The achievements for Seattle Reign FC’s Kim Little keep piling up. With ten goals and a league leading seven assists, the gatekeeper of Reign FC ’s attacking ammunition is leading the club to its second-straight playoff appearance.
At the end of last season, Little’s debut made her the fourth-best goal scorer in the NWSL’s two short years. Add on 2015’s tallies and the midfielder now sits on top of the NWSL’s all-time goal scoring sheet.
“My job is to create and score goals,” Little said. “I’m just pleased that I’ve been able to do that. I think it’s purely down to the quality of players that I’m playing with and how many opportunities they create.”
The effect she has had on the roster can’t be overstated. In 2013, Reign FC endured a rough first season in which the team struggled to create a threatening attack. That all changed in 2014 when head coach and general manager Laura Harvey plucked Little from England’s Arsenal, a club she knew well having been the manager there only a year earlier.
“I can’t say I came with any expectations,” Little said about the move. “I felt like I was ready for a new challenge, to make myself a better player and to play with a new team.
“The Women’s National Team here is the best in the world, and I knew I was going to be able to play with some of the best players.”
Even with time to adapt and study her play, opposing defenses have had trouble containing the quickness and control of Little. Such could be seen on August 21 when Reign FC traveled to Houston to face the Dash. Little tallied her first NWSL career hat trick, scoring from multiple angles and wandering through a mix of defenders for her third of the night.
“Kim was almost unknown last year and she really took the league by storm” teammate Jessica Fishlock said in an interview earlier this year. “That dynamic has changed. It makes us challenge ourselves to help Kim and be involved in that movement.”
As Little pulls defenders toward her, space opens up for those around her. Midfield partner Fishlock has seven goals this season — with Little assisting four of those — and forwards Beverly Yanez and Megan Rapinoe have nine and four goals, respectively.
“From the backline forward, the quality, football brains and tactical ability we have on the team just means that I can get in really good positions, and I can do what I’m good at.”
With Saturday’s regular season finale against the Spirit approaching, Reign FC’s leading scorer has just one thing on her mind: scoring and creating goals all in an effort to bring an NWSL Championship to Seattle.