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Analysis

Saturday notes: Solo back, Fowlkes steps away

Hope Solo has four shutouts in six matches--all wins--for the Reign this season. (Photo: Liviu Bird/The Equalizer)

Hope Solo has been added to tonight's roster for Seattle. (Photo: Liviu Bird/The Equalizer)

There’s a glimmer of optimism in Seattle. The winless Reign FC (0-6-1, losers of six straight) welcome goalkeeper Hope Solo to the active roster for the first time this season on Saturday against Portland Thorns FC.

Whether or not the U.S. No. 1 will play remains to be seen. Solo spent the first quarter of the NWSL season recovering from wrist surgery and had previously stated that she was aiming for the June 15 and June 20 United States vs. South Korea games for a return. Solo was already slated to train with the U.S. in Toronto, but was not rostered for the June 2 game vs. Canada.

Her inclusion in Saturday’s Reign FC roster gives a team desperate for any signs of a turnaround something to look forward to. Coach Laura Harvey’s comments suggest Solo isn’t ready to play and that the addition of her to the roster brings much needed experience, but there is still the possibility that Solo plays in this Pacific Northwest Derby against league co-leaders Portland.

“We are pleased with Hope’s recovery,” Harvey said in a statement. “Her experience, knowledge and ability have given the players a much-needed boost.  We are mindful of Hope’s continued road to full match fitness, but we are happy to be getting her in and around the team and on the field again.”

Even if that doesn’t sound like Solo will be in the XI, our eyes will be on that team sheet come gametime.

Fowlkes announces retirement

Some 12 hours after taking part in the Red Stars’ 2-1 road loss to the Western New York Flash, Chicago utility player Lauren Fowlkes announced she is retiring to pursue further education:

These are the realities players thinking about life after soccer have to face in a league in which the large majority of players are making well under $20,000. Plenty of very good former WPS players are not in NWSL for personal reasons not too unlike Fowlkes’ decision. Players have other ambitions and there are serious realities of the pro WoSo life. Good for Fowlkes for taking a leap.

Chatting with Diana Matheson

Washington Spirit midfielder Diana Matheson has been one of the best players in the National Women’s Soccer League thus far. On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to chat with her about her time in the league and the upcoming USA-Canada match in Toronto, minutes from her hometown of Mississauga, Ontario. Have a listen:

Andrews goes back-to-back

It shouldn’t go without noting that Morgan Andrews, future U.S. women’s national team regular and occasional blogger for this site, won her second consecutive Gatorade National High School Player of the Year award this week. She is headed to Notre Dame in the fall. The 2019 U.S. World Cup team has Andrews’ name written all over the midfield.

Breakers and U.S. midfielder Heather O’Reilly helped dish out the award to Andrews:

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