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Taylor Smith, out all year with a torn ACL, rediscovered herself with Reign FC

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

If you looked closely enough at a Reign FC home broadcast this year, you just might have seen Taylor Smith for a quick second. In Tacoma, the club’s home, she was there high above the field in the stands, celebrating goals and wins alongside other injured teammates.

She was also there in North Carolina this October, cheering on her new team against her old team – the North Carolina Courage – in the National Women’s Soccer League semifinals.

And despite not stepping on the field for a single minute of action in the 2019 season, Smith says of the past year, “I’ve never worked so hard in my career.”

The American fullback tore her ACL last December while playing for Newcastle Jets in Australia’s W-League, the offseason home of dozens of NWSL players looking to stay sharp. The injury ended Smith’s 2019 NWSL campaign before it started.

It wasn’t just the physical injury that was cause for concern; it was the timing and contractual circumstances of it which put Smith in a precarious position.

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