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New team Reigns in Seattle

Six days after the last club announced its name, and four days after the National Women’s Soccer League officially received its title, Bill Predmore announced his team’s name in the Emerald City as Seattle Reign FC on Wednesday.

“Today’s announcement is the result of a thoughtful process to identify the name that best represents the values of our club, articulates our long-term ambitions and celebrates the community within which our supporters live,” Predmore said in a club release.

Reign was one of the names rumored to be in the running, as well as Seattle Sirens FC. As far as the women’s professional sports landscape in Seattle goes, the Reign is not a new brand.

It’s what the team in the American Basketball League, the predecessor of the WNBA, was called. The club was founded in 1996 and played until bad finances and competition from the WNBA forced the league to fold.

“Like the Seattle Sounders, whose fans selected a name that honored those who pioneered the sport of soccer in Seattle in the early 1970s, Seattle Reign FC was in part selected to pay homage (to) those visionaries — the leaders and players of the Seattle Reign women’s basketball team — who pioneered professional women’s sports in Seattle,” Predmore said.

That’s not where the basketball-soccer name parallels stop in Seattle.

The Seattle Storm, the current WNBA team in town, has a name that was formerly owned by a Western Soccer Alliance team in the 1980s. FC Seattle Storm would go on to compete in the semiprofessional Pacific Coast Soccer League from 1993 to 1995.

Stuart Lee, the former English Premier League and old NASL veteran who bought the club and turned it into a PCSL side, still runs FC Seattle Academy and Camps for youth boys and girls.

The club announcement also disclosed several scheduling details for the National Women’s Soccer League. The championship match of the 2013 season will be played Aug. 31, according to the release.

Seattle will hold its preseason camp in March, before an April league kickoff. Presumably, the seven other teams in the NWSL will follow the same schedule.

Further announcements to come will include a head coach, front office hires, venue, ticket prices and on-sale date and a 2013 season schedule.


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