Angel City FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Megan Reid

Angel City FC 2022 Player Postmortem: Megan Reid

Megan Reid was officially an NWSL rookie in 2022, which sounds surprising considering she’s 26.

A product of the University of Virginia, Reid certainly took the road less traveled to get to this point and arguably became the story of the season in the NWSL. After ending his NCAA career in 2017, Reid was burned out, grieving the loss of his father and ready to move on from the sport. She became a paramedic, first in Virginia and then closer to her hometown in California, eventually ending up at the club’s WPSL outfit, Lamorinda United, last year. Playing for fun, but wanting to see if she could hack it at the professional level, all while living a productive life with a career already.

Reid was invited to San Diego Wave FC’s training camp, but she was cut halfway through, and would you believe it, Freya Coombe said she would take a look at Reid at Angel City FC’s camp, and basically the rest is history.

Reid was given a contract and pretty much went from “rest only in case of emergency” to being brought in for an emergency, to becoming Angel City’s ironwoman in 2022. After entering the lineup in the penultimate Challenge Cup game, playing Reid every minute of the rest of the campaign for the Angels, including every minute of the regular season.

Here are Reid’s competitive stats with ACFC in 2022:

Megan Reid Angel City FC 2022 Stats

2022 Game played Game started Minutes Goal Assisting Shot SOG Yellow cards Red cards
2022 Game played Game started Minutes Goal Assisting Shot SOG Yellow cards Red cards
Challenge Cup 2 2 180 0 0 1 0 0 0
Regular season 22 22 1,980 0 1 3 1 2 0
Total 24 24 2,160 0 1 4 1 2 0
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I don’t think I can stress enough how much of a surprise it was to see the Reids show up. She had not played elite football for four years, and had hardly played football at all in that time. Unlike other positions, it’s not easy to say “Yeah, sure, let’s see what this centre-back can do from the start of a match, no worries!” but with Sarah Gorden, Paige Nielsen and Vanessa Gilles all unavailable for a Challenge Cup game, Coombe largely looked at the options available, it was a Challenge Cup game with Angel City already out of contention to progress in that competition, and goes ‚ÄúSure, why not? Let’s try it.”

Frankly, Reid looked good in his debut, which was one of the toughest environments in the league, the turf at Lumen Field against the OL Reign. The whole team raised their level in that game, but Reid genuinely brought a stability, a calmness to the defense and became the anchor as the season progressed.

And there was much that changed as time passed around her. Gilles didn’t start the entire first half of the regular season and she had a good partnership with Reid, but the Canadian never returned to the lineup after leaving it for the Concacaf W Championship in the summer. Nielsen returned from emergency surgery to start most of the back half of the season. Madison Hammond got some time there as well, and Gorden, the expected backline anchor, missed the entire season. So it’s a good thing Reid was up for the challenge of being thrown in the deep end, because she was needed!

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Angel City’s defense was pretty good despite all the lineup changes in the regular season and the team allowed 27 goals in 22 games, a truly great total that was ultimately undermined by the team only scoring 23 goals on the season. In other words, the back line, and with Reid central to it, was a key part of giving Angel City hope of making the playoffs in its debut season until this past weekend, helping them to the second-best first season ever by being a true expansion team in the NWSL.

Reid’s scouting report graph on FBref.com, which compares her game to players at her position across the top eight leagues, shows a mixed bag when it comes to her advanced stats. She appears to be world class in terms of defensive clearances, and her defensive numbers otherwise are some above average, some below average.

FBref.com

To me this indicates that Coombe told Reid to keep things simple, play a simple game and above all, keep his head above water. She did, and again, she also brought intangibles like calm play and even some leadership along the way.

Although Reid did not score any goals, I must note that she allowed her parallel career to bleed into the new one, in a very gracious way. We talk about having an “extra trainer” on the field, Reid was an “extra physio”, always the first player to get to an injured player, helping them until the trainers got to the player who needed attention. Most professional athletes wouldn’t know what they’re doing and probably shouldn’t be giving medical advice during matches. Raid? Well, she actually has the training, so it was beautiful to see her trot over to players on the ground and check in with them.

Reid is under contract through 2023 and I’m going to go out on a limb and say she probably deserves a raise, I guess she was signed to a league minimum deal and obviously being a regular starter deserves a bigger paycheck. But that aside, with Gilles returning to ACFC late or potentially never next year, and Gorden hopefully actually getting on the field, I think Reid should have the inside track to start with Gorden. We’ll see how they combine, but it could potentially be Angel City’s solid centre-back partnership for years to come. And if it is, I think a lot of people are going to be rooting for Megan Reid all the time, I know I will be.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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