Tallahassee (TLH) Reckoning is the first of its kind professionally operated women’s soccer franchise emerging in Tallahassee, FL. The Reckoning provides College/Pro Track Training and Development (T&D) and Reckoning Futures programs. The TLH Reckoning pre-professional team and reserves team will play the inaugural seasons in the Summer of 2024, with both teams competing in the USL W League and USL Academy respectively. Breaking geographic and institutional barriers the Reckoning is owned and operated by one of the most successful architects of the modern women’s game across the nation – former United Soccer Coaches President, co-founder of the Girls Academy league, Washington Spirit founding executive, FSU women’s soccer and W League alum; a female minority and a fierce advocate for girls and women in soccer (see more on the founder below).
Founder – Ashlee Fontes PhD (abd)
Ashlee Fontes (fon-TEZ) is an award-winning executive in women’s soccer with an unwavering commitment to positively impact the women’s game. She notoriously has the keen ability, verified prowess to develop and implement vision and strategy through systems and processes with exceptionalism and innovation to drive results. Accompanied by the tenacity to unite all the right stakeholders with a mission to advance the women’s game, Fontes has a proven track record of undeniable success and sustainable cornerstone contributions to the game.
In 2022, she served as the first elected female of color (Cape Verdian and Cuban descent) for the world’s largest soccer coaching association, United Soccer Coaches; concluding her 6-year term of board service in January 2024. Via her consulting company, Nikao (ni-COW) Management, Fontes spearheaded the market strategy for ata football and collaborated with FIFA+ on Stoppage Time. Separately, she co-founded the Girls Academy league, after the US Soccer Development Academy abruptly folded, displacing thousands of the top female athletes in the country. Fontes created the league philosophy revolutionizing the player-empowerment standards across the nation and led the charge in securing monumental partnerships with Major League Soccer (MLS), Adidas, BODYARMOR, and InStat.
Fontes was the first female of color to run a professional soccer franchise in the US. She was first in charge (reporting only to the owner and overseeing the entire club operations) of the National Women’s Soccer League’s (NWSL) founding club, the Washington Spirit. Fontes hired Mark Parsons and together they built the Spirit into a championship-contending club with a robust youth academy from scratch during her tenure. Through innovative sponsorships, experiential volunteer and intern programming, and selling out matches (only second to the Portland Thorns FC on capcity sold), the Spirit achieved profitability status in year three. A few of many marquee club World Cup and Olympian players included Lori Lindsey, Crystal Dunn, Ashlyn Harris, Ali Krieger and several FSU Soccer Alum like Tori Huster and Toni Pressley to name a couple. Prior to the Spirit, she was an award-winning executive for D.C. United Women of United Soccer Leagues (USL) with notable players like Joanna Loman, Lianne Sanderson and Becky Sauerbrunn.
Fontes earned the NSCAA Premier Diploma in 2010 and holds the Advanced Youth National Diploma. She has led the development and recruitment of female athletes for decades to play collegiately, professionally, and for national teams. As a player, she helped pave the way for Florida State University to become a dynasty in women’s soccer as well as competing in the USL W-League in the early 2000s. Fontes partially credits not having the opportunity to play professionally, due to WUSA folding prior to graduation, for spurring her relentless career in creating sustainable women’s soccer systems for the players on and off the pitch.