The Lost Season

2020 – Around the World and Close to Home

The Coronavirus outbreak escalates to a global pandemic in March and by year end deaths worldwide reach 1.9 million, due to the pandemic Tokyo’s Summer Olympic Games are postponed until 2021, and the United Kingdom officially withdraws from the European Union after 47 years. George Floyd is killed by a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee on the neck of a prone Floyd for over eight minutes during an arrest, and video of the act sets off demonstrations across the nation, President Trump is impeached for a first time but acquitted by the Senate, and Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are elected President and Vice President, with Harris the first woman, Black and person of Indian descent to become VP. Washington becomes the first state to diagnose a COVID-19 case and the first two reported deaths occur in Kirkland, the West Seattle Bridge closed unexpectedly due to rapidly expanding cracks, and while playing in a season-long bubble in Bradenton, Fla., the Seattle Storm win their fourth WNBA championship, sweeping Las Vegas in the finals.

The Lost Season

Who knows what might’ve been in 2020. Those state cup experiences and Senior Nights, those special seasons and tournament destinations, friendships furthered, and friendships made. Someone was going to win awards, some team would’ve lifted the trophy, if not for the pandemic. Certainly, with millions dying and countless others hospitalized around the globe, there was a much higher cost than missing 10 months of footy. But there was a cost.

Some memories were made, either in the weeks preceding the mass closures due to COVID-19 or in spite of the health and safety regulations. The professionals eventually played on, albeit without the cheers of fans. But 99 percent of the soccer public never returned to the parks, fields and stadiums after the second week of March 2020.

The curtain fell hard and fast. Just three weeks after the first five Washington Youth Soccer state championships had been determined came the nation’s first known death, on Feb. 29, in Kirkland. On March 8, the state’s death toll reached 18, and the Sounders hosted Columbus before 33,080 distracted fans. Three days later, a global pandemic was d.

Within 24 hours, Governor Inslee ordered schools closed statewide, for a minimum of six weeks. On March 23, with cases surging, Inslee issued a statewide two-week stay-at-home directive. The youth of Washington were no longer at play. WYS canceled RCL matches and the remaining state championships, and the WIAA, once Inslee extended school closures through June, canceled the state boys’ high school championships. All summer camps were shuttered.

Throughout Washington, coaches went from bustling, busy schedules of training, travel and games to periodic emails to check-in. By later in May, when it became plain to all that COVID-19 would not be leaving soon, the only action was strictly one player, one ball. Whether it was the pros, collegians or kids, it was juggling in the backyard and the age-old practice of kicking a ball at a wall.

“We were doing Zoom meetings and giving them training tasks and videos to watch,” recalled Peter Hattrup, a coach of multiple teams for Maple Valley’s Valor Soccer. His younger team was engaged, even enthusiastic. The older teens were the most frustrated, some stopped playing altogether. With June came making mandates but also the first gatherings. Pods of five could train while avoiding contact and socially distanced.

By late summer there was a glimmer of hope for competition to resume in the fall. It was a false hope. College and high schools’ autumn seasons were pushed out to spring 2021. The only games tended to be intrasquad or such. Everyone was no doubt grateful to be getting out of the house, but there truly was no end game.

“I told my teams I was super proud of their commitment,” said Hattrup, “but thinking back to when I was a kid, I don’t know how long I would’ve trained without games. The payoff for working hard in training is tournaments and games.”

For most in 2020, come mid-March it was game over. With vaccines on the horizon in the winter, indications were that early in 2021, play could begin again.

Year in Review
SEATTLE SOUNDERS
Season Record
11-5-6, 2nd MLS West, MLS Cup finalist
Coach
Brian Schmetzer (5th year)
Best XI
Nicolas Lodeiro, Jordan Morris, Raul Ruidiaz
Top Scorer
Raul Ruidiaz (12 goals)
REIGN FC
Season Record
2-3-4 (all comps)
Coach
Farid Benstiti (1st year)
Top Scorer
Bethany Balcer (3 goals)
TACOMA DEFIANCE
4-10-2, 3rd Group A
Tacoma Stars
8-12, 5th MASL West
COLLEGIATE
Men's Collegiate Postseason
Washington D1, quarterfinals
Women's Collegiate Postseason
Washington D1, 3rd rnd
Women's Conference Champions
Seattle University (WAC)
NWAC Men's Champion
No championship
NWAC Women's Champion
No championship
WIAA Boys Champion
No tournament
WIAA Girls Champion
No tournament
Largest Attendance
40,126, Seattle Sounders vs. Chicago Fire, CenturyLink Field

2020: The Lost Season

The COVID-19 pandemic dominates events around the globe, resulting in lockdowns and the cessation of play.

Frimpong Ellertson Rejoins Huskies
March 20, 2020

Former All-America forward and U.S. international Tina Frimpong Ellertson joins the University of Washington women's program as an assistant coach. Frimpong Ellertson is the UW career leader in goals and total points, earning Pac-12 Player of the Year honors in 2003 and 2004.

Five Clubs Join New Girls Academy
May 7, 2020

Five clubs from throughout Washington find a new home in the Girls Academy league, set to begins in fall 2020. Following the shuttering of the USDA in April, the new member-led GA included Reign Academy, ISC Gunners, Spokane Sounders, Washington Timbers and Eastern Washington Surf among its 59 members. Former Washington Huskies coach Lesle Gallimore is chosen as the first GA Commissioner in June 2020.

Harvey, Potter Named U.S. Coaches
January 6, 2020

Former Reign coach Laura Harvey, 39, is named U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team coach. Harvey had spent the past two seasons as Utah Royals head coach. She is about begin the U.S. Soccer Pro License Course and is the second female candidate. On Jan. 9, former Washington State coach Matt Potter is named U23 WNT coach following eight seasons at Oklahoma.

Reign Begins Training in Montana
June 1, 2020

OL Reign opens preseason training in Missoula, on the University of Montana campus, in preparations for the NWSL Challenge Cup. Per state health guidelines, no county in Washington State permits gatherings of more than five individuals, prompting the Reign to identify an alternative location. They will remain in Missoula until three days prior to their first match in Utah.

Balcer Breaks Reign Scoring Drought
July 8, 2020

Bethany Balcer comes off the bench to scoring the deciding goal in added time, giving OL Reign a 1-0 win over Utah in third match of the NWSL Challenge Cup in Herriman, Utah. It's the first goal scored by the Reign after being blanked by Sky Blue (0-0) and Houston (0-2). Balcer enters in the 67th minute and in the first minute of added time she connects with a Nicole Momiki cross. Michelle Betos makes five saves for the shutout.

MLS Plans to Reboot Regular Season
August 8, 2020

MLS announces its schedule for the initial phase of the regular season's continuation, beginning with an initial phase of six matches starting in late August. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, Seattle home matches will be played without fans. Play is regionalized and all flights are via charter, with visiting teams arriving and departing on matchday. Three more games will be announced in September. Playoffs will expand from 14 to 18 teams and the MLS Cup final is pushed back five weeks to Dec. 12.

Reign Opens With Scoreless Draw
June 30, 2020

OL Reign holds Sky Blue to a scoreless draw in the NWSL Challenge Cup opener for both sides in Herriman, Utah. Jasmyne Spencer's breakaway attempt in the 85th minute is thwarted by Sky Blue keeper Kailen Sheridan. Reign is playing without Megan Rapinoe, who opted out of the tournament. The NWSL is the first U.S. professional team sport to resume amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MLS Halts Play Due to Pandemic
March 12, 2020

Just as the Sounders are about to depart for Houston aboard a charter flight, Major League Soccer suspends play for a minimum of 30 days due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Seattle's third match is scheduled for March 14 against the Dynamo. The move comes 14 hours after the NBA halted play and four hours after Spain's La Liga canceled its next two match days. By day's end, the NCAA cancels all winter and spring championships, including the Division I basketball tournaments. England's Premier League and Germany's Bundesliga suspend play the following day.

Sounders Go Flat in MLS Cup Final Loss
December 12, 2020

Allowing a pair of goals within six minutes stun the Sounders, who fall to Columbus, 3-0, in the MLS Cup Final at Mapfre Stadium. Lucas Zelarayán scores twice and Derrick Etienne adds another as Seattle, five days removed from an emotional semifinal victory, sustains its worst loss in 21 matches. The Crew opens the scoring in the 25th minute through Zelarayán. They quickly double the lead in the 31st minute when Etienne curls a shot home. The Sounders' eight-match postseason win streak ends. After scoring 11 times in their last four outings, they are held scoreless for the first time in nine games. Seattle joins D.C. United as the only clubs to reach four MLS Cup finals in five years.

Sounders Rebound With Record Performance
September 10, 2020

It's an onslaught from the outset as the Sounders show no mercy in routing San Jose, 7-1, at Lumen Field. It's a record goal total for any competition and equals the margin of the 2014 Open Cup semifinal win over Chicago. Jordan Morris scores after four minutes. After 15 minutes it's 3-nil, and by halftime it's 5-0. Both Raul Ruidiaz and Joevin Jones bag a brace in pushing Seattle to the top of the West (5-2-3) to complete the second phase of the truncated regular season. Six more games will be added through November 8. Officials carefully monitor air quality before and during the match due to pervasive smoke from nearby wildfires.

Miraculous Comeback Pushes Seattle to MLS Cup Final
December 7, 2020

Coming from two goals down in the final 15 minutes, the Sounders reach their fourth MLS Cup final in five seasons by beating Minnesota United, 3-2, in the Western Conference final at Lumen Field. Gustav Svensson flicks a Nicolas Lodeiro corner kick from near post to far corner in the third minute of stoppage time, capping the rally. After the visitors forged a 2-nil lead, Will Bruin is substituted and almost immediately ignites the rally in the 75th minute. Raul Ruidiaz equalizes in the 89th. Svensson, also a substitute, was playing for the first time since testing positive for COVID after returning from international duty for Sweden.

Waltman Earns MASL All-Star MVP
December 5, 2020

Danny Waltman’s 15-save performance in goal earns the Tacoma Stars goalkeeper the MASL All-Star Game MVP award in Kansas City. The 39-year-old Waltman, who played for the Missouri Comets until moving back home in 2015, helps the West win, 9-4. He has played indoor since 2004. The Stars' Mike Ramos contributes two assists.

NCAA Soccer Championships Canceled
August 5, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both NCAA Division II and Division III soccer championships are canceled along with all other men's and women's fall sports. Division I makes the same determination on August 13. NCAA President Mark Emmert says the NCAA would prioritize staging championships in winter and spring sports because those were canceled when COVID-19 first spiked across the United States in March.

Defiance's Daley Given His Release
August 12, 2020

Jesse Daley, a midfield fixture for Tacoma Defiance for three seasons, is given his release, enabling him to return home to Australia. Daley made 50 appearances for Tacoma since 2018. He joins Brisbane Roar, the club of his youth, two months later.

Shoreline Fields Become Temporary Hospital
March 18, 2020

A temporary field hospital begins to take shape at Shoreline's A/B soccer fields. The 200-bed emergency facility is designed for use by people unable to isolate and recover from COVID-19 in their own homes. Two weeks later, an emergency, 250-bed field hospital is erected in CenturyLink Field Event Center to handle a potential overflow of non-COVID-19 patients from area medical centers that could soon be overwhelmed amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Stars Beat Previously Unbeaten Monterrey
January 24, 2020

Mike Ramos scores two goals, assists on two others, figuring in three of five unanswered goals in Tacoma’s 7-6 win over previously undefeated Monterrey at accesso ShoWare Center. Barely 30 seconds after the Flash go up 5-2 with three straight second-quarter scores, the comeback begins with a Raphael Cox goal before intermission. Vince McCluskey and Alex Megson brings matters level by the end of the third period before Nick Perera and Ramos put the Stars on top to stay. Monterrey (13-1) entered the match 8 games ahead of Tacoma (5-7) in the Western Division standings.

Reign's Yanez Retires After Six Seasons
February 10, 2020

Beverly Yanez, one of the most popular and longstanding members of Reign FC, announces her retirement. Yanez, 31, played 129 matches, scoring 25 goals, since joining the club in 2014. She also played two years in WPS and three-plus seasons in Japan and Australia.

Sounders Add Brazilian DP
January 31, 2020

The Sounders add a new Designated Player, signing Brazilian midfielder João Paulo, 28. João Paulo spent the past three seasons with Rio de Janeiro's Botafogo. He joins Nicolás Lodeiro and Raúl Ruidíaz as Seattle's current DPs and is the club's 15th DP since 2009.

WIAA Shifts Seasons
July 21, 2020

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association announces radical changes to its 2020-21 sports calendar due to the coronavirus pandemic. Girls soccer, among the sports typically played in fall, is now scheduled for spring 2021 in the WIAA’s new Season 3. A seven-week regular season will start March 8, followed by one postseason week. Traditional spring sports such as boys soccer will start later than usual, in Season 4. A seven-week regular season will begin May 3 with postseason events happening the final weekend in June 2021.

Seattle Draws Before COVID Curtain Comes Down
March 7, 2020

A late, retaken Raul Ruidiaz penalty enables Seattle a 1-1 home draw with Columbus in what proves to be the final Sounders match prior to MLS suspending the season due to the global pandemic. Ruidiaz converts his second attempt in the 79th minute after Crew keeper Eloy Room, after saving the initial spot kick, is judged to have come off his line early by referee Jair Marrufo. The announced attendance of 33,080 is 8,000 lower than Seattle's first home match as many fans stay home and many of those attending are wearing masks or scarves covering their mouth and nose. Washington State Department of Health confirms earlier in the day 136 COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths, most in King County.

Koroleva Referees NWSL Cup Final
July 26, 2020

Seattle-based Ekaterina Koroleva referees the NWSL Challenge Cup final between Houston and Chicago in Sandy, Utah. Koroleva, 33, has been serving on the frontlines of the COVID pandemic as a physician assistant in the emergency room of the Regional Medical Center in San Jose. She worked grueling 12-hour shifts for the first three months of the pandemic.

Sounders Training Resumes, MLS Restart Announced
June 12, 2020

Sounders FC holds its first full team training session at Starfire Sports following four weeks of voluntary individual workouts and small group training sessions. Two days earlier, the league announced the regular season restart for July 8, with a tournament to be held behind closed doors at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida, near Orlando. Play has been suspended since March 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MASL Ends Season Due to COVID-19
March 12, 2020

The Major Arena Soccer League (MASL) decides to end the 2019-2020 regular season effective immediately. The decision follows the direction seen in other professional sports across North America, along with directives and restrictions from local governments in MASL communities. For Tacoma, it comes with four games remaining on the schedule. Following Gov. Inslee's mandate of no gatherings of 250 or more people, the Stars had moved their March 13 home game to the Tacoma Soccer Center. On June 30, MASL names Monterrey (20-2) and Florida (18-3) divisional champions.

Protocols Allow for Return to Play
October 6, 2020

Gov. Jay Inslee announces a set of protocols allowing for resumption of outdoor recreation, including youth soccer. Full training sessions and league games may be played provided the respective county's COVID-19 metrics are followed. All drills and small-sided games should have as little physical contact as possible. Tackling, shielding, etc. should not be included in small-sided games or drills. No high-fives, handshakes, or hugs are permitted. Players, coaches, and any spectators should wear a mask before, during, and after practice.

Sounders Postpone Match, Defiance Closes Doors
March 11, 2020

Tacoma Defiance plays its second match of the season behind closed doors at Cheney Stadium to comply with Governor Jay Inslee's mandate earlier that day to halt all gatherings of more than 250 people in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. San Diego Loyal defeats Tacoma, 2-1, with a few determined fans watching from beyond the fences. Also, the Sounders postpone their March 21 home match with Dallas. The Governor ordered the measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. Earlier in the day, Washington's Coronavirus-related deaths reached 29.

Reign Taps Benstiti as New Head Coach
January 17, 2020

After a search of nearly three months, Reign FC announces that Fared Benstiti, 53, is the new head coach, succeeding Vlatko Andonovski. Benstiti is a native of Lyon, France, and he both played for Olympique Lyonnais and coached the OL women's team for nine years. OL Groupe became majority owner of the Reign in 2019. Since beginning his coaching career in 2001, Benstiti has won domestic championships with clubs in France, Russia and China, and he took both OL and Paris Saint-Germain to UEFA Champions League finals.

Defiance Finally Returns Home, Beats T2
September 27, 2020

Returning to Cheney Stadium for the first time in seven weeks, Tacoma Defiance clinches a season series win over Portland, 2-1. Ethan Dobbelaere starts matters in motion, scoring his first goal of the season in the 28th minute. Azriel Gonzalez increases the lead in the 85th minute, 10 minutes after coming on as a substitute. The fixture marks Tacoma's first match at home since July 18. Defiance win three of four meetings with T2.

NCAA Division I Soccer Moves to Spring 2021
November 4, 2020

The NCAA Division I Council approves a package of proposals to move the 2020 fall championships, including men's and women's soccer, to the spring of 2021. Following a thorough review, the recommendation is to fill the brackets at 75 percent of their normal capacities.

Fans Mixed on Support of Sounders' Return
July 3, 2020

About a hundred socially-distanced Sounders fans wearing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 gather outside Starfire Sports as the team departs for Florida and the MLS is Back tournament. Some pledge support and others make a last-ditch plea to not participate. Emerald City Supporters organize the sendoff, which features banners that read "We Stand With You," "Plz Don't Die," and "Sports Aren't Worth Lives."

NWSL Suspends Team Training, Postpones Season
March 20, 2020

The National Women's Soccer League announces that the scheduled April 18 start to the 2020 regular season will be delayed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. There is also an extension of the training moratorium for all clubs through at least April 5. OL Reign had been slated to open April 18 at Washington, with a home opener of May 3 vs. Chicago at Tacoma's Cheney Stadium.

Cultures United to Develop Players at No Cost
January 14, 2020

Cultures United is founded in south King County as a semiprofessional organization founded to develop underprivileged young players at no cost. Founded by Colombian immigrant Sebastian Diaz, Cultures United recruits players from the diverse area surrounding Kent, Auburn and Federal Way and is a deliberately welcoming club rooted in social justice and inclusion. It seeks to provide a pathway to athletic advancement while simultaneously empowering players to give back to the youth of their community.

Seattle Smash and Grab in Portland
August 23, 2020

A late gush of goals gives Seattle a 3-0 win at Portland as regular season play resumes for the Sounders nearly four weeks after their exit from the MLS is Back Round of 16. Raul Ruidiaz figures in all the goals, scoring twice in the final 18 minutes. Kelvin Leerdam adds the third nail in the Timbers, who were coming off a tournament title in Orlando. To minimize health risks, the Sounders traveled via chartered flight to Portland in the afternoon and leave immediately after the match. Prior to kickoff, both teams kneel to recognize the global uprising sparked by the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minnesota police officer in May.

Reign Acquires Rights to Rose Lavelle
August 16, 2020

OL Reign acquires the NWSL rights to U.S. international midfielder Rose Lavelle, currently under contract to England's Manchester City. Lavelle, 25, had spent three seasons with the Washington Spirit. Her rights are obtained in exchange for the Reign’s 2022 natural first round draft pick, $100,000 in allocation money, and additional allocation money conditioned upon Lavelle’s future playing status in the NWSL. She earned the Bronze Ball at the 2019 World Cup after scoring three goals, including one in the championship final. While still a collegian, Lavelle played the 2015 summer with the Seattle Sounders Women.

Sounders Women, U23s Rebrand
January 11, 2020

Sounders Women and Sounders U23 co-owner and CEO Lane Smith announces that both programs will rebrand as Sound Football Club. The Sounders Women play in the Women's Premier Soccer League and the men's U23s are members of USL League Two. Both entities had operated under the Sounders FC brand association, but the MLS club informed Smith the agreement would be terminated after the 2019 season. Sound FC, a premier club chartered to represent the South Snohomish County and Northshore Youth Soccer associations, formed in 2019 from a merger between Greater Seattle Surf, FC Alliance and Northwest Nationals.

Van Dyke Takes Charge of Huskies
January 4, 2020

Nicole Van Dyke is hired as Washington’s third head coach in program history after spending the past five seasons leading Pennsylvania of the Ivy League. Van Dyke guided the Quakers to one Ivy League championship and a record of 41-24-15. Prior to Penn, she was rooted on the West Coast, beginning as a player at Cal State Bakersfield and her first head coaching position, at 23, with Cal State Stanislaus. From 2011-14 Van Dyke served on the Stanford staff, her final season as associate head coach. The Cardinal won their first NCAA title in 2011 and reached the semifinals two of the next three seasons. Van Dyke succeeds Lesle Gallimore, who coached the Huskies for 26 seasons and 15 NCAA tournament berths.

Sounders Allow Late Equalizer, Go Out of CCL
February 27, 2020

CD Olimpia of Honduras finds a late road equalizer and goes on to eliminate Sounders FC from the Concacaf Champions League on penalties, 2-2 (4-2), in a Round of 16 match at CenturyLink Field. Carlos Pineda scores from distance in the 86th minute. Seattle, fighting back from an early 1-nil deficit, takes the lead through Cristian Roldan and new DP signing João Paulo. The two sides had also tied the first leg, 2-2, a week earlier in San Pedro Sula.

Diaz Fuels Defiance Road Win
August 3, 2020

Behind Alec Diaz's brace, Tacoma Defiance scores its second shutout win over Portland in 16 days, 4-0, at Providence Park. Diaz, the 18-year-old who also scored in 3-0 home win vs. the Timbers 2 on July 18, converts in each half. Captain Taylor Mueller and Chino Pérez add goals in Tacoma's first road win of 2020. Christian Herrera makes four saves.

Youth, Adult Leagues Suspend Play
March 13, 2020

Washington Youth Soccer postpones all games in the Regional Club League and state cup tournaments. The Greater Seattle Soccer League joins other adult leagues throughout the state in suspending play due to the growing COVID-19 outbreak. The GSSL halts games through April 3 and later makes it indefinite. Recreational Adult Team Soccer (RATS) had canceled its season the previous day.

Sounders Resume Play But No Goals
July 10, 2020

Following a 125-day suspension in play, the Sounders resume play following the COVID-19 outbreak. Seattle draws, 0-0, with San Jose in at the MLS is Back tournament near Orlando. The break is longer than the offseason between 2019 MLS Cup and 2020 league opener (112 days).

Harvey, Potter Named U.S. Coaches
January 6, 2020

Former Reign coach Laura Harvey, 39, is named U.S. Under-20 Women's National Team coach. Harvey had spent the past two seasons as Utah Royals head coach. She is about begin the U.S. Soccer Pro License Course and is the second female candidate. On Jan. 9, former Washington State coach Matt Potter is named U23 WNT coach following eight seasons at Oklahoma.

Seattle Pacific to Host 2022 NCAA Festival
October 14, 2020

Seattle Pacific University is selected as the host institution for the 2022 Division II Fall Championships Festival that will determine six national team title winners, including men's and women's soccer at Interbay Stadium. The events will take place during the final week of November and first week of December in 2022. SPU first hosted predetermined NCAA Division II championships in 1974 and '75.

Tacoma Stadium Project Gets Go-Ahead
March 2, 2020

Tacoma City Council members approve a non-binding letter of intent for plans to build a $60 million professional women's soccer stadium in Tacoma's Heidelberg Park. In the letter, the Tacoma Soccer Club of Tacoma (TSCOT), made up of Sounders FC and the Tacoma Rainiers, propose that the City of Tacoma contribute $15 million in funding to the project, with $10 million paid up front and the rest paid over two years. The letter also proposes that Metro Parks of Tacoma contribute $7.5 million in funding. By late April, with the city and Metro Parks facing a potential $40 million budget shortfall, the project stalls, at least temporarily.

Tacoma Earns Draw in Return to Action
July 13, 2020

Playing in its first competitive action in over four months, Tacoma Defiance (0-2-1, 1 point) comes from behind to earn a 3-3 draw at Sacramento Republic FC. Ray Serrano gets the late equalizer. Alec Diaz scores in the match's first minute and Jesse Daley, with Tacoma down 3-1, sparks the comeback with a goal in the 57th minute. Serrano ties it in the 81st. It is Tacoma's first match since USL suspended play March 12 due to COVID-19.

Reign Closes Out Campaign With Win
October 17, 2020

Sofia Huerta stakes OL Reign to an early lead and Leah Pruitt adds second-half insurance in a season-ending 2-0 closed-door, home win over the Utah Royals at Cheney Stadium. Shirley Cruz assists on both goals. The Reign finishes the NWSL Fall Series 1-2-1 and 2-3-4 altogether. They played the final four games without regulars Megan Rapinoe (opted out) Jodie Taylor (sold to Lyon), Lauren Barnes, Nicole Momiki, Rebecca Quinn, Jess Fishlock and Darian Jenkins. The latter five were loaned to clubs overseas. Utah relocates to Kansas City seven weeks later, following the club's sale.

Edmonds' Romangolo Hired by St. Mary's
January 17, 2020

Edmonds native Theresa (Wagner) Romagnolo is hired to take over the St. Mary’s women's program. Romangolo, who played at Washington, replaces Travis Clarke who was with the team from 2015-2019. In her first season as head coach of the Gaels, Romagnolo lead the team to a 4-4-3 overall record. In 2021 the Gaels go 10-4-4, their most wins since 2011.

NWSL Announces Return to Play Tournament
May 27, 2020

The National Women’s Soccer League announces a return to action for all nine clubs with the NWSL Challenge Cup. The 25-game tournament will kick off on June 27 at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman, Utah, with the tournament semifinals and Final presented by Budweiser played at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. No spectators will be in attendance and the teams will live and train in a quarantined environment. Five days prior to the tournament, Orlando withdraws after six players and four staff members test positive for the COVID-19 virus.

Rules Allow Temporarily for Five Substitutes
May 8, 2020

The International Football Association Board makes a temporary amendment to the Laws of the Game based on a FIFA proposal seeking to protect player welfare. A temporary amendment to Law 3 will allow for a maximum of five substitutes to be made per team. However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make substitutions . Substitutions may also be made at halftime. The change applies to competitions which have either started or are intended to start, but are scheduled to be completed by December 31, 2020.

Reign Rebrands as OL Reign
March 6, 2020

Reign FC rebrands as OL Reign FC, signifying the NWSL club's new majority owner, France's OL Groupe. It's the third iteration of the Reign, known as Seattle Reign from 2013-2018. The rebranding also features a new color scheme – red, white and blue – and a badge featuring a lion, again consistent with OL Groupe's Olympique Lyonnais men's and women's teams.

Morris Changes Game, Seattle Wins MLS Opener
March 1, 2020

Jordan Morris is inserted after halftime and proves to be the difference as the Sounders open defense of MLS Cup with a 2-1 win over Chicago at CenturyLink Field. With Seattle trailing, Morris needs 17 minutes to equalize on a Cristian Roldan cross. In stoppage time, Morris gets the winner by nodding home a João Paulo corner kick. The crowd of 40,126 sees the trophy paraded into the stadium prior to the unfurling of the championship banner won less than four months earlier.

First Ballot Elected Evades Solo
September 8, 2020

U.S. Women's National Team goalkeeper Hope Solo, widely regarded as the top player at her position in the history of the women's game, is not elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame in her first appearance on the ballot. Solo, whose career ended in 2016, received votes on 57.3% of ballots for the class of 2020. The minimum requirement for selection is 66.7%.

WSU's Weaver Taken No. 2 in NWSL Draft
January 16, 2020

Morgan Weaver of University Place and Washington State is picked No. 2 overall by Portland in the NWSL Draft. Weaver scored 42 goals in four seasons, leading the Cougars to their first NCAA College Cup in 2019. The All-America forward becomes the highest selection of any Washington player by any U.S. women's league. Kirkland's Sam Hiatt, Stanford defender, goes to Reign FC in the fourth round.

Lodeiro, Morris and Ruidiaz Named to Best XI
November 20, 2020

Sounders co-captain Nicolas Lodeiro and forwards Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz are voted to Major League Soccer’s Best XI team. It is the first time Seattle has three first-team members in a single season. In 2014, defender Chad Marshall and forward Obafemi Martins both were Best XI. Lodeiro finished the regular season with seven goals and 10 assists. Six assists were for game-winning scores. Morris scored 10 goals and a career-best eight assists. Ruidiaz finished with a team-leading 12 goals and four assists, appearing in just 17 matches due to absences with Peru's national team.

Sounders Establish COVID Fund for Businesses
March 25, 2020

In an effort to help local communities as they struggle with the adverse impacts brought on by the spread of the novel coronavirus, Seattle Sounders FC launch a relief fund, with an initial investment of $500,000 from Sounders owner Adrian Hanauer and his family. The fund targets neighborhoods impacted by the club’s lack of matches, including SoDo, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown-International District. By year-end the fund raises and donates over $1.1 million for 134 small businesses, 785 individuals and five nonprofits located in neighborhoods surrounding Lumen Field.

Never did I imagine my career would be ending like this. There's a lot of uncertainty in the world, and it's forced us as individuals to re-evaluate things. For me, I was out of contract after this year, and the uncertainty of what the season is going to look like this year and into next year – all those things added up to just seeming like it's the right time.
Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp explaining his decision to retire at age 28, in the middle of the MLS pandemic shutdown, to pursue an MBA
Enough is enough. We're not fighting for something political. This is racial equality. We have these bands that were player-driven, and we want to support local businesses in Seattle, and we want to eventually take action, not just wear these things (Black Lives Matter-themed pregame shirts and armbands).
Cristian Roldan, Sounders player
I personally apologized to her for putting this policy into place. We missed the point completely – it was never about the flag. It was and is about fighting police brutality and the racial injustices in our society today.
U.S. Soccer president Cindy Parlow Cone apologizing to Megan Rapinoe following repeal of a policy requiring players to stand for the national anthem
Our goal was to find a world-class coach that has a proven ability to deliver titles at the top levels of the game. We also sought a leader who would both appreciate and enhance the unique culture we developed over the past seven years. I selected Farid because I believe he embodies our values, shares our ambitions, and has demonstrated he is capable of leading our team to its ultimate objective of a NWSL Championship.
Bill Predmore, Reign FC CEO, on the hiring of Fared Benstiti
The situation is fluid. Clearly stuff like this is going to have an impact not just on business, but lots of businesses. This is not about the Sounders, it’s about the community and what is in everyone’s best interests.
Garth Lagerwey, Sounders GM and President of soccer, on early days of COVID impact
There's going to be an emptiness as we move forward. Especially the camaraderie that you have with other fans and supporter groups.
Cameron Collins, president of Gorilla FC and Sounders Alliance Council, on the prospect of matches with empty stands
It feels great, it’s an honor to get that award among such great players who had such tremendous games. I was just happy to play in this event.
Danny Waltman, Tacoma Stars goalkeeper and MASL All-Star MVP
As the NBA, MLB and NHL seasons have yet to return, the Sounders returning to action offered a sense of normalcy that has been ever elusive. Teams are essentially sequestered at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort when not playing, and must undergo testing every time they leave the facility...Players were clearly shaking off some rust. And watching a fanless match was an eerie preview of what will become the temporary norm in sports.
Matt Calkins, Seattle Times columnist, on the Sounders' return to play in Orlando
In our Sounders history, this is going to go down as one of the best games ever. As a soccer fan, I'm going to look back in 10 years and think, what an unbelievable performance. I don't know how we did it. I don't.
Sounders coach Brian Schmetzer describing the playoff semifinal comeback over Minnesota
Sadly, tragically, that’s going to be the case this fall. Full stop. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t and can’t turn toward winter and spring and say, ‘How can we create a legitimate championship for those students?’ There are ways to do this. I am completely confident we can figure this out. If schools and conferences want to move forward … let’s do it.
NCAA President Mark Emmert on canceling the 2020 fall soccer championships
In the reality, what we’re doing is more of a hobby for everybody, and we’re very fortunate to have that as a job. So, if it comes to (cancellations/empty stadiums), it’s something we have to deal with.
Gustav Svensson, Sounders player, on early implications of COVID
If things go as they stand it's hard for me as an African American male to represent a country that does things like this where all people aren't equal. … I think the fact people still don't realize why people are taking a knee and saying 'Black Lives Matter', people are being so close-minded to the fact that no one is disrespecting the flag, nobody is saying all lives don't matter. But there is a crisis right now where black lives are not up to the standard that white lives are - and that's for other minorities as well.
DeAndre Yedlin, to Britain's Sky Sports, reacting to the social unrest in America following the death of George Floyd
The club is always trying to make sure it can provide everything for its players that it has the opportunity to provide. I’ve always respected that about this club and I’ve always seen it as a club where people want to be. For me, it says a lot about the club and what they value. I’m very grateful that I got to spend six seasons here and to grow as a player and person and fall in love with the city.
Beverly Yanez on her time with Reign FC
It was actually quite tough for me in the beginning. There were times when I was like 'this is too much,' the jump from MLS to here in all aspects of it, not just the football aspect...That just goes to show that money is not everything because I was much happier making whatever I was making at MLS - which was much less than what I was making at Tottenham - but because life wasn't giving me what I needed, I was depressed. It was a very tough first six months for me.
DeAndre Yedlin to ESPN on his difficult adjustment after moving from Seattle to Tottenham in 2015
Rose is an incredible talent that we believe has all the attributes to be the best player in the world. While we would have loved to have Rose join our club today, she fits perfectly into our long-term vision for the squad. It was the vision of Jean-Michel [Aulas] and the support of OL that made this deal this possible for our club. We are willing to make the necessary short-term sacrifices, exercise the needed patience, and do whatever work is required to realize our goal of bringing Rose to OL Reign in the future.
OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore on acquiring Rose Lavelle's NWSL rights
College & High School All-America* (USC)
Player (Hometown) School (Div/Team/Pos)
Dylan Teves (Kailua, Hi.) Washington (D1/1st/M)
Charlie Ostrem (Shoreline) Washington (D1/3rd/D)
Summer Yates (Pasco) Washington (D1/2nd/M)
Founders Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U10 Mercer Island FC MaroonValor Select Gold
U11 Mercer Island FC Maroon 09Bellevue United
U12 NSC Boys 08 Green RaptorsNSC 08 Green Crushers
U13 Atletico PacNW 07 MaroonPSA Force 07 Davis Black
U14 NSC Knights 06 GreenNSC 07 Green Xtreme
U15 Irish Lions
U16 HSC Rebano 04
U17 Crossfire Select 03 Allen
U19 Crossfire Select 01 Taylor
Professional All-League
Player (Pos) Team (Lg-Tm)
Nicolas Lodeiro (M) Sounders (MLS-1st)
Jordan Morris (F) Sounders (MLS-1st)
Raul Ruidiaz (F) Sounders (MLS-1st)
State Youth Presidents Cup Winners
Age BoysGirls
U15 Eastside FC 05 Red A
U16 Eastside FC 04 Red A
U17 Timbers 03 Red 2
U18 Tusk United 02
U19 Sound FC 01 A
Washington State Youth Champions
Age BoysGirls
U15 PacNW 05 Maroon A
U16 Sound FC 04 A
U17 Washington Rush 03 A
U18 Washington Premier 02 Blue
U19 Crossfire Premier 01 A
Highlights: OL Reign vs Utah, NWSL Fall Series

VIDEO: Highlights: OL Reign vs Utah, NWSL Fall Series

Highlights: 2020 MASL All-Star Game

VIDEO: Highlights: 2020 MASL All-Star Game

Highlights: Tacoma Defiance at Portland, Aug. 3, 2020

VIDEO: Highlights: Tacoma Defiance at Portland, Aug. 3, 2020

Highlights: Sounders vs. Minnesota, MLS Playoffs, Dec. 7, 2020

VIDEO: Highlights: Sounders vs. Minnesota, MLS Playoffs, Dec. 7, 2020

Highlights: Sounders vs. Chicago, March 1, 2020

VIDEO: Highlights: Sounders vs. Chicago, March 1, 2020

Highlights: Sounders vs Vancouver, MLS Is Back

VIDEO: Highlights: Sounders vs Vancouver, MLS Is Back

Highlights: OL Reign vs Utah, NWSL Challenge Cup

VIDEO: Highlights: OL Reign vs Utah, NWSL Challenge Cup

On this Day in History
October 1, 2005
In his 262nd and final game, Scott Jenkins strikes the deciding shootout penalty kick in seventh round, giving the Sounders the USL 1 Championship over the Richmond Kickers, 1-1 (4-3) before 8,011 at Qwest Field. Preston Burpo's six saves in regular play to earn game MVP. Burpo ends his ninth season with a club record 46 shutouts (38 in league play). Cuban defector Maykel Galindo sent the game into extra time with his 73rd minute equalizer, his first goal for Seattle. It was also the final game for retiring assistant coach Jimmy Gabriel.
More from 2005 ›
May 30, 2009
Jeremy Novack scores shortly before and after halftime in leading Shorecrest past West Valley, 5-2, at Lakewood. It is the Scots’ second 3A state championship in the past five years. Shorecrest jumps on top in the first 12 minutes on goals from Ian Adams and Jonathan Cho. Novack and Eli Blauser then double the lead by the break. The Scots finish 22-1-0.
More from 2009 ›
October 20, 1997
Juan de la O of the Seattle SeaDogs is voted CISL Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive season. De la O had a 21-7 regular season record and the top goals-against average, 4.45. He set nine SeaDogs records during the season.
More from 1997 ›
September 20, 2022
Garth Lagerwey, Seattle's president of soccer and GM, is named the winner of the Best Executive Award by the World Football Summit. Lagerwey is presented the award Sept. 28 in Seville, Spain. Other finalists include Ivan Gazidis, CEO of AC Milan, and Karren Brady, vice chairman of West Ham United.
More from 2022 ›