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Reign FC Acquires Rights to Julia Ashley in Trade with Sky Blue FC

January 17, 2020 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Reign FC News Release

TACOMA, WASH. - Reign FC announced today that it has acquired the rights to defender Julia Ashley from Sky Blue FC in exchange for forward Ifeoma Onumonu. Ashley, 23, is currently playing for Adelaide United FC in the Australian W-League.

"I'm honored and humbled to be joining Reign FC and very grateful to be a part of such a talented, hardworking group," Ashley said. "I'm looking forward to meeting all the coaches and players and will do everything possible to help the Reign succeed and reach our goals in the upcoming 2020 season."

"We have been working to bring Julia to Reign FC for nearly a year - we think she is a great emerging talent and can contribute to our club this season," said Reign FC CEO Bill Predmore. "While incredibly excited to add Julia to the club we are also sad to see Ifeoma depart. She added something special to the team last season, creating some critical goals while showing that she can be a force in the NWSL."

Sky Blue FC drafted Ashley with the sixth overall pick of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, but the defender never made an appearance for the club, instead signing a contract with Linköpings FC in the Swedish Damallsvenskan.

Ashley was limited at Linköpings due to injury, but has become a mainstay at Adelaide United this season since joining the club in November, starting and playing the full 90 in all seven of the club's matches.

The Verona, New Jersey native was a four-year starter at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was named to the Freshman All-ACC team in 2015. As a senior, she helped lead the Tar Heels to a College Cup final.

"I am really excited to get back to work in the U.S. after spending the majority of 2019 overseas. Being overseas in Sweden and Australia has been great and I've learned a lot, but I'm looking forward to competing on U.S. soil and being back with many familiar faces. I'm also very excited for the incredible atmosphere in Tacoma created by the Royal Guard and many other excellent supporters of Reign FC."

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