Four players from OL Reign are on their way to reaching incredible stages in the league

On Tuesday morning, 48 hours after a 2-2 draw against OL Reign at Lumen Field, Racing Louisville FC forward Jess McDonald asked a simple question on her Twitter account:

You can see the result there in the number of responses and the variety of answers. In the end, the final answer was provided by the FOX Soccer Twitter account.

It’s good that MacDonald and the rest of the NWSL community got a definitive answer. However, MacDonald shouldn’t have to go to social media to see the number of NWSL regular season appearances in her career, which includes three NWSL Championships and a FIFA World Cup. From the NWSL Original, MacDonald has played in the league since day one and has spent the vast majority of her career with the North Carolina Courage.

However, there was no recognition by the club of either of them 100 regular season appearances in the NFL (As shown in the inset in the FOX drawing above) or 150 regular season appearances in the Premier Leaguewhich she reached last September when Courage visited Gotham City.

So what happened in these cases? Did someone in the club simply lose track of the McDonald’s appearance? Possibly, and there may be valid explanations for the loss of important milestones, but the lack of recognition and celebration when the club was able to acknowledge the milestones of other player appearances, such as Dennis O’Sullivan And McCall Zarbouni, embarrassing. MacDonald has been one of the biggest contributors to North Carolina State’s long-term success and deserves the same accolades as any player who reaches those milestones.


Keeping track of stats in the NWSL is difficult. The majority of clubs are understaffed, as is the media covering the league, which means that these information gaps and inaccuracies will occur. And if the club somehow fails to update their numbers, the league should be the guarantee to remind them, “Hey, you have a player coming up at a milestone in his career. Make sure you mention it.” But just like the clubs, the league itself has historically been understaffed and has dealt with high turnover.

It’s unfortunate that MacDonald had to go public to get her decorated career endorsed, but it should be an important lesson for other NWSL clubs to check to see if she’s up to date with her numbers. Make a note of if any of their players have important upcoming milestones.


So what about OL Reign? Do any of their players have important upcoming milestones? The answer is yes. Referring to fbref.com and sticking to McDonald’s question criteria, here some OL Reign players stand close to 100 or 150 NWSL regular appearances (all data is recent as of publication).

OL Reign players x 100/150 club matches

player Coming teacher NWSL appearances
player Coming teacher NWSL appearances
Jess Fishlock 150 impressions 146
Sophia Huerta 150 impressions 135
Nikki Stanton 100 impressions 94
Megan Rapinoe 100 impressions 86

While the next group of players have ways to go before hitting the century mark in regular season appearances in the NFL, Bethany Palser (49), Veronica Latsco (49), Rose LaVille (40), and Quinn (37) could They all reach 50 games. in the current season.

Likewise, Alana Cook (21), Angelina (18) and Phoebe McClernon (22) could join the quarter-century mark this season. Notably, since joining Reign permanently last June, Cook has already matched the total number of matches she has played in three seasons at PSG.

Then there is Captain Lauren Barnes.

Already, the current leader in NWSL regular season appearances ever with 171, he was celebrated last year for reaching 150 milestone marks. If you were to include her appearances on all editions of the NWSL Challenge Cup, the 2020 NWSL Fall Series, and the NWSL postseason, Barnes has now made 190 appearances for OL Reign across all competitions. Anything and everything we’ve mentioned about Reign Originals is only possible with the amazing consistency of availability at Lauren Barnes on and off the field.


OL Reign has been good at identifying important player milestones, a trend that we hope will continue with these upcoming milestones. The rest of the league should now be on the alert because they need more attention too. It’s an incredible testament to the players themselves in keeping their talent level so high and, in many cases, overcoming some serious injuries.

There are a lot of things that the NFL and their clubs need to address over the coming years as they define their long-term vision for the kind of league they want to become. Among the minimum is the recognition and award of decorations to players who have reached these amazing milestones. Their hard work helped build the league into what it is today and is worth celebrating.

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