Error message

  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/
  • Notice: Undefined index: nid in views_handler_field_term_node_tid->pre_render() (line 98 of /var/www/html/docroot/sites/all/modules/views/modules/taxonomy/


NWSL All-Time Leading Scorer Kim Little Sold To Arsenal

On Tuesday the NWSL announced the transfer of Kim Little from the Seattle Reign to Arsenal Ladies. To the average American soccer fan or casual fan of the US Women’s National Team, that won’t seem like an important move. However, if you’ve followed the NWSL or the women’s game globally, you will know that the league just lost a massive talent. 

Little’s Journey To Seattle And European Recognition

After six seasons at Arsenal from 2008 to 2013, and 81 goals, the NWSL stole away one of Europe’s top players. The move came about thanks to Reign head coach, and former Arsenal coach, Laura Harvey. That relationship and signing was one of many made ahead of the transformational 2014 season. 

Little helped turn Seattle around after the club had had a poor debut season. While Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe get the majority of headlines and interviews outside of the NWSL circle, on the pitch Little has been Seattle’s best player. Here is what Kim accomplished in just three years at the club:

All-time leading scorer in NWSL with 33 goals (remember she only played in three of the league's four seasons)


2014 Golden Boot Winner with 16 goals (plus an additional seven assists) 

NWSL Best XI in 2014 and 2015, 2nd team in 2016

Little’s on-the-field displays did not go unnoticed in Europe, as she was awarded the 2016 BBC Women’s Footballer of the year. With her national side, Scotland, never getting major international attention or progress, she earned this based on play in the young American league. 

Next Steps For The NWSL And Seattle

Kim leaving has nothing to do with a lack of enjoyment with the Reign organization, but a desire to return back to a former club and closer to home, Harvey said. 

“Kim was presented with an unbelievable offer by Arsenal, so given our respect and appreciation for Kim, we felt it was right to let her return home to pursue the opportunity.”

From a league standpoint it’s not good to lose a former MVP to another league in her prime. However given the situation, it is better than a move based on lack of pay or conditions, which could have easily been a complaint. Fortunately for the NWSL the biggest stars for their target market are USWNT players, most of whom first look to play domestically. An expansion or TV contract will easily cover this loss for them. 

Foror the Reign, though, it's a completely different story. Heading into 2017 they already know former captain Keelin Winters will not return (retiring). Hope Solo’s status is still undetermined after a controversial summer and shoulder surgery this fall. Combined with a team full of veterans, the Reign could be due for a youth overhaul. 

Missing the playoffs after two years holding up the Supporters Shield, and watching teams with fast attacks, Coach Harvey should begin to build her Reign 2.0. 

Videos you might like