OL Reign announced at half-time of their match against the San Diego Wave that the club had signed midfielder Kim Little on loan from Arsenal Women. The loan will start on June 1, 2022 and run until the start of Arsenal’s 2022/23 season, giving him around three months with Reign.
Little previously played for the Reign for three seasons (2014-2016). During that spell with the then Seattle Reign FC, the midfielder made 63 regular season appearances, starting in all but one game under head coach Laura Harvey. Little scored 32 goals and had 16 assists in the regular season – leading the reign in goals in 2014 (16) and 2015 (10). Small was named NWSL MVP in 2014 and helped Reign earn back-to-back NWSL shields.
In her final season with the Reign, Little was named the BBC’s Women’s Footballer of the Year for her contributions to the Reign and the Scotland national team.
The Scottish midfielder returned to Arsenal in 2017. There she started 69 of the 73 games she played for the club, scoring 27 goals and being named captain. In the 2018-19 season, which saw Little return from an ACL injury, Arsenal won the FA WSL title. At Arsenal, Little held a variety of midfield positions, sometimes dropping deep through injuries and rotations, but often playing as a box-to-box midfielder.
She has been called by players like Tobin Heath, Steph Catley and Hope Solo as one of the most talented players they have had the chance to train and play with. Those who have had the honor of watching Little play know that there is more to it than statistics. She makes the game easy. Whether it’s a Cruyff turn to get away from three defenders, a defensive tackle to launch an attack or his ability to weave through the tightest lanes, Little keeps the ball for his team and makes it simple in dealing with it.
The 31-year-old finds several familiar faces in Seattle. She played alongside midfielder Jess Fishlock, defender Lauren Barnes and forward Megan Rapinoe during her three seasons with Seattle.
As Little’s loan spell comes to an end before the end of the NWSL season, she will come at a key time for the reign. With a number of international dates in June and July, there will be plenty of disruption in the league. Having a world-class player like Little to help lead the team through the difficult summer schedule – as Little has retired from the national team with Scotland – will be a big boost for the club.
“Bringing Kim back to the PNW is huge. Kim will go down in history as one of the best players to ever play in the NWSL, and to have the chance to work with her again is exciting,” said Coach-Laura Harvey. head of OL Reign.” I would like to thank Arsenal for helping to make this happen. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us and one that we believe could have a huge impact on our team in a crazy summer schedule. Kim’s ability and experience will be crucial in helping us continue to advance our performance and further grow our young team.
Prior to joining Reigns, Little had his first stint with Arsenal (2008-2013), winning five league titles in addition to three FA Cups with the club during that time. Additionally, the international superstar has played for the national teams of Scotland and Great Britain.