information in a developing story involving the Kitsap Pumas, the PASL and a player injury.

— Lastly, a new book called “Cascadia Clash” is now available…

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