Reign FC today announced that it has acquired forward Shea Groom from Sky Blue FC in return for Japanese international forward Nahomi “Naho” Kawasumi.
Groom’s arrival in Seattle reunites her with her former FC Kansas City coach, Vlatko Andonovski, in his second season as Reign FC’s head coach.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Shea again,” said Vlatko. “She’s a very talented player. She was an impactful player for me in Kansas City and I know she’ll fit in well in Seattle.”
Groom was selected by FC Kansas City with the 12th overall pick in the 2015 NWSL College Draft. She played in Kansas City from 2015–2017 before moving to Sky Blue FC last season. She started 17 games for Sky Blue FC in 2018, scoring two goals and tallying three assists.
“I’m both humbled and honored to join the Reign family,” said Groom. “It’s an incredible organization that breeds success in this league and I’m happy to be a part of it.”
In exchange for Groom, Reign FC sent Nahomi Kawasumi to Sky Blue FC.
Kawasumi first played with Reign FC while on loan for the 2014 NWSL season, during which she scored nine goals, added five assists, and was named to the NWSL Best XI. She re-signed with the club midway through the 2016 season and has been a fixture on the squad for the past three seasons.
“Days like this are difficult — it is hard to imagine a Reign FC squad without Naho. Her leadership, professionalism, tireless work ethic, intelligence and extraordinary talent have ensured that she will be forever recognized as one of the all-time greats to have played for our club,” said Seattle Reign FC owner and president Bill Predmore. “Naho has always played with a joy that is infectious and a quiet intensity deeply respected by all her teammates. She will be missed.”
Predmore continues, “The decision to trade Naho was made in conjunction with Naho and her representatives. She expressed a need to maximize her playing time prior to the World Cup in 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. We agreed that Sky Blue FC would be in the best position to provide her that opportunity, so we worked hard to affect that outcome on her behalf. Sky Blue FC is adding a truly great person and player — I know the organization and their fans will love and respect Naho as much as we do.”