The Reign Academy recently traveled to Colorado for another slate of ECNL competition. Facing off against Real Colorado, a well-known club that has produced players such as Mallory Pugh, Academy technical director Tracey Kevins was pleased with how her squads performed.
“Fantastic experience for us to play against a club in Real Colorado who develop some top talent,” said Kevins. “To see a club produce talent regularly is the benchmark for us. The way they played, moved the ball, and the pedigree of the players they have produced is really what we want to be.”
Kevins came away from the weekend most impressed by the Reign Academy’s 2003 age group, which went undefeated. After a 1–1 tie on Saturday, they emulated Reign FC’s performance against the Houston Dash, winning their second match 5–0 on Sunday to close out the weekend.
“To see our younger teams and how they performed it’s like wow what could we be in five years when those 2003s are our senior age group,” said Kevins. “We really want to be competing with the likes of Real Colorado over the next few year.”
With the Development Academy season rapidly approaching, the Academy has also been hosting Player Identification Sessions to assess the talent in the state of Washington.
“For us it’s an opportunity to see how the talent pool has developed in the last year,” said Kevins. “There may be some players who weren’t quite ready last year but are now. There are a lot of younger players that are new to our radar because we are expanding now to the 2004 age group. It was good to see their level of talent as well.”
There are two sessions next week for the 2004 and 2003 age groups. Sessions for the 02/01 and 00/99 age groups will be held on May 8th and 9th. More information on player identification sessions can be found at reignfc.com/playerid. There is no cost to participate in the sessions.
“The DA is a huge step for us to take as a club and something we are really excited about,” said Kevins. “We’re happy with the level of player that we have coming into the academy.”
Kevins’ focus isn’t just on the player, but also on the families. The Academy recently hosted parent nights with their partner clubs, Eastside FC and Seattle United, which saw over 300 families come out to learn more about the Development Academy.
“We’re still getting the message out there,” said Kevins. “We encourage parents that maybe aren’t sure, haven’t made a decision yet, or aren’t informed about the Development Academy to contact us and we’ll help to fill in those blanks.”