The OL Reign professional women's soccer team is headed to the Treasure State to begin training for the remainder of its season.
OL Reign, formerly the Seattle Reign FC and Reign FC, is a member of the National Women's Soccer League and is based out of Tacoma, Washington.
The team features U.S. Women's National Team members Megan Rapinoe and Allie Long. The team made the announcement on Sunday and Montana confirmed the news in a press release on Monday. The team opened camp on Monday.
The team of 32 players, plus coaches and support staff, will practice at UM’s South Campus Stadium for most of June. The team was unable to train as a group at its home in Washington due to restrictions in the state from the coronavirus pandemic.
OL Reign will stay and train in Missoula for more than three weeks before departing for Utah and the NWSL Challenge Cup, a 25-game tournament that will replace the lost regular season.
The tournament, which will take place without spectators, begins on June 27.
“We’re extremely honored to have a program of this caliber use our facilities and train on our field and be in this community,” Griz soccer coach Chris Citowicki said in a media release. “It’s a perfect mix of who they are as a program and what their identity is and what ours is.”
South Campus Stadium’s playing surface was redone last summer. The Reign also will train in the Washington-Grizzly Champions Center within the strict guidelines being followed by Grizzly student-athletes, who began using the facility on Monday.
Every member of the Reign travel party was tested for the coronavirus late last week and was required to have a negative result before being allowed to depart Washington.
They will undergo weekly COVID-19 testing while in Missoula and follow both NWSL medical protocol and state of Montana restrictions.
Due to health concerns and NWSL policies, the team’s training sessions are closed to the public and media.