Canada, Scotland name Algarve Cup rosters; Japan calls in Utsugi for SheBelieves Cup

NewsFebruary 15

Spirit acquire Australian internationals Amy Harrison, Chloe Logarzo

NewsFebruary 15

Notebook: Spirit announce preseason schedule; new social look for USWNT

NewsFebruary 12

Ellis names 23 NWSL players to USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster

USWNTFebruary 12

Notebook: Preseason schedules rolling in; Courage sign Haran

NewsFebruary 11

Kerr scores a historic hat trick in W-League Finals Series

NewsFebruary 11

NWSL players set for W-League Finals Series

NewsFebruary 07

Notebook: Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s back for Portland, plus more news across the NWSL

NewsFebruary 04

Big moves for Reign FC: New venue, new city, new minority owners

NewsJanuary 30

Spirit, Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington announce broadcast partnership

NewsJanuary 30

Notebook: Erceg back with Ferns; W-League highlights; Naho thanks Seattle

NewsJanuary 29

Player Insight

VideoJanuary 24

Press goal lifts USWNT to 1-0 win over Spain

USWNTJanuary 22

Sinclair scores 178th international goal as Canada opens up 2019 with win over Norway

CANWNTJanuary 22

USWNT falls to France, snapping 28-game unbeaten streak

USWNTJanuary 19

Sights and Sounds from the 2019 NWSL College Draft

FeatureJanuary 17

After celebrating on draft day, Maria Sánchez is ready to get to work in Chicago

FeatureJanuary 16

Notebook: Morgan, Naeher win Concacaf awards; Spirit sign Crosson; Reign re-sign Yanez, Oyster

NewsJanuary 16

Amanda Duffy named President of NWSL

NewsJanuary 15

Sky Blue acquire Kawasumi from Reign FC in exchange for Groom

NewsJanuary 15

Courage head coach Paul Riley signs multi-year contract

NewsJanuary 14

Notebook: Gibbons announces retirement; Kgatlana named CAF Player of the Year; England roster announced

NewsJanuary 14

Orlando Pride announce Marc Skinner as head coach

NewsJanuary 14

Canada names January roster

CANWNTJanuary 14

Homecoming for the Chicago Red Stars

NWSL College DraftJanuary 11

Highlights from panels at the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago

NewsJanuary 11

Draft recap: NWSL welcomes new players in Chicago

NWSL College DraftJanuary 11

News and notes from the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 11

Every pick of the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 10

Tierna Davidson selected No. 1 overall by the Chicago Red Stars at the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 10

Watch: 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 10

NWSL increases roster size ahead of the 2019 season

NewsJanuary 10

Final list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 09

Latest 2019 NWSL College Draft order

NewsJanuary 09

Katie Johnson traded from Sky Blue FC to Chicago Red Stars

NewsJanuary 09

Updated preliminary list of players registered for 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 08

Spirit hire Richie Burke as head coach, name technical staff

NewsJanuary 08

Notebook: Orlando, Houston make front office moves; more player news

NewsJanuary 07

What You Need To Know: 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 06

NWSL College Draft: Players to Watch

NWSL College DraftJanuary 04

Utah Royals FC sign midfielder Veronica Boquete

NewsJanuary 04

USWNT roster set for January camp and friendlies in Europe

USWNTJanuary 04

Notebook: Spirit, Dash and Red Stars add to staff ahead of the 2019 season

NewsJanuary 04

Updated preliminary list of players eligible for 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftJanuary 03

2019 NWSL College Draft team-by-team previews

NWSL College DraftJanuary 03

Reign elect not to retain rights to Adriana Leon

NewsJanuary 03

Best of 2018

VideoDecember 27

Registration open for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftDecember 26

Notebook: Reign re-sign three players; more offseason news

NewsDecember 20

NWSL releases preliminary list of players eligible for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

NWSL College DraftDecember 19

Canada, Scotland name Algarve Cup rosters; Japan calls in Utsugi for SheBelieves Cup

The Algarve Cup and SheBelieves Cup begin on February 27

Canada will play Iceland in the Algarve Cup on February 27. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

Canada has named eight NWSL players to the 23-woman roster for the Algarve Cup, Canada Soccer announced on Friday.

Canada will face Iceland on February 27 and Scotland on March 1 in the first two games of the tournament in Portugal. Canada will then play a final match on March 6 (opponent to be determined based on standings) to determine placement in the tournament. Both Scotland and Canada are headed to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

The eight NWSL players: Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash), Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride), Diana Matheson (Utah Royals FC), Desiree Scott (Utah Royals FC), Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC) and Lindsay Agnew (Houston Dash).

The 2019 Algarve Cup will feature Canada, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Norway, China PR, Denmark, Switzerland, Scotland, Iceland, Portugal and Poland. It runs from February 27 to March 6.


 
Canada Algarve Cup Women’s National Team Roster:

GK: Stephanie Labbé, age 32, from Stony Plain, AB
FB: Allysha Chapman, age 30, from Courtice, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
CB: Kadeisha Buchanan, age 23, from Brampton, ON/ Olympique Lyonnais (Division 1 Féminine France)
CB: Shelina Zadorsky, age 26, from London, ON/ Orlando Pride (NWSL)
M: Rebecca Quinn, age 23, from Toronto, ON/ Paris FC (Division 1 Féminine France)
F: Deanne Rose, age 19, from Alliston, ON/ University of Florida Gators (NCAA)
M: Julia Grosso, age 18, from Vancouver, BC / The University of Texas at Austin (NCAA)
M: Diana Matheson, age 34, from Oakville, ON/Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
F: Jordyn Huitema, age 17, from Chilliwack, BC / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
FB: Ashley Lawrence, age 23, from Caledon, ON/Paris Saint Germain (Division 1 Féminine France)
M: Desiree Scott, age 31, from Winnipeg, MB/ Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
F: Christine Sinclair ( C ), age 35, from Burnaby, BC/ Portland Thorns (NWSL)
M: Sophie Schmidt, age 30, from Abbotsford, BC
M: Gabrielle Carle, age 20, from Lévis, QC/Florida State University (NCAA)
F: Nichelle Prince, age 23, from Ajax, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
F: Janine Beckie, age 24, from Highlands Ranch, CO/ Manchester City (FA Women’s Super League)
M: Jessie Fleming, age 20, from London, ON/UCLA (NCAA)
GK: Erin McLeod, age 35, from St. Albert, AB/ Växjö DFF (Damallsvenskan)
F: Adriana Leon, age 26, from King City, ON/West Ham United (FA Women’s Super League)
CB: Shannon Woeller, age 29, from Vancouver, BC/ Eskilstuna United DFF (Damallsvenskan)
GK: Kailen Sheridan, age 23, from Whitby, ON/ Sky Blue FC (NWSL)
FB: Lindsay Agnew, age 23, from Kingston, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
FB/F: Jenna Hellstrom, age 23, from Sudbury, ON/ Växjö DFF (Damallsvenskan)


On Thursday, Scotland announced the roster for this year’s Algarve Cup. Utah Royals FC defender Rachel Corsie has been called in for the tournament.

Scotland will play Canada on March 1 to open the tournament and then Iceland on March 4, before the final game for placement on March 6.


On Friday, Japan named its roster for this year’s SheBelieves Cup and Reign FC midfielder Rumi Utsugi has been called in for the tournament.

Japan will play its first game vs. the United States in Philadelphia, followed by games vs. Brazil (in Nashville) and England (in Tampa). All four teams are ranked in the top ten in the world, and have qualified for the Women’s World Cup.

The U.S. announced its roster earlier this week. All games will be available to fans in the United States on FOX/FS1 or streaming on ussoccer.com.

SheBelieves Cup Full Schedule:

Wednesday, Feb. 27 | Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.

  • England vs. Brazil | 4 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. Japan | 7 p.m. ET | FS1

Saturday, March 2 | Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.

  • Brazil vs. Japan | 2 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. England | 4:30 p.m. ET | FOX

Tuesday, March 5 | Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

  • Japan vs. England | 5:15 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. Brazil | 8 p.m. ET | FS1

Spirit acquire Australian internationals Amy Harrison, Chloe Logarzo

Harrison and Logarzo join the Spirit from Sydney FC

Logarzo has earned 29 caps with the Australian WNT. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

The Washington Spirit have signed Australian international Amy Harrison and agreed to a loan for fellow Matilda Chloe Logarzo, the club announced on Thursday, pending completion of international paperwork. Harrison and Logarzo, both midfielders,  join the Spirit from Sydney FC in the W-League.

“Adding two quality players of proven international pedigree like Chloe and Amy is huge for our club,” Spirit head coach Richie Burke said in a press release. “Having spoken to both players regularly during this process, I know they are very excited to join us here in Washington — and I believe they will make a huge impact with our team and in our league.”

Harrison and Logarzo will be on the pitch this weekend in the W-League Grand Final against Perth Glory FC. Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe will also be competing this weekend for Sydney FC.

“It’s not an accident that their Sydney FC team is in the W-League finals this weekend, both players are serial winners and I know they’ll bring that mentality to our club. I’m absolutely thrilled to have both Matildas players at Washington Spirit this season,” Burke said.

Logarzo earned Sydney FC’s Player of the Year honors after starting every game and scoring three goals this W-League season. For Australia, Logarzo has earned 29 caps and scored six goals.

Despite being out with an injury for much of the 2018 W-League season, Harrison made 10 appearances, starting in nine games, for Sydney FC. For the Matildas, Harrison has made eight career appearances.

Notebook: Spirit announce preseason schedule; new social look for USWNT

The latest NWSL news

Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle gears up for her third NWSL season. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)

The Washington Spirit announced their preseason schedule ahead of the 2019 NWSL season on Tuesday. The Spirit are set to play four games and will open up against James Madison University on March 16.

On March 23, the Spirit will welcome Girondins de Bordeaux of the Division 1 Féminine to the Maryland SoccerPlex. The Spirit will wrap up their preseason matches against the University of North Carolina Tar Heels on March 30 and Virginia Tech on April 6.

Washington Spirit 2019 Preseason Schedule
March 16 at City Stadium in Richmond, Va.
Spirit vs. James Madison University at 7 p.m. ET

 

March 23 at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
Spirit vs. FC Bordeaux at 7 p.m. ET

 

March 30 at Evergreen Sportsplex in Leesburg, Va.
Spirit vs. UNC at 5 p.m. ET

 

April 6 at Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds, Md.
Spirit vs. Virginia Tech at 7 p.m. ET


The U.S. women’s national team not only announced their 23-player roster for the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, but also has a new social look. Both the USWNT Twitter and Instagram social handles have changed from @ussoccer_wnt to @USWNT.

 


New Jersey’s First Lady Tammy Murphy made a statement on behalf of Sky Blue FC ownership on Tuesday about improvements for 2019. She committed to an active role in the club activities.

“We recognize there have been challenges,” Murphy wrote, “but I am looking forward to working with our team to create a climate of success. We are excited about the new players who are now a part of the Sky Blue family, and we can’t wait to see them join our returning players. But above all, we appreciate the dedication and loyalty of our fans.”

Murphy’s full statement is below:

Ellis names 23 NWSL players to USWNT SheBelieves Cup roster

The SheBelieves Cup begins on February 27

The 2019 SheBelieves Cup will feature the United States, England, Japan and Brazil. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis has named the 23-woman roster for the SheBelieves Cup, which begins on February 27. All 23 players are from the NWSL. The U.S. will play its first game on February 27 vs. Japan in Philadelphia, followed by games vs. England (in Nashville) and Brazil (in Tampa).

The U.S., England, Japan and Brazil are all ranked in the top ten in the world. The tournament is a key test for the four Women’s World Cup bound teams ahead of this summer.

This year’s No. 1 overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL College Draft, defender Tierna Davidson, is among those named to the roster. Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico, who earned her first two caps at the end of 2018, and North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald, who scored her first goal in November of 2018, are also on the roster.

U.S. Soccer said Portland Thorns FC midfielder and 2018 NWSL MVP Lindsey Horan is unavailable due to a quadriceps injury.

In addition to the 23 on the roster, four more players will be part of the training camp that will be held in Tampa prior to the tournament: goalkeeper Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), defender Merritt Mathias (North Carolina Courage), midfielder Allie Long (Reign FC) and defender Emily Fox (University of North Carolina).

U.S. Soccer also announced that all U.S. games will be broadcast in the U.S. on FS1 or FOX, and the other three games will stream on ussoccer.com. (Full schedule below)


U.S. WNT 2019 SheBelieves Cup Roster (Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 40/0)

DEFENDERS (7): Abby Dahlkemper (NC Courage; 32/0), Tierna Davidson (Chicago Red Stars; 14/1), Crystal Dunn (NC Courage; 77/24), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 151/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 28/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 74/18), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 21/6), Samantha Mewis (NC Courage; 43/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit 11/0), McCall Zerboni (NC Courage; 8/0)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 143/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 266/105), Jessica McDonald (NC Courage; 5/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 155/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 108/47), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 45/13), Megan Rapinoe (Reign FC; 146/41)


SheBelieves Cup Full Schedule:

Wednesday, Feb. 27 | Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.

  • England vs. Brazil | 4 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. Japan | 7 p.m. ET | FS1

Saturday, March 2 | Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tenn.

  • Brazil vs. Japan | 2 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. England | 4:30 p.m. ET | FOX

Tuesday, March 5 | Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Fla.

  • Japan vs. England | 5:15 p.m. ET | ussoccer.com
  • USA vs. Brazil | 8 p.m. ET | FS1

Notebook: Preseason schedules rolling in; Courage sign Haran

The latest NWSL news

Thorns FC set to host fourth-annual Spring Invitational. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

On Monday, Portland Thorns FC announced the details for their fourth-annual Spring Invitational. The tournament will be presented by Tillamook and will run from March 24-30 at the University of Portland. It will feature four teams: the Thorns, the Chicago Red Stars, Reign FC and the U.S. Under-23 women’s national team.

2019 Thorns Spring Invitational Schedule

Sunday, March 24 at University of Portland (Merlo Field)
Reign FC vs. U.S. U-23 women’s national team at 11:30 a.m. PT
Thorns FC vs. Chicago Red Stars at 5 p.m. PT

Wednesday, March 27 at University of Portland (Merlo Field)
Chicago Red Stars vs. Reign FC at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Thorns FC vs. U.S. U-23 women’s national team at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific)

Saturday, March 30 at University of Portland (Merlo Field)
Chicago Red Stars vs. U.S. U-23 women’s national team at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific)
Thorns FC vs. Reign FC at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific) 

In other NWSL preseason news, the Red Stars and Reign FC announced their preseason schedules ahead of the 2019 NWSL regular season.

The Red Stars will play four matches throughout preseason, including their three games at the Thorns Spring Invitational and one against the University of Missouri for a closed-door scrimmage on Saturday, March 9.


Reign FC will begin their 2019 campaign with a training session on March 4. Reign FC will then travel to play the UCLA Bruins on March 16 before heading to Portland for the Thorns Spring Invitational on March 24. Reign FC will close out their preseason schedule against the University of Washington on April 5.


The North Carolina Courage announced on Monday that they have acquired Wake Forest University defender, Ally Haran.

“Ally has a fantastic opportunity to stake her claim to a starting job,” Courage head coach Paul Riley said in the team’s press release.

“She has the athleticism, mindset and ability on the ball to fit right in with our environment. At the end of the day, players must love the process of doing their best every day, all of the time. She will be coming into a nurturing, curious environment and it’s our job to get the best out of her. She has many great tools and in a World Cup year she has a brilliant chance to elevate her game and be a key impact member of our squad.”

Kerr scores a historic hat trick in W-League Finals Series

Perth Glory and Sydney FC set to meet in W-League Grand Final this weekend

Sam Kerr is the all-time leading goal scorer in the W-League and the NWSL. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

Perth Glory Women and Sydney FC Women will meet in the W-League Grand Final on Saturday at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium after a thrilling weekend of semifinal action.

Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr made history, again, leading Perth Glory with a hat trick to defeat Melbourne Victory Women. Kerr became the first player to ever score three goals in the W-League Finals Series as Glory finished with a 4-2 victory.

Kerr broke the W-League all-time scoring record last month reaching 64 career goals, and now is at 67 after her explosive performance on Saturday. Kerr is also the all-time leading scorer in the NWSL with 59 goals.

Kerr wasn’t the only NWSL player to put on a show over the weekend. Orlando Pride forward Rachel Hill  also chipped in a goal for Perth Glory and now has six goals this W-League season. Before Hill and Kerr put Perth Glory on the board, Orlando Pride forward Christine Nairn got Melbourne Victory ahead early.

Nairn dribbled with pace down the right flank and whipped in what looked like a driven right-footed service, but the ball slipped in the near post and put Melbourne Victory ahead just under two minutes into the game.

Kerr’s first goal was all about timing–the NWSL and W-League Golden Boot winner managed to read the near-post service from Leticia McKenna and finish one-time with two Melbourne Victory defenders in her path.

Next it was Hill’s turn. She headed home a service from Kerr to give Perth Glory the 2-1 lead in the 86th minute. Melbourne Victory responded with another one of their own before Kerr took over and scored two more times in extra time in the 97th and 107th minute.

Perth Glory return to their third W-League Grand Final.


And returning to their second consecutive W-League Grand Final, Sydney FC defeated Brisbane Roar 2-1 over the weekend. Thorns FC forward Caitlin Foord and Houston Dash midfielder Sofia Huerta scored for Sydney FC. Foord is second-best in the league with 10 goals in 13 appearances. Her 10th goal came in the 32nd minute in the semifinals when she received the ball at the top of the box, turned and finished far post to put her team up 1-0.

Orlando Pride defender Alanna Kennedy assisted Huerta’s goal following a corner. Huerta’s left-footed shot in the 68th minute would be the eventual game-winner.

Several NWSL players will be featured in the Grand Final with Sofia Huerta (Houston Dash), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC), Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns FC), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride) and Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit representing Sydney FC and Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Rachel Hill (Orlando Pride), Nikki Stanton (Chicago Red Stars), Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars) and Katie Naughton (Chicago Red Stars) representing Perth Glory.


The W-League shared a guide to watching the Grand Final

NWSL players set for W-League Finals Series

The W-League Finals Series begins this weekend

Sam Kerr plays for Perth Glory and Yuki Nagasato plays for Brisbane Roar in the W-Leauge. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

The Westfield W-League wrapped up its 11th regular season this past weekend, featuring over 35 NWSL players. The W-League semifinals are set for this weekend with Melbourne Victory facing Perth Glory on Saturday (10 p.m. ET) and then Brisbane Roar hosting Sydney FC on Sunday (3 a.m. ET).

There will be several NWSL players vying for a final berth this weekend–for Melbourne Victory, Christine Nairn (Orlando Pride), Dani Weatherholt (Orlando Pride) and Samantha Johnson (Utah Royals FC) will face the all-time W-League goal scorer Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars), Rachel Hill (Orlando Pride), Nikki Stanton (Chicago Red Stars), Alyssa Mautz (Chicago Red Stars) and Katie Naughton (Chicago Red Stars).

The semifinal between Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory will be a rematch from last weekend when Melbourne Victory defeated Perth Glory 2-1. Despite the defeat, Kerr scored her 11th goal of the season—last month Kerr broke the W-League all-time scoring record reaching 64 career goals. She is now the all-time scorer in both the W-League and the NWSL (59 goals).

MORE | Notebook: Erceg back with Ferns; W-League highlights; Naho thanks Seattle

Orlando Pride forward Rachel Hill scored five goals this season for Perth Glory, good for third-best in the league. She also leads the W-League in assists with six. Perth Glory teammate Alyssa Mautz chipped in four goals, finishing fourth-best in the league.

Melbourne is soaring into the Finals Series after clinching the regular season with a 7-2-3 overall record for 24 points. Christine Nairn finished the regular season with four assists, good for second-best across the league. Nairn was also second for chances created this season with 31.

NWSL players dominated in chances created across the board. Kerr led the way with 39, followed by Nairn and Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns FC/Sydney FC) each with 31 chances created respectively, Hill (29), Elizabeth Addo, who played for Reign FC before being waived this week, created 25 chances, Yuki Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars/Brisbane Roar) created 25 chances, Elise Kellond-Knight (Reign FC/Melbourne City FC) had 25 too, Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars/Perth Glory) created 24 chances and then Theresa Nielson (Reign FC/Melbourne City FC) created 23 chances.

The other semifinal match features Brisbane Roar vs. Sydney FC. Brisbane Roar have Nagasato (Chicago Red Stars), Clare Polkinghorne (Houston Dash), Carson Pickett (Orlando Pride), Chioma Ubogogu (Orlando Pride), Celeste Boureille (Portland Thorns FC) and Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns FC).

Sydney FC also are properly stacked with NWSL players in Sofia Huerta (Houston Dash), Savannah McCaskill (Sky Blue FC), Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns FC), Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride) and Aubrey Bledsoe (Washington Spirit).

Sydney FC return to the W-League Final Series for their 11th consecutive season. Foord scored nine goals in 12 appearances this season, second-best in the league. Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe finished the regular season with 45 saves in 11 appearances, third highest in the W-League.

Brisbane Roar finished in second place in the regular season with 20 points and a 6-4-2 overall record, and Sydney FC finished just behind them in the standings with 19 points and a 6-5-1 overall record. Carson Pickett finished third-highest in the W-League regular season with 63 crosses in 11 appearances.


In addition to all the NWSL players gearing up for the Finals Series, the other five W-League teams also featured NWSL talent. Melbourne City FC Women, who won the last three Grand Finals, have a handful of Reign FC players on the roster: Lauren BarnesSteph Catley, Elise Kellond-Knight, Theresa NielsenJasmyne SpencerJodie Taylor and Lydia Williams. Additionally, Kyah Simon (Houston Dash) also played for Melbourne City this past season, but recently underwent ankle reconstruction surgery.

Melbourne finished the season in fifth place with a 6-5-1 overall record for 19 points.

Reign FC forward Jasmyne Spencer scored four goals in 11 appearances to lead her team.

Adelaide United Women finished the regular season in fourth place with a 5-4-3 record for 18 points. Houston Dash defender Amber Brooks and forward Veronica Latsko played for them this season, along with Utah Royals FC forward Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir. Latsko scored nine goals in 12 appearances for Adelaide, which put her in a three-way tie for second-most goals across the league. Amber Brooks led her side in assists with three in 12 appearances.

Four NWSL players, Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit), Britt Eckerstrom (Portland Thorns FC), Emily van Egmond (Orlando Pride) and Katie Stengel (Utah Royals FC) played for the Newcastle Jets this season, however Smith and Stengel both suffered injuries in December. Smith tore her ACL while playing for Newcastle against Perth Glory, and Stengel suffered an ankle injury that has kept her sidelined in a boot. Newcastle finished in seventh place with a 5-6-1 overall record for 16 points.

Eckerstrom finished the regular season with the most saves across the league with 61 in 12 appearances for Newcastle.

Canberra United and the Western Sydney Wanderers sit at the bottom of the W-League ladder after 14 weeks. Canberra United finished in eighth place with a 3-5-4 record for 13 points, while the Western Sydney Wanderers won one game this season and finished at 1-10-1 for four points. Canberra featured three NWSL players in Denise O’Sullivan (North Carolina Courage), Ellie Carpenter (Portland Thorns FC) and Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals FC). The Western Sydney Wanderers had a duo of Utah Royals FC players on their roster in Lo’eau LaBonta and Sydney Miramontez.


The W-League shared a guide to watching the Finals Series.

Notebook: Dagny Brynjarsdottir’s back for Portland, plus more news across the NWSL

The latest NWSL news

In 2017, Brynjarsdottir played in 11 games (6 starts), recording one assist. (Photo credit: Craig Mitchelldyer/isiphotos.com)

On Monday, the Washington Spirit announced that they have re-signed forward Cali Farquharson ahead of the 2019 NWSL season. Farquharson has made 31 appearances for the Spirit since being drafted in 2016 out of Arizona State University.


Portland Thorns FC also announced a re-signing to start the week. Midfielder Dagny Brynjarsdottir has re-signed with the Thorns following the birth of her son. Brynjarsdottir played previously in Portland in 2016 and 2017, with 28 appearances and 17 starts.

“We are excited to welcome Dagny back to Portland,” Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons said in the team’s press release. “She is a tenacious and energetic central midfielder who provided plenty of versatility during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. We love Dagny’s winning mentality and her desire to be the best she can be each day. She knows this club inside out and is an important addition ahead of the 2019 season.”


The Football Ferns announced that they will play Norway in two international friendlies in Spain in April. Tom Sermanni’s New Zealand squad will take on Norway in Marbella on April 5 and April 9 in preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Last week the Ferns named their squad for the inaugural Cup of Nations in Australia next month. North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg will make her official return from international retirement. Rosie White (Chicago Red Stars) and Katie Bowen (Utah Royals FC) will also represent the NWSL on the roster.

 


The NWSL Players’ Association announced on Monday that they will hold their first ever auction with proceeds benefiting the PA and players of the NWSL.

Big moves for Reign FC: New venue, new city, new minority owners

Reign FC will play home games at Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, beginning this season

Seattle Reign FC announced Wednesday that it will move to Tacoma, Washington and play home matches in Cheney Stadium beginning in 2019. Also, the club will now be known as Reign FC.

Cheney Stadium, built in 1960, is also home to the Tacoma Rainiers of Minor League Baseball and Tacoma Defiance (formerly Seattle Sounders FC 2) of the United Soccer League. The Tacoma Defiance began playing their home games at Cheney Stadium in 2018. Cheney Stadium has a capacity of 6,500, with a grass field playing surface.

“We spent a lot of time inside Cheney Stadium to imagine the matchday experience we could provide,” Reign FC owner and president Bill Predmore said in the team’s press release announcing the changes. “We can say with certainty that the experience our players and fans will have at Cheney Stadium will be an exponential jump from what we could deliver at Memorial Stadium.”

Predmore continued: “We worked incredibly hard over the past year to find a solution that would allow us to continue playing our home matches in Seattle, but the requirements imposed by the NWSL limited our options. … Out of these challenging circumstances arose an opportunity that fills us with great optimism for our future.”

In addition to the new name and new venue, the ownership group of Reign FC will expand. The operating group of the Rainiers and Defiance, which is led by Rainiers chairman and CEO Mikal Thomsen, will take a minority ownership stake in Reign FC. Also, Seattle Sounders FC owner Adrian Hanauer and his mother, Lenore Hanauer, will make a separate minority investment in Reign FC.

“Adrian and Lenore have both been supportive of our club since its inception, so we are excited to welcome them to the Reign FC ownership group,” Predmore said. “The renewed strength of the ownership group will provide long-term stability, support and strategic leadership that will ensure that Reign FC is able to achieve success both on and off the pitch.”

Predmore made the announcement at a press conference at Cheney Stadium, alongside Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe. They were joined by Thomsen, Tacoma mayor Victoria Woodards, Rainers president and owner Aaron Artman and Seattle Sounders GM and president of soccer Garth Lagerwey, among others, as part of a larger announcement about sports in Tacoma.

“Can you believe that right here in Tacoma we’re getting a professional women’s soccer team?” Woodards said after announcing the news. “Let’s be frank with one another. Women have not always gotten the most investment in sports, but here in Tacoma, we’re going to get it right. We’re making investments, not just in the sport, but in the women who play the sport, and they deserve to play in spaces that are just as great as the fields and stadiums that we have built for men’s sports teams and that’s what we’ll do in Tacoma. So those of you who know me, know that I say, we can’t do it alone. We’ve got to make this successful together. So let’s all come together. It’s already happening, but let’s make sure that in Tacoma, it is the most successful in the country and we can do that together.”

Artman said at Wednesday’s press conference that Reign FC will train at Foss High School in Tacoma.

“I’ll speak on behalf the team. [I] had conversations with different players, kind of wrapping our head around the move. We genuinely are so excited about this move. I think we see the huge upside and potential that this can offer our club. Everyone is really thrilled to, first of all, play on grass. This is going to add five years to my career,” Rapinoe said with a smile. “It seems like a huge opportunity for the club and to grow the game and for women’s football in general.”

Predmore said the name change to “Reign FC” is to represent the entire region. “Tacoma will be our home, but we’ll invest significant effort to retain our connection to Seattle and the Eastside,” he said in the press release.

Predmore also expressed excitement about the move to Tacoma, a city located on Puget Sound south of Seattle, and the potential that the city and the new partnerships hold for Reign FC. Sounders FC and the Rainiers previously reached an agreement to build a new facility in Tacoma, a 5,000 seat venue on the Cheney Stadium site. Reign FC said that the Metro Parks Tacoma Board and Tacoma City Council have approved feasibility studies of the project, and those studies are underway.

“Over the last year we spent a significant amount of time with the group operating the Rainiers and Sounders FC’s USL squad. We found their vision for growing the game in Tacoma extremely compelling. The more we talked, the more we believed Tacoma could be an ideal long-term option for our organization,” he said.

“Tacoma is a city on the rise. It has an understated charm, many areas of undeniable beauty, and has incredible potential to be the next great city in the Pacific Northwest. It ultimately became clear that Tacoma was the best possible option for our organization.”

Earlier this month, Reign FC announced a new presenting jersey partner in Zulily, a Seattle based online retailer. Zulily will also be the front jersey sponsor for Seattle Sounders FC.

Additionally, the Reign FC online store is live with new 2019 Reign FC merchandise. Fans can visit ReignFCshop.com to shop.

Fans can also visit reignfc.com/tickets to place a deposit on season tickets. The 2019 NWSL season will kick off the weekend of April 13-14.

“We are the newest citizens of the Tacoma community, so we’ll do everything we can to help the city realize its full potential. We are thrilled to call the city our new home.”

In an open letter posted on their website, written by Bill and Teresa Predmore, they addressed Reign FC fans and explained the changes. They also said the team plans to hold free open training sessions in Seattle each month.

“We truly believe the best is yet to come, and we are hopeful that you will continue to support Reign FC as we make this incredible journey forward,” they wrote. [Read the full letter]

Spirit, Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington announce broadcast partnership

The broadcast partnership will provide local TV and digital broadcasts of a minimum of 12 Spirit games

The Spirit finished the 2018 NWSL season in eighth place. (Photo credit: Tony Quinn/isiphotos.com)

On Wednesday, the Washington Spirit announced a new broadcast partnership with Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington for the 2019 NWSL season. The broadcast partnership will provide local TV and digital broadcasts of a minimum of 12 Spirit games during the upcoming season.

The full broadcast schedule for the 2019 season will be provided in the coming weeks, after the NWSL regular season schedule is announced. 

“On the day I was hired I said we were going to greatly improve the Washington Spirit experience for our players and fans. Our partnership with Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington is part of fulfilling this commitment,” Washington Spirit CEO Larry Best said in the team’s press release. “Our fans will have greater access to viewing our matches, and our players will have unprecedented exposure for their world-class play on the field. I’m proud that the Spirit are the first NWSL club to establish this type of partnership and I am delighted that our brand is associated with the best in the business. It doesn’t get better than Monumental Sports Network and NBC Sports Washington.”

The Spirit will also work with MSN and NBC Sports Washington on additional cross-promotional activities—promising new original content on the team on and off the field.

“This agreement with Monumental Sports and NBC Sports Washington is truly groundbreaking,” Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan said. “My teammates and I value every avenue for enhancing the bond with our fans and this partnership enables us to take it to another level.”

Notebook: Erceg back with Ferns; W-League highlights; Naho thanks Seattle

The latest NWSL news

Courage defender Abby Erceg was the 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

Football Ferns head coach (and former Orlando Pride head coach) Tom Sermanni has named his squad for the inaugural Cup of Nations in Australia next month. North Carolina Courage defender Abby Erceg has made her official return from international retirement, and other NWSL players named to the roster are Rosie White (Chicago Red Stars) and Katie Bowen (Utah Royals FC).


As the W-League approaches the final stretch of the season, NWSL players continue to shine. Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr is not only the NWSL’s all-time leading scorer with 59 goals, but added another record to her career as she became the all-time leading scorer in the W-League over the weekend with 64 goals.

Portland Thorns FC forward Hayley Raso earned her first start over the weekend for the Brisbane Roar in the W-League after recovering from a serious back injury for the past few months. In her return to the starting lineup, Raso also managed to chip in a goal just 18 minutes into the match.


In continuation of the special relationship between Seattle Reign FC and Nahomi Kawasumi, Kawasumi issued a lengthy heartfelt tribute to her time in Seattle. Earlier this month, Sky Blue FC acquired the midfielder from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for forward Shea Groom.

“For me,” Kawasumi said, “my time at Seattle Reign FC is like my treasure. I cherish my memories with you forever. I love Seattle Reign FC so much, and of course it’s so hard to leave the team I love so much. However, my goal is to keep getting better as a player, I think I still have a lot of room to grow and to get to another level higher, I made a decision to leave the team even though it was very tough decision.”

Her former teammates certainly appreciated the message, but Jess Fishlock also pointed to the culture built by Reign FC in a tweet. “Not only does this show just how amazing NAHO is and why we all love her. But perhaps – also shows how great Reign FC is .. the Organisation .. the Culture it creates to have these WORLD CLASS players not only thrive .. but also have it mean so much to them.”


The Orlando Pride waived defender Poliana last week. According to the Pride press release, Poliana expressed a desire to return to Brazil after the 2018 NWSL season and the two sides mutually agreed to the move.

Player Insight

The 2019 NWSL College Draft picks share their thoughts on playing in the NWSL

(Left to right) Kayla McCoy, Tegan McGrady and Paige Monaghan. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

The 2019 NWSL College Draft picks share who they are most looking forward to sharing the field with in the NWSL.

Featuring: Kayla Sharples (Chicago Red Stars), Emily Ogle (Portland Thorns FC), Marisa Viggiano (Orlando Pride), Ally Prisock (Houston Dash), CeCe Kizer (Houston Dash), Paige Monaghan (Sky Blue FC), Lauren Milliet (North Carolina Courage), Kayla McCoy (Houston Dash), Jordan DiBiasi (Washington Spirit), Tegan McGrady (Washington Spirit), Sam Staab (Washington Spirit) and Jazmin Jackmon (Houston Dash).

Watch more Player Insight videos on our YouTube Playlist.

Press goal lifts USWNT to 1-0 win over Spain

The USWNT gets their first win of 2019

Christen Press scored the game's only goal in the U.S. win over Spain on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

After a loss on Saturday to France, the United States ground out a 1-0 win over Spain on Tuesday at Estadio José Rico Pérez in Alicante. Both teams are headed to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and could meet again this summer — but Tuesday’s game marked the first time the countries had ever played each other. It’s also the first time the U.S. has ever played in Spain.

Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press gave the USWNT the 1-0 lead in the 54th minute with an impressive individual effort. After receiving a pass from Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle several yards shy of the midfield line, Press sprinted the more than half the field and bent a short around goalkeeper Sandra Paños. Spain defender Andrea Pereira tried to clear the ball, but it rolled over the line.

North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni came on in the 69th minute to replace Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz. It’s Zerboni’s first game since breaking her left elbow in September in a USWNT game vs. Chile. Zerboni missed the NWSL playoffs and the Concacaf Women’s Championship due to the injury.

Pride forward Alex Morgan came into the game sitting on 98 goals, and nearly had her 99th in the 80th minute, but Paños hit the long-range effort over the crossbar.

Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe wowed fans with a bicycle kick in the 13th minute as she served the ball into a dangerous area of the box, but it was just out of the reach of Ertz and Morgan, and the U.S. was unable to capitalize on it.

Rapinoe, Ertz and Heath all missed Saturday’s loss to France due to precautionary reasons, but were back in the starting line-up on Tuesday.

The USWNT will next be in action when the SheBelieves Cup begins on February 27.


Starting XI vs. Spain: Alyssa Naeher, Emily Sonnett, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn, Crystal Dunn, Julie Ertz, Lindsey Horan, Rose Lavelle, Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. The available subs: Samantha Mewis, Carli Lloyd, Mallory Pugh, Tierna Davidson, Jessica McDonald, Christen Press, Ashlyn Harris, McCall Zerboni and Andi Sullivan.

Sinclair scores 178th international goal as Canada opens up 2019 with win over Norway

Sinclair is now six goals from tying Abby Wambach for most international goals in history

Christine Sinclair scored her 178th international goal on Tuesday, as Canada beat Norway 1-0 in a friendly at La Manga Stadium in Spain. The win comes in Canada’s first official match of the 2019 calendar year as they prepare for the summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

Canada, ranked No. 5 in the world, and Norway, ranked No. 13 in the world are both headed to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, so the match was an important tune-up for the tournament.

Sinclair’s goal came in the 66th minute. Jenna Hellstrom crossed the ball into the box and Sinclair found herself open. The Portland Thorns FC forward headed the ball down and to the far post for the game’s only goal. Hellstrom earned the assist just a minute after subbing into the match.

Sinclair now has 178 career international goals, just six behind U.S. legend Abby Wambach’s record of 184. She also earned her 275th international cap in the match, good for fourth all-time.

Sinclair’s first goal ever, coincidentally, came against Norway in just her second cap.

Five NWSL players started in the match: Christine Sinclair, Allysha Chapman, Shelina Zadorsky, Desiree Scott and Nichelle Prince. Rebecca Quinn entered the match as a sub in the second half.

Before her goal, Sinclair had the game’s best chance in the 14th minute. On a ball served into the box, she scooped a left-footed shot from close range, but Norway goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth was able to make the save.

Canada will next be in action in February at the Algarve Cup and will play Iceland and Scotland in their first two games.

 

 

 

 

 

USWNT falls to France, snapping 28-game unbeaten streak

The loss is the United States' first since the summer of 2017

Kadidiatou Diani scored twice for France in a 3-1 win over the United States on Saturday night. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

In the end, it just wasn’t the United States’ night as they fell 3-1 to France to open the 2019 schedule. The loss snapped a 28-game winning streak that began after their loss to Australia in the summer of 2017. The United States had gone 25-0-3 during that streak before Saturday night’s loss.

In a preview of a possible quarterfinal match at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, No. 3 ranked France and the No. 1 ranked United States met in Le Havre in France in front of a sold-out crowd.

France largely controlled the match from start to finish. It was the first friendly of the year for both national teams, but France’s players are well into their club seasons, while the U.S. players are in the NWSL offseason.

France got off to a flying start and scored the game’s opening goal in the 9th minute. Delphine Cascarino torched down the right sideline and around Emily Fox, starting at left back. Cascarino’s pass went into the center of the box, and as Morgan Brian slipped, Kadidiatou Diani turned and slotted far post and past Alyssa Naeher to give France the early lead.

The match marked the third USWNT cap for Fox, the only college and non-NWSL player on the roster for this January camp and friendlies.

The French crowd was loud and boisterous throughout the match, a glimpse of the atmosphere that we can expect for the World Cup which begins in June. Stade Océane in Le Havre is one of nine venues for the tournament, and the United States will next play there on June 20 in their group stage finale vs. Sweden.

Diani scored her second goal of the night in the 57th minute, a brilliant floating chip over Naeher from the right wing. Diani ran onto a pass over the backline, and hit it first-time for the goal.

In between the two strikes, France had several other chances to add to their lead. They tried a replay of their opening goal in the 27th minute, but this time Brian was able to clear the ball out of danger after Diani flicked it towards Gaëtane Thiney.

Marion Torrent found the head of Eugénie Le Sommer with a cross in the 30th minute, but Naeher stopped the shot and there were no French players close enough to pick up the rebound.

Naeher came up with another big save in the 39th minute, pushing a point-blank shot from Diani out of bounds.

The United States had one of their best offensive chances in the 42nd minute after a weak clearance in the box from France, but goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi was able to catch Lindsey Horan‘s header.

Le Sommer had another chance in the 51st minute after former Portland Thorns FC midfielder Amandine Henry stole a ball in the midfield and passed to Le Sommer. But the French forward, who scored vs. the U.S. the last time these teams met in 2018, saw her hard shot go wide.

In the 53rd minute, Tierna Davidson subbed in for Fox and took over as the left back. The game was Davidson’s first since being drafted last week with the No. 1 overall pick by the Chicago Red Stars after leaving Stanford early to join the league. It was also her first competitive game since injuring her ankle last fall while in college.

Crystal Dunn, who usually starts at left back for the USWNT, started in the midfield on the night. She slipped back into the right back spot after Carli Lloyd subbed in for Emily Sonnett in the 70th minute.

Marie-Antoinette Katoto scored the home side’s third goal in the 78th minute to seal the win.

Mallory Pugh scored a consolation goal for the U.S. in second half stoppage time to break the shutout.

The U.S. will next be in action on Tuesday when they face Spain.


Saturday’s starting XI: Alyssa Naeher, Emily Sonnett, Abby Dahlkemper, Becky Sauerbrunn, Emily Fox, Morgan Brian, Lindsey Horan, Crystal Dunn, Mallory Pugh, Alex Morgan and Christen Press. The available subs: Samantha Mewis, Carli Lloyd, Tierna Davidson, Rose Lavelle, Jessica McDonald, Adrianna Franch, Danielle Colaprico, McCall Zerboni and Andi Sullivan.

U.S. Soccer tweeted that Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, Casey Short and Julie Ertz missed the game due to minor injuries and said that Kelley O’Hara was not yet match fit following offseason ankle injury.

Sights and Sounds from the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Highlights from the 2019 NWSL College Draft in Chicago

 

The best moments from the 2019 NWSL College Draft:


More 2019 NWSL College Draft content:

 


Watch the full 2019 NWSL College Draft:

 

After celebrating on draft day, Maria Sánchez is ready to get to work in Chicago

Sánchez was drafted by the Red Stars in the second round of the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Maria Sánchez recorded 16 assists for Santa Clara in 2018. (Photo courtesy: Santa Clara Athletics/Don Jedlovec)

Idaho native and Santa Clara forward Maria Sánchez didn’t attend the 2019 NWSL College Draft in Chicago, but the moment she was selected caught the attention of many. In a widely-shared video, Sánchez learned she would be drafted by the Chicago Red Stars while surrounded by her Santa Clara teammates as they watched the draft broadcast on a large television in the team lounge.

“They were heading out to practice and I was watching the draft in the team lounge. Right before practice started, we were all just there watching the draft and stuff. That’s when I got the call saying that I was going to be picked. [Santa Clara athletic trainer Sean Shahmirzadi] started recording and it was just perfect timing.”

When Red Stars head coach Rory Dames called to let Sánchez know she’d be getting selected, she admits it was a whirlwind of emotions.

“He was talking to me and he said, ‘Your name’s about to be announced.’ I was just in disbelief and then my teammates were all looking at me. It was just crazy,” she said.

In December, Sánchez announced on social media that she had graduated from Santa Clara, and would continue to pursue her dream of playing professional soccer. Shortly after, she declared for the NWSL College Draft, where she was selected in the second round, 15th overall, by the Chicago Red Stars.

“It’s exciting to see how many talented players they have and how they’ve done the last few seasons. They’re always one of the top teams,” she said of the Red Stars. “So, the fact that they believe in me and to have an opportunity to play with them — it’s just one in a million for me.”

Sánchez already feels a connection with her new team, as some Mexican internationals are part of the current squad (Katie Johnson and Christina Murillo) and Santa Clara alums have played or currently play in Chicago (Leslie Osborne, Sofia Huerta, Julie Ertz).

“Just seeing the team history and the current roster. It’s crazy to think that I have the chance to play there,” she said.

Her particular skill set of whipping in crosses with a strong left foot — coupled with experience at the international level — had Sánchez on several mock boards when draft day arrived.

“I practice a lot on that. Perfecting my crosses and making sure that I can give good [service] to my teammates,” Sánchez said. “So, I think that’s one of my stronger [attributes]. Obviously, it’s hard to find a left-footer. It’s rarer to find a left-footer. So, I think that’s helped me a lot.”

The 22-year-old winger led all NCAA Division I colleges and universities in assists with 16 during the 2018 season, and believes she can make an impact at the professional level.

“Some of my coaches that I’ve had, they’ve really complimented my left foot, and being able to cross the ball and assist my teammates,” she said.  “I think everybody loves scoring goals, but for me, one of my [skills] that makes me really happy is assisting.”

The Mexican international has represented El Tri since she was a teenager. She participated in her first senior level Women’s World Cup back in 2015 when she was only 19 years old, and she wowed the soccer community when she participated in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

Back in October, Mexico had a disappointing and shocking elimination during the 2018 Concacaf Women’s World Cup qualifiers, and will miss next summer’s tournament in France. Now, Sánchez is kicking off the new year by being drafted into the NWSL and named to Mexico’s Cyprus Cup roster. She’s looking forward to continuing her professional soccer career, and believes an opportunity in the NWSL can have an impact on her game both professionally and at the international level.

“Honestly, I think that sometimes you kind of need that to make you realize anything can happen. And I want to work hard so that hopefully an upset like that doesn’t happen again in my career anymore. … That just gives me motivation to work hard. To be aware of how real it is in soccer to be upset like that,” she said.

“But definitely excited to work hard and hopefully make a change in Mexico’s program. I think being on a team like Chicago will really help me, not just in my professional career, but in my playing with Mexico, and to hopefully improve our outcomes there.”

Sánchez is eager to make the most of her opportunity with the Red Stars, and looking forward to not only competing, but learning through her teammates and their examples.

“I’m really excited about [working with] Julie Ertz, Sam Kerr, Katie Johnson, and everybody. I think being able to learn from them and see their work — the work that they put into the sport, the discipline they have, and just seeing what the life of a professional soccer player is,” she said.

“College is different, you have to attend school and other things to do. I’m excited to see how they manage their day, how they work at practice, and kind of see them as my role models. Hopefully, one day I can be like them.”

Notebook: Morgan, Naeher win Concacaf awards; Spirit sign Crosson; Reign re-sign Yanez, Oyster

The latest NWSL news

Morgan scored five goals for the Pride in 2018. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/isiphotos.com)

Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan won the Concacaf Female Player of the Year award for the third-straight year and Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was named Female Goalkeeper of the Year.

Morgan picked up her fourth Concacaf award (2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018) after leading the U.S. women’s national team to a 5-0-0 record in the 2018 Concacaf Women’s Championship. She finished the year with a team-high 18 goals and added three assists in 19 appearances.

Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan finished in third place for the Female Player of the Year award and Naeher, Horan and Morgan were all named to the Female Best XI along with North Carolina Courage forward Crystal Dunn, Utah Royals FC defender Becky Sauerbrunn and Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair.

The Concacaf awards are determined by national team head coaches, national team captains, media and fans. The awards look at players, coaches and referees who have “excelled in Concacaf and FIFA-sanctioned tournaments involving the Confederation’s national teams and clubs.”


North Carolina Courage defender and the 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year Abby Erceg is available for selection for the Football Ferns. Erceg first made her debut for New Zealand in 2006 and was captain of the team from 2014 to 2017. She has competed at three Olympic Games and three FIFA Women’s World Cups.

“Abby is a world-class and highly-experienced international player,” New Zealand head coach Tom Sermanni said. “To have someone of her ability make herself available for the program as we build to the World Cup is a huge boost for everyone.”

The Football Ferns begin their preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup where they have been drawn in Group E, in which they will face Canada, Cameroon and the Netherlands.


The Washington Spirit announced the signing of defender Megan Crosson. Crosson joins the Spirit after previously logging time as a national team replacement player. Crosson has also spent time with the Houston Dash (2016-2017) and overseas with Speranza FC of Japan and UGD Tenerife of Spain.


Seattle Reign FC announced on Tuesday that they have re-signed forward Beverly Yanez ahead of the 2019 season.

Yanez first joined the Reign from Japan’s INAC Kobe Leonessa for the 2014 NWSL season before signing with Seattle ahead of the 2015 season. Yanez helped the Reign win the Shield back-to-back in 2014 and 2015 and has scored 23 goals over her five seasons in Seattle.

“Bev is a truly special player, both on and off the pitch,” Reign FC owner and president Bill Predmore said in a press release. “Her incredible work ethic, understanding of the game, and relentless positivity have made her a huge contributor to our success over the past five seasons.”

On Wednesday, the Reign announced the re-signing of defender Megan Oyster for the 2019 season. Seattle picked up Oyster in the NWSL Dispersal Draft on January 30, 2018. With the Reign, Oyster started in 21 games and helped the Reign earn 12 clean sheets last season.

“Megan was an important addition to our defense last season,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski in the Reign press release. “She’s a strong, steady defender and I’m looking forward to seeing her build on her success in 2019.”


In international news, Jamaica named their January training camp roster and Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews and former Spirit forward Havana Solaun were named to the roster. Kayla McCoy, who was recently selected by the Houston Dash at the 2019 NWSL College Draft out of Duke University, was also called into camp.


Wales announced their squad that will face Italy and Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock was named to the roster.

Amanda Duffy named President of NWSL

Duffy will continue to oversee all aspects of the league’s day-to-day operations

Amanda Duffy at the 2019 NWSL College Draft. (Photo credit: Robin Alam/isiphotos.com)

The National Women’s Soccer League issued the following news release on Tuesday afternoon:

 

AMANDA DUFFY NAMED PRESIDENT OF NWSL

CHICAGO (Jan. 15, 2019) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today that Amanda Duffy has been named President of the NWSL. Duffy joined the NWSL in January 2017 as Managing Director of Operations prior to being named Managing Director for the league in 2018.

In her new role as President, the highest office of NWSL, she will continue to oversee all aspects of the league’s day-to-day operations and will work closely with the league’s owners on the strategic direction and objectives for NWSL as it continues to grow and raise standards for the sport on a global basis.

“Amanda has been instrumental in operating the league as Managing Director,” said North Carolina Courage Owner and Executive Committee Chair Steve Malik. “She’s an extremely talented professional and we feel that she will continue to foster the league’s growth as President. As we look to the future, her experience and talents are a great fit for taking the league to the next level.”

Duffy was a driving influence with the launch of NWSL Media, the commercial arm of NWSL, as well as with the development of the historic partnership between the league and A+E Networks. She presently holds a seat on the NWSL Media Board of Directors.  

“I would like to thank the NWSL Board for its support and confidence in me,” said Duffy. “The NWSL has made significant strides over the past six seasons thanks to the world class talent of our players, the vision of our owners and the commitment by everyone associated with the league to make NWSL the global destination for the very best in women’s professional soccer.  Add to that the remarkable support from our fans, sponsors and media partners, and we’ve built an outstanding foundation that all of us can work from to realize the extraordinary promise of NWSL and each of our teams.”

Duffy previously worked for Louisville City FC – rising through the ranks of the United Soccer League (USL) club which she joined as the vice president of operations in October 2014 before being promoted to general manager in December 2014 and ultimately being tapped to serve as president in November 2015.  She also spent more than seven years at the league headquarters for the USL, where she worked in a number of areas in connection with USL PRO and USL W-League – including strategic planning, league management, and other administrative roles.  

 


Sky Blue acquire Kawasumi from Reign FC in exchange for Groom

Kawasumi spent four seasons with the Reign

Kawasumi (left), Groom (right)

Sky Blue FC acquired midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi from Seattle Reign FC in exchange for forward Shea Groom, the clubs announced on Monday evening.

Kawasumi first joined the Reign in 2014 on loan from Japanese club INAC Kobe Leonessa. Kawasumi spent four seasons total with the Reign, having earned a full contract from Seattle in 2016. Kawasumi played in 68 games for the Reign and scored 18 career goals.

“Nahomi has had over a decade of experience with the Japanese national team and her international experience alone is a huge asset for us,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said in a press release. “In addition, she has had proven success in this league, success that we believe will transfer here to Sky Blue.”

“I will play for Sky Blue FC this season,” Kawasumi said. “I am looking forward to playing with my new teammates. I will do my best for Sky Blue and will cooperate with the team for the championship and I’m very happy for you to call me ‘Naho’ when you cheer for me.”

Kawasumi shared the following statement regarding her departure from Seattle:

“Hello, our precious fans of Seattle Reign FC. I am going to play for Sky Blue FC this season. I tried to do my first challenge to play outside Japan in U.S.A. Seattle Reign FC gave me such a feeling that playing in NWSL is so fun!! My teammates, coaches, staff, fans, and the city of Seattle has been the best for me. Although I’m very sad to leave my favorite club, please say hello again because we are friends forever. I hope Seattle Reign FC will achieve a good outcome. I appreciate all of you, Seattle.”


Groom’s will be reunited with her former FC Kansas City coach, Vlatko Andonovski, in his second season as head coach for Reign FC. Groom has been in the NWSL since 2015 and has played 75 games between her time at FCKC in 2015 and 2016, and Sky Blue FC for the past two seasons. The forward has scored 19 goals in her professional career and scored two goals in 2018 with Sky Blue.

“I’m thrilled to be working with Shea again,” Andonovski said in a press release. “She’s a very talented player. She was an impactful player for me in Kansas City and I know she’ll fit in well in Seattle.”

“I’m both humbled and honored to join the Reign family,” said Groom. “It’s an incredible organization that breeds success in this league and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Courage head coach Paul Riley signs multi-year contract

Riley is a two-time NWSL Coach of the Year

Riley led the Courage to an 17-1-6 record in 2018. (Photo credit: Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com)

The North Carolina Courage have signed NWSL Coach of the Year Paul Riley to a multi-year contract, the club announced on Monday.

Riley led the Courage to a historic treble in 2018, winning the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup (ICC), the NWSL Shield and the NWSL Championship. The Courage closed out the 2018 season with a 17-1-6 record and set NWSL regular seasons records for most wins (17), points (57), fewest losses (1), most goals scored (53), fewest goals allowed (17), goals against average (.71) and largest goal differential (+36).

Riley joined the Courage from Western New York Flash (2016). In the team’s first season, went on to lead the Courage to the NWSL Shield in 2017. Riley was named the NWSL Coach of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

“We are thrilled to have Paul continue to guide the team,” North Carolina Football Club President and GM Curt Johnson said in a press release. “Paul is a consummate professional who has built a strong, winning culture within the Courage. We look forward to having him lead the team with continued success for years to come.”

As for Riley, he considers it a “tremendous honor” to continue on in North Carolina, as he said in the official release for his new contract. “Steve Malik is a visionary who completely understands the fantastic growth in the women’s game. Courage country is a special place. We have an amazing group of talented players who are willing to walk the wire in the clouds. They have given me the Courage to follow them. It’s an exhilarating time at the club and our fanbase is second to none. I’m looking forward to the challenge of a World Cup year and we have a motivated staff who will strain every sinew they have to service the team and make the club successful.”

The club also announced that Bobby Hammond (VP of Operations) will also assume the title of Assistant General Manager for the Courage.

Notebook: Gibbons announces retirement; Kgatlana named CAF Player of the Year; England roster announced

The latest NWSL news

Gibbons played two seasons in the NWSL (Photo credit: Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com)

Over the weekend, Sky Blue FC defender Christina Gibbons announced her retirement from professional soccer.

Gibbons joined Sky Blue ahead of the 2018 season after playing her rookie city with FC Kansas City. Gibbons was picked up by the New Jersey club via trade from Utah Royals FC ahead of the 2018 season which sent Kelley O’Hara and Taylor Lytle to Utah in exchange for Gibbons and Shea Groom.

With Sky Blue, Gibbons played in 18 games for 1,430 minutes. The defender made 34 clearances, 29 interceptions and 13 blocks.

Gibbons posted her decision to retire on her Instagram on Saturday.

Last week, Houston Dash forward Thembi Kgatlana was named the 2018 African Women’s Player of the Year.

 


England named their 28-player roster for their first training camp of the year. Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly, Orlando Pride forward Chioma Ubogagu and Seattle Reign FC forward Jodie Taylor were all named to the roster.

The Lionesses will travel to Aspire Academy in Doha to begin their training for the SheBelieves Cup in February and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.


On Jan. 11, the Washington Spirit announced that they have waived goalkeeper Kelsey Wys. According to the press release, Wys requested to be waived to pursue opportunities overseas. Wys made one appearance in goal for the Spirit in 2018.

Orlando Pride announce Marc Skinner as head coach

Skinner will lead the Pride in their fourth season in the NWSL

Skinner to be second-ever head coach in Orlando Pride history. (Photo credit: Orlando Pride)

The Orlando Pride have hired Marc Skinner as head coach for the 2019 NWSL season, the team announced on Monday.

Skinner joins the Pride as the second-ever head coach in club history. Before coming to the NWSL, Skinner spent the last two and half seasons as the manager at Birmingham City Women F.C. of England’s FA Women’s Super League.

“I want to thank the Orlando City SC organization for giving me the opportunity to lead the Pride ahead of the 2019 NWSL season,” Skinner said in a press release. “I believe that this is one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’m excited to see what the group can bring to this league, and my staff and I will work hard to give them the direction to reach new heights.”

“Marc will bring a breath of fresh air to the Pride through his modern approach to the game while instilling a foundation of principles to build from. He is both an innovative and progressive manager. We have an incredible opportunity in 2019 and beyond, and we are confident that Marc has the ability to create a winning culture with the Pride,” Orlando Pride General Manager Erik Ustruck said.

Skinner is also a UEFA “A” License holder.

The Pride finished the 2018 NWSL season in seventh place with an overall record of 8-10-6. Skinner and the Pride will begin their fourth season as a club in the NWSL in April.

Skinner’s support staff will be announced at a later date.

Canada names January roster

Nine NWSL players were named to the roster

Prince scored one goal for the Dash in 2018. (Photo credit:

Canada soccer has named their 2019 January camp roster ahead of their two matches in Europe later this month. Canada will take on Switzerland on Jan. 17 and Norway on Jan. 22 in La Manga.

Nine NWSL players were named to the training camp roster ahead of the two matches in Spain.

Sabrina D’Angelo (North Carolina Courage), Kailen Sheridan (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Agnew (Houston Dash), Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash), Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride), Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit), Desiree Scott (Utah Royals FC), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash) and Christine Sinclair (Portland Thorns FC).

“This year is all about preparing for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, so we are eager to get together in Europe and continue the momentum we built throughout 2018,” head coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller said in a press release. “Switzerland and Norway are both difficult sides, so these two matches will serve as an excellent opportunity to test ourselves against strong European opponents.”

Following the January matches and ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Canada will also compete in the Algarve Cup in February. Their first match is against Iceland on Feb. 27.

Canada Soccer Women’s National Team January 2019 Roster 

Stephanie Labbe, age 32, from Stony Plain, AB/ Linköpings FC (Damallsvenskan)
Allysha Chapman, age 29, from Courtice, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Kadeisha Buchanan, age 23, from Brampton, ON/ Olympique Lyonnais (Division 1 Féminine France)
Shelina Zadorsky, age 26, from London, ON/ Orlando Pride (NWSL)
Rebecca Quinn, age 23, from Toronto, ON/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)
Deanne Rose, age 19, from Alliston, ON/ University of Florida Gators (NCAA)
Julia Grosso, age 18, from Vancouver, BC / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
Jordyn Huitema, age 17, from Chilliwack, BC/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
Ashley Lawrence, age 23, from Caledon, ON/Paris Saint Germain (Division 1 Féminine France)
Desiree Scott, age 31, from Winnipeg, MB/ Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
Christine Sinclair ( C ), age 35, from Burnaby, BC/ Portland Thorns (NWSL)
Sophie Schmidt, age 30, from Abbotsford, BC
Nichelle Prince, age 23, from Ajax, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Janine Beckie, age 24, from Highlands Ranch, CO/ Manchester City (FA Women’s Super League)
Jessie Fleming, age 20, from London, ON/UCLA (NCAA)
Sabrina D’Angelo, age 25, from Welland, ON/North Carolina Courage (NWSL)
Adriana Leon, age 26, from King City, ON
Shannon Woeller, age 28, from Vancouver, BC/ Eskilstuna United DFF (Damallsvenskan)
Kailen Sheridan, age 23, from Whitby, ON/ Sky Blue FC (NWSL)
Lindsay Agnew, age 23, from Kingston, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Jayde Riviere, age 17, from Markham, ON/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (Ontario)
Jenna Hellstrom, age 23, from Sudbury, ON/ Växjö DFF (Damallsvenskan)
Vanessa Gilles, 22, from Ottawa, ON/ Les Girondins de Bordeaux (Division 1 Féminine France)

 

Homecoming for the Chicago Red Stars

The Red Stars welcomed seven new players at the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Davison was selected

The Chicago Red Stars were right at home at the 2019 NWSL College Draft on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

The Red Stars welcomed seven new players to their team for the 2019 season – including the first overall pick, Tierna Davidson out of Stanford University.

Red Stars head coach Rory Dames said getting Davidson was “like another Christmas present.” Luckily for Dames and the Red Stars, their tree had plenty of presents under it at this year’s draft. In addition to picking up the 2018 U.S. Soccer Young Female Player of the Year, the Red Stars also selected Maria Sanchez (No. 15 overall) from the University of Santa Clara, Bianca St. Georges (No. 20 overall) from West Virginia University, Kayla Sharples (No. 26) from Northwestern University, April Bockin (No. 31 overall) from the University of Minnesota, Hannah Davison (No. 33) from Northwestern University and Jenna Szczesny (No. 35 overall) from Loyola University Chicago.

“In a World Cup year having as many good players as you can is important,” Dames told NWSL Media after the draft, “and the fact that Hannah and [Kayla] and Jenna all live here is a huge bonus.”

Davison, Sharples and Szczesny don’t have to worry about venturing to a new city to start their professional careers. The local trio brought a roar of excitement from Red Stars fans in the Skyline Ballroom.

“With Hannah and Kayla, it’s exciting to see it come full circle. I take a lot of pride in watching kids that come through the [Chicago] Eclipse Soccer Club and then gravitate up through to college and have the opportunity to play at this level,” Dames said, as the longtime director of coaching for Chicago Eclipse Soccer Club. “All three of them, which is the bigger thing here, played on our [Chicago Red Stars] reserve team the last two years. The reserve team is an important part of our developmental piece for the Red Stars.”

“I’m so happy to be home. It’s a dream come true to be where I grew up and started playing soccer, where I have the best support system ever in my family. It’s very exciting and I couldn’t be happier,” Sharples said after the draft.

There’s a certain understanding that Dames said these three players already have instilled in them just from being on the reserve team.

“I think the last piece here is that they have been with the Red Stars, so they already know what it’s about so to be able to pull them from the reserve team to our team is exciting and it shows a natural progression.”

The draft picks got a warm welcome from current Red Stars players – longtime Chicago resident and Red Stars midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo attended the draft and couldn’t stop smiling, cheering and feeling slightly envious of the future picks since she never went to her own.

“It’s exciting! Especially that it’s here in Chicago,” DiBernardo told NWSL Media about what her first impression of the event was. “I didn’t go to my draft, so this is actually my first one. So it’s cool to see the set up and it’s exciting for all the girls that entered the draft to hopefully continue their careers.”

That “they already know what it’s about” quote that Dames’ said Davison, Sharples and Szczesny all understand from just coming through the Red Stars reserve team, is something that DiBernardo says has kept her and several of her teammates with the club.

“It’s a great culture here and I love being a part of this team. I think that’s something that you can see within our draft picks — that they just have stuck around. There are a lot of us that are still here from the beginning, so our careers have started and continued at the same club which is really fun.”

DiBernardo was selected No. 4 overall at the 2014 NWSL College Draft by the Red Stars. She joined Dames’ squad after playing for him at the WPSL and club level. That same year, Dames also added another key player to his squad that has stuck around and held down the midfield next to DiBernardo, Julie Ertz. This past season these two led the Red Stars to a 9-5-10 overall record which was good for a fourth place finish.

Whether it’s Ertz blocking and tackling and finding an outlet in DiBernardo to play through to Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr up front, or it’s the the tireless work done all over the field by midfielder Danielle Colaprico to find ways to keep the ball, the Red Stars have a squad of veterans who will continue to work for one another. Both Colaprico and longtime Red Stars defender Arin Gilliland joined the Red Stars at the 2015 NWSL College Draft. Each year, the Red Stars have selected at least one player at the NWSL College Draft that has returned the following year.

Davidson said one of the main reasons she’s excited to come to Chicago is for the special culture.

“They definitely helped me in my decision,” she said of her new Red Stars teammates, in a conference call with reporters after being selected No. 1 overall. Davidson is in Portugal with the U.S. women’s national team, alongside several Red Stars teammates like Ertz and Colaprico. “They gave me a lot of good advice, the inner workings of the team, what the team culture was like, the personality of players on the team and they really helped me take a first person look into the team without actually being there, which was incredibly helpful. They’ve definitely welcomed me in really well and I already feel a part of the team.”

Highlights from panels at the 2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago

Members of the NWSL featured on panels during the convention

Alexi Lalas and Amanda Duffy (Photo credit: Meg Linehan/NWSL Media)

Chicago — Members of the NWSL were featured on panels during the  2019 United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. Highlights from the panels:

 

Champions of Respect: Strategies for Creating LGBTQ Inclusive Teams Education Session

Featuring: Nevin Caple, Ross Duncan, Chris Holmes and Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger

 

On managing it all:

Krieger: A couple people sitting in the audience, that’s how I manage it. I don’t know if I really think twice about it. I know that I have this force within me, this drive to want to be a winner and be successful in everything that I do, and also inspire as many people as I can both young and old and I know through sport I can do that. I think that is just my mentality. This whole process, just going through my career both on and off the field, I try to manage it the best, most professional way I know how and to try and be my authentic self and try to reach as many people and connect with people, because we all are human. Just because I’m a professional player and public figure doesn’t mean I’m not a normal human being, so I really like to try and focus on that aspect of myself in connecting with fans, people, coaches, our administration and organization, and people within soccer. I really think that’s important.

 

Talking about sexuality within a team framework:

Krieger: Penn State, this was the first experience I had with exploring my sexuality and finding my authentic self and fluidity. I never realized I would start having those type of feelings until I reached college, and having that experience that I’m so grateful for. But, going through those experiences and through college and just being on different teams overseas as well, it was never really a thing. It was never really talked about. It was okay. So I feel like in women’s sports it’s very acceptable, more acceptable than in men’s sports. Going through school, we were all very open and honest with each other and I never went through any kind of discrimination, especially within my teammates. I had a handful of other teammates who are part of the LGBTQ community that are also very fluid. It just was never a thing we ever had to talk about it, and I’m just so thankful for that experience because it helped me go through my personal process in finding my truth and being more authentic with myself and sexuality and experiences. I feel very lucky that I had that at Penn State.

 

Advice to someone looking up to you:

Krieger: I think for me, I try to surround myself with really good people growing up, putting myself in challenging situations that help me grow. College did that in all aspects of my life, both personally and professionally. Control what you’re able to control, because you can’t control anybody but yourself and that’s your work ethic in everything that you do.


1 on 1 with Amanda Duffy, NWSL

Featuring: NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy and Alexi Lalas

 

On her day-to-day role and if it’s what a commissioner in the NWSL would do:

 Duffy: It’s not just the commissioner. It’s what does the staff of a league office look like? So, if we look at ours right now at NWSL, we have as of 5 p.m. today, we’ll be at four full-time staff at the NWSL. So I think that anybody can say that’s not what a league office looks and functions like. So do I do things that a commissioner would do? I’m probably doing things that a commissioner would not do just to keep our day-to-day function.

Examples of her day-to-day duties:

Duffy: The processing of our player contracts and player transactions. Everything to do with our players, I’m in the weeds of moving that along right now. We jus recently hired [a] director [of] operations and player affairs, Liz Dalton, who is on board with us so that is going to transition away. Patrick Donnelly, director of communications, today is his last day with the league so why I say at 5 p.m. this afternoon we move to four people. So, in the time being until we fill that gap in the position, I’ll be making sure we cover the media side of our business. So there is day-to-day stuff I’m doing right now because we aren’t resourced in the right way that I don’t think a commissioner would do.

Transition from being a player to the front office:

Duffy: I played at East Carolina University. When I came out of ECU in 2003, I went into camp with the Carolina Courage. 2003 was the last year of WUSA, so I went into camp with them and spent a little more than a month with them and ended up being cut by their roster. Then I had an opportunity to go to China which SARS, the outbreak of SARS, was ongoing at that time, so I decided against going to China. I went to Virginia Beach and played in the USL W-league ,where we had an undefeated season and won the national championship of the W-League. Wonderful season and I was anticipating to be back in camp with the Courage following that season in August, then the league shut its doors. So I was in a position of not really knowing what the future was and I finished undergrad, finished playing in college. I was one of those players that could get to the next level, but maybe needed that year of the W-League to get me prepared for it. And then that opportunity was just gone. So I ended up going to grad school. Played a couple more years in the W-League, which was the highest level in the United States at that point. And I felt like I was continuing to get better as a player, which was really hard to have that feeling and not be able to take it to what you would say is a professional level.

When I finished grad school I was doing an internship at USL to complete my masters degree and was just like, ‘I’m not ready to stop, but I don’t know what to do?’ But, fortunately the opportunity to go to Sweden fell into my lap and I took advantage of it. Just being in Sweden and being a part of that culture. I was there for a year — by the time I was done I was 26, a couple years out of grad school and it was just like, ‘Alright, I feel ready.’ I have played now, playing professional in Sweden. I’m living over here. It’s such a wonderful life experience, but it was not going to be my life for the next five to ten years. So I just knew that it was time.

I came back and I was fortunate to have maintained relationships with Tim Holt at USL and the group there and was fortunate enough to come back and be a part of USL as soon as I got back. It was because I knew the time was right to enter the next phase of life. I didn’t have as hard as a time of taking those steps.

There were certainly times, and I think the first year I was at USL, the W-League, there was one [team] in Orlando and the W-League team from Virginia Beach was down playing and they needed players, so I think I got registered and played a game or two with them. So it was cool to still be close and involved. The thing that I miss the most and I still miss the most, is the locker room and things and friendships that happen in the locker room. You just don’t replace those in any sort of business setting. Those are friendships that for a lifetime you have and are so special to me today. The transition was really easy because I knew that it was right and I knew that I had done what I could as a player and an athlete at that point. So as I moved through the next parts of it, all of the effort and energy I would put into the training and the games — just started going into work at a computer and administratively became a more consulting problem-solving work ethic I took on.


1 on 1 with Laura Harvey, Utah Royals FC

Featuring: Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey and JP Dellacamera

 

On the competition of the NWSL:

Harvey: It’s difficult. In our league, you’ve got to try and win every game. To try and get into the top four, you can probably afford to lose four games, maybe five and scrape in, but that’s it. That’s the joy of the league. It’s so competitive.

 

On the growth of the NWSL:

Harvey: I remember coming here in 2013. I had just left Arsenal and I’m thinking, ‘What have I done? This is nuts.’ And we flew by the seat of our pants probably for two years in the league. Then I think we realized as a league, we’re not just here to make sure we throw out a performance every week, but we need to create this league to be sustainable. I think since 2015 probably, that’s been the mindset: How do we make sure that this keeps being sustainable? I think personally now in this last year, with Dell Loy Hansen, the owner of Utah Royals FC, he’s had a huge influence on — we don’t just now need to be sustainable. How do we be the best league in the world? I’ve always said we’re the most competitive league in the world and I stand by it. Now it’s, how do we raise everything to make sure that we’re there and I think he set a standard for that. All the other owners and all the other people that are invested in the league have done such a brilliant job to get us to this point — I think they needed someone like Mr. Hansen, if anyone’s met him don’t know that he’s very influential when you meet him, to push that little bit further and go, ‘We can do this.’ I do believe in the last 12 months he’s done that.

I think that’s why the housing, salary cap’s gone up. I think that’s why the finances for each player’s gone up and all the other standards around the league are gradually raising. People like him are a huge influence on that.

 

On equality between the men’s and women’s teams in Utah and owner Dell Loy Hansen:

Harvey: Hansen] said it a lot when I first met him and anyone who’s been in the women’s game long enough sometimes think, ‘Yeah. Whatever. That’s not going to be happen.’

Everything’s equal. Everything. If you look at equality and say there’s a 50/50 split on everything, we get that.

Even to the point that when RSL came into their season and we were starting our season last year, their grass fields weren’t quite thawed out from the snow and I was sitting there thinking, ‘Oh, we’re just going to get put to the back and we’re going to have to deal with what they don’t want.’ And it was completely not that.

He’s a huge influence on that, but everyone within in the club — even Mike Petke, the head coach of RSL, we sat in a meeting and it was like, ‘Right. 50/50. What do you want?’ I was like, ‘Wow, I get a say? That doesn’t normally happen.’

Super lucky. Players have loved it. But I think now from our perspective, internally, we want to give back to them and [Hansen] specifically by winning.

 

On becoming Utah’s head coach and coaching players like Amy Rodriguez and Becky Sauerbrunn:

Harvey: Amy Rodriguez was finally going to play for me. She’s never being traded ever again. I’m never trading her.

You think Becky Sauerbrunn’s a good player, and then you coach her and you realize how good she is. And not just how good she is, but how much she doesn’t actually think she’s that good, which is mind-blowing to me. So humble. I’m like, ‘No, you’re exceptional.’ It’s been a joy coaching someone like Becky. Even at the point of her career when she’s won everything, done everything, she still wants to learn. She still wants to be better every day and you can’t ask for much more than that.

On the evolution of her coaching style:

Harvey: I think I used to be an idealist. This is the way the game should be played. That’s probably been a big change in me. I think the sentence I say a lot now is, ‘You’ve got to play what the game gives you.’ Sometimes the idealist in me is withering away sometimes because our league is going very transitional.

In 2014 and 2015, when Seattle were very successful, we were a very possession-oriented team and the two teams who were successful in those years were us and [Kansas City] and we played very similar styles. … The same question that’s being asked of [North Carolina] now was ‘How do we stop Seattle and Kansas?’ The way to stop us at the time is to go transitional, so now it’s flipped itself. For everyone going against Carolina, it’s how do we stop Carolina? How do we compete with them? We’ve all realized that we have to be able to deal with how good they are in transition, both sides of the ball. And be prepared of how you’re going to prevent that potentially and how you’re going to stop that when they’re doing it.

I think the idea for me is I want the game to be beautiful and I want us to make a thousand passes and it to be like this heaven. But sometimes the game’s not like that so that’s been a big development in me.

I think I’ve finished fifth three years in a row, which is horrendous. So I think now with me I’m more about — I want to win. I don’t really care how. I just want to win. Honestly.

 


Global Spotlight: 2019 Women’s World Cup, Presented by Fox Sports

Featuring: Kyndra de St. Aubin, JP Dellacamera, Alexis Lalas and NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy

 

On the NWSL being on a global stage at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

Duffy: We had more than 50 NWSL players playing in the World Cup in 2015. Certainly, the United States are at least half of those, but a number of other countries were represented by NWSL in 2015 and we expect the same in 2019. Thinking about the Australians that are playing in NWSL, Brazil, Japan and several other countries that have great representation and are currently playing in the league and really make it — we talk about the U.S. women’s national team being the best national team in the world. We look at NWSL as the best women’s professional soccer league in the world. That is supported by the fact that so many U.S. players are playing in it,  but so many other internationals are in this league and driving the competition and driving the level of play better each season. It is a destination for players around the world.

 

On the growth of women’s soccer:

Duffy: I think from the league standpoint and how I’ve seen it evolve, is that it’s less about the women’s soccer business being charity driven. It is a business and people are approaching it with that mindset and there are opportunities to build the business of women’s professional soccer or women’s soccer in general. We’re able to work in general in the same business forums that we see on the men’s side. I think a lot of that has been driven also by the growth of the sport in the United States, not just women’s soccer in general over the recent years, but the sport over the last 10-15 years. There are more fans, more supporters. … We still maintain such a high level of youth participants in soccer and it’s helped all of the women’s side really move forward and accelerate at a pace that is good for the game.

 

Looking ahead to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and having the sport on a global stage:

Duffy: The tournament as a whole is going to be wonderful and the visibility. To have the women’s game on the global stage that it will be on and to know that so much of that visibility will come back into and through NWSL through the stories that will be told through the performance of the players — the players that will then come back to the United States and represent their clubs is going to be a great moment for NWSL and will really continue to push our growth forward.

Draft recap: NWSL welcomes new players in Chicago

Davidson, Mace and DiBiasi go 1-2-3

The Chicago Red Stars had six picks at the 2019 NWSL College Draft. (Photo credit: Daniel Bartel/isiphotos.com)

Chicago —  At the 2019 NWSL College Draft on Thursday, Jan. 10, at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place, 36 new faces joined the NWSL for the league’s seventh season.

The Chicago Red Stars were right at home with the draft in their backyard and, with the first overall pick, selected Tierna Davidson out of Stanford University. Davidson, a junior for the Cardinal, registered for the draft in the last few days, giving up her final year of college eligibility to join the NWSL. Davidson learned that she was the first overall pick while she was in Portugal training with the U.S. women’s national team ahead of friendlies in France and Spain later this month.

“I’m really bummed that I couldn’t make it to the NWSL draft, but I’m extremely honored to have been chosen No. 1 overall by the Chicago Red Stars. I’d like to thank Rory [Dames, Red Stars head coach] and the rest of the Red Stars for having confidence in me,” Davidson said in a video recording from camp in Portugal. 

“Tierna is a player that doesn’t come a long very often,” Chicago Red Stars head coach Rory Dames told NWSL Media after the draft. “And not necessarily just the skill set, but her maturity level, the experience she already has internationally. She trains and plays with the best team in the world. Our players on that team have nothing but great things to say about her, and Hidecki [Nakada] and Paul [Ratcliffe], (Davidson’s coaches at Stanford), also have nothing but great things to say about her.”

Davidson was one of three Stanford players selected in the first round.

“It’s not usual to have a player that you can bring straight out of the college game that can step directly into your team and have an impact, and her impact is a little different also because she can go into the back, she leads the line, [she knows] when to step, when to drop, and [she knows how to] read the cues,” Dames said.

Cardinal teammate Jordan DiBiasi was selected at No. 3 by the Washington Spirit and was the first draft pick to be in attendance at the draft.

“I think my heart stopped for a second,” DiBiasi told the media when asked how she felt when her name was called. “And then it was just happiness and excitement. It means the world to me, I’m so thankful for the Washington Spirit taking a chance on me.”

The Spirit also selected Cardinal senior Tegan McGrady with the No. 7 overall pick. McGrady was also in Chicago to hear her name called.

“Every paper that I wrote in elementary school, I wrote that I wanted to be a professional soccer player,” McGrady told the media after being selected. “And to say that I’ve gotten to that point is one of the best feelings and another dream that I’ve accomplished.”

The Spirit had four picks in the first round after a trade between Sky Blue FC surfaced just minutes after the start of the draft. The Washington Spirit acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft via trade from Sky Blue FC. In exchange, Washington sent the No. 29 selection in today’s draft and Caprice Dydasco, DiDi HaracicEstelle Johnson were all three traded to Sky Blue FC.

The Spirit got to celebrate on site with three of their selections in the first-round since No. 3 Jordan DiBiasi (Stanford), No. 4 Sam Staab (Clemson), No. 7 Tegan McGrady (Stanford) were all at the draft. Dorian Bailey (UNC) was chosen at No. 8 by the Spirit, but wasn’t in attendance.

DiBiasi and Staab have played together before at youth national team camps, and they were all smiles after being selected by the Spirit back-to-back.

“Playing with Jordan is going to be great,” Saab told the media when asked what she is most looking forward to this season. She also added that can’t wait to be part of an organization with “new management, new coaches and everything! I’ve had the chance to talk with a lot of their assistant coaches and the rest of their staff and they just seem like tremendous coaches.”

On January 8, just a couple days before the draft, the Spirit named Richie Burke as the new head coach. Burke got thrown right into it with the third overall pick at the 2019 draft, but said coming into this, he and his staff had a very clear game plan.

“Coming into this draft we were very clear about what we wanted and who we wanted to get, and we knocked it out the park. DiBiasi has got a can opener on both feet, she’s a tricky, creative, stylish, tactician,” Burke said. “She’s got a great football brain, a fantastic IQ, so that was a no brainer for me.”

Burke also mentioned DiBiasi’s name along with Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle as players he sees being creative on the ball this upcoming season.


The second round kicked off with Sky Blue FC making back-to-back picks (No. 10 and No. 11). Sky Blue FC earlier held the No. 2 overall pick and selected Haillie Mace out of UCLA. In the first round, Denise Reddy’s side also picked up Julia Ashley out of UNC with the No. 6 overall pick. Ashley, despite expressing how excited she was to be selected, told the media that she is undecided about what her next step will be for her professional career.

“I’ve been talking to my agent about possibly France, Sweden or Germany. I’m not sure yet, but it’s definitely an option.”

With the No. 10 pick, Sky Blue FC selected Paige Monaghan out of Butler University. Monaghan is from Succasunna, N.J., so she gets to return to her home pitch to start her professional career. “Im coming home!” Monaghan said at the draft.

Sky Blue then selected Julie James out of Baylor University at No. 11 overall.

The second round started heating up when the league took a time out following the No. 16 pick. The Thorns were on the clock with their first pick of the 2019 draft at No. 17, but traded the pick to the Spirit in exchange for the No. 31 pick and the Spirit’s natural second-round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.

The third round drama came when the Chicago Red Stars traded their No. 24 overall pick to the Thorns in exchange for the Thorns’ No. 31 and No. 35 picks. The Thorns selected Emily Ogle out of Penn State, for their first pick at the draft.

News and notes from the 2019 NWSL College Draft

More info from a busy draft day in Chicago

Featuring additional reporting from Celia Balf

Chicago — News from the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Maria Sanchez founded out she was being drafted by the Chicago Red Stars while surrounded by her Santa Clara teammates, and everyone was very, very happy.


The defending champion North Carolina Courage had two picks in the first round of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, selecting Leah Pruitt from the University of Southern California at No. 5 and Hailey Harbison of Pepperdine University at No. 9.

Courage head coach Paul Riley said he feels both players will fit into the Courage system very well.

“Leah Pruitt, I really love her. She’s got Lynn Williams-type speed and ability. She can score goals. She has two great feet, strong as an ox, and size, speed, power and that’s our profile for most of our attacking players,” he said.

Harbison is another first-round pick for the Courage from Pepperdine, joining Williams, drafted in 2015 by the then-Western New York Flash.

“Harbison was a kid we really liked right from the start, she played with Lynn Williams and I talked to Lynn obviously about her and she was big on her. Again, pace, power, size. She’s good on the ball too,” he said. “I think she could play fullback or in the midfield for us.”


University of Oregon defender Jazmin Jackmon’s father cheered the loudest on Thursday when his daughter was selected in the third round of the 2019 NWSL College Draft.


Stanford’s Tegan McGrady delivered an emotional speech after being drafted No. 7 overall by the Washington Spirit. “It has been a childhood dream of mine to be playing professional soccer. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a professional soccer player and I can’t wait to start my journey,” she said at the podium.


NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy met with the media during the 2019 NWSL College Draft. Among the topics discussed was the league’s efforts for diversity in the coaching ranks.

I think generally we want more women working in sports, more women working in soccer, more female coaches that are a part of NWSL specifically in the development ranks leading up to NWSL,” she said. “We worked with U.S. Soccer towards the end of 2018 to coordinate the C-license course to help facilitate the education that goes into coaching. We’re really proud of the turnout of the players, the support from the players, the support from Utah Royals FC and U.S. Soccer in making that course work and putting us in a position to create a foundation, build on it with the development and creation of the education piece of it and now it’s also about creating the opportunities too. So we certainly want to see improvement and want to see more women in the game, more female coaches in NWSL and that’s something that we’re going to continue to work towards to various platforms and avenues that will get us there.”

Duffy said that the league does require teams to include diversity in the hiring process for certain management positions and team coach/technical staffs.

On the topic of playing conditions at Sky Blue FC and the changes to the permitted team assistance cap that were announced on Thursday, Duffy said: “I think the entire league feels pressure to continue to work and build and develop what they’re doing at the local level. For all of the organizations, there is improvement and work to be done. Some organizations may feel that a little more publicly, and a little more visibly and probably last year Sky Blue felt that. We’re working with their ownership and have been for some time on the steps that need to be taken for that organization to show progress and the areas that the league believes it should show progress.”

“We’ve almost doubled [the cap for cost of housing] coming into the 2019 season [over the 2018 season], that’s a part of what falls under the permitted team assistance cap that we announced earlier today. Like other areas, like our salary cap, our minimum/maximum salary and other benefits, we’ll continue to evaluate that and think there is still room to grow,” she said. “Six consecutive seasons we’ve made adjustments to get us to where we are today. I don’t think anyone sits and thinks that we’re in a spot that’s at the right spot, that’s at the end spot, and we can sit here for awhile.”

Duffy also addressed expansion, saying there have been positive conversations going on with groups and that she still anticipates adding a team or teams in 2020.

We certainly want to get back to ten teams, where we were a year ago, and think that’s important for us. The right number where this league can operate and keep the competitive level that we have right now is really important. It’s going to be at a pace that is going to maintain that competitive level but also get us in the right markets and the right situations,” she said. We’re not interested in expanding just to expand. It’s got to be with the right groups.”

She said the league continues to speak with FC Barcelona, which has publicly expressed interest in joining the NWSL. “It’s a dialogue that has been ongoing for sometime now. Certainly more than a year. An organization, a club, a brand that would certainly add value to NWSL, not just domestically but on a global scale, so we continue to have positive conversations with Barcelona,” she said.

On the continuing search for a new commissioner and whether she would like to be commissioner of the NWSL: “I think the dynamics, and there’s several factors that go into the structure of our league — between our partnerships and the governance structure of how we operate — is all taken into consideration. As the owners look forward at what they want with this league, what path is it that we want to be on for NWSL in defining the role for what the commissioner position is, that’s a part of that conversation. Their continuing to have it and I’m excited about continuing to be a part of the growth,” she said. “I enjoy working with this league and I enjoy being a part of moving the things forward that we’re moving, making it a stronger league and working with these owners to create better situations in each of the markets and this is a league that continues to show its progress and I’m proud of what we’re doing and excited to continue doing that work.”

Duffy also spoke about where digital games will stream in 2019: “Right now, we know that all of our digital games will move from the go90 platform to Yahoo! Sports for the 2019 season. Beyond that, we’ll have more details once we have our schedule in place for the 2019 season.”

Every pick of the 2019 NWSL College Draft

2019 NWSL College Draft picks

Paige Monaghan is welcomed on stage by Yael Averbuch after being selected by Sky Blue FC in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. (Photo credit: Robin Alam/isiphotos.com)

Every pick and every trade made in the 2019 NWSL College Draft:

2019 NWSL College Draft
Round 1

No. 1 | Tierna Davidson, Stanford (Chicago Red Stars) *
No. 2 | Hailie Mace, UCLA (Sky Blue FC)
No. 3 | Jordan DiBiasi, Stanford (Washington Spirit) # @@@@
No. 4 | Sam Staab, Clemson (Washington Spirit) &
No. 5 | Leah Pruitt, University of Southern California (North Carolina Courage) @
No. 6 | Julia Ashley, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Sky Blue FC) @@@
No. 7 | Tegan McGrady, Stanford (Washington Spirit) ****
No. 8 | Dorian Bailey,University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Washington Spirit) ^
No. 9 | Hailey Harbison, Pepperdine University (North Carolina Courage) ^^^ **

Round 2

No. 10 | Paige Monaghan, Butler University (Sky Blue FC)
No. 11 | Julie James, Baylor University (Sky Blue FC) #
No. 12 | Ally Prisock, University of Southern California (Houston Dash) ##
No. 13 | CeCe Kizer, University of Mississippi (Houston Dash)
No. 14 | Lauren Milliet, Colorado College (North Carolina Courage) &&
No. 15 | Maria Sanchez, Santa Clara University (Chicago Red Stars)
No. 16 | Betsy Brandon, University of Virginia (Houston Dash) @ **
No. 17 | Bayley Feist, Wake Forest University (Washington Spirit) %%%%
No. 18 | Kayla McCoy, Duke University (Houston Dash) @

Round 3

No. 19 | Kyra Carusa, Georgetown University (Sky Blue FC)
No. 20 | Bianca St. Georges, West Virginia University (Chicago Red Stars) ****
No. 21 | Jazmin Jackmon, University of Oregon (Houston Dash) @@
No. 22 | Grace Cutler, West Virginia University (Houston Dash)
No. 23 | Michelle Maemone, Pepperdine University (Utah Royals FC)
No. 24 | Emily Ogle, Penn State University (Portland Thorns FC) &&&&
No. 25 | Erin Greening, University of Colorado Boulder (Orlando Pride) ^^
No. 26 | Kayla Sharples, Northwestern University (Chicago Red Stars) ***
No. 27 | Madeline Nolf, Penn State University (Utah Royals FC) &&

Round 4

No. 28 | Kaylan Marckese, University of Florida (Sky Blue FC)
No. 29 | Kenie Wright, Rutgers University (Sky Blue FC) @@@@
No. 30 | Marisa Viggiano, Northwestern University (Orlando Pride)
No. 31 | April Bockin, University of Minnesota (Chicago Red Stars) %%%% ### &&&&
No. 32 | Alex Kimball, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Utah Royals FC)
No. 33 | Hannah Davison, Northwestern University (Chicago Red Stars)
No. 34 | Sabrina Flores, University of Notre Dame (Sky Blue FC) &&&
No. 35 | Jenna Szczesny, Loyola University Chicago (Chicago Red Stars) &&&&
No. 36 | Kaycie Tillman, Florida State University (North Carolina Courage)

 

&&&& On January 10, Portland Thorns FC acquired the No. 24 overall pick from the Chicago Red Stars in exchange for the No. 31 and and No. 35 overall picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft.

%%%% On January 10, the Washington Spirit acquired the No. 17 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from Portland Thorns FC in exchange for the No. 31 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Washington’s natural second-round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.

@@@@ On January 10, the Washington Spirit acquired the No. 3 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from Sky Blue FC in exchange for the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 draft, Estelle Johnson, Caprice Dydasco and DiDi Haracic.

**** On January 9, 2019, the Washington Spirit acquired the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft via trade from the Chicago Red Stars. In exchange, Washington sent the 20th pick in the 2019 College Draft and the club’s natural first-round selection in the 2020 College Draft to the Red Stars.

@@@ On January 9, 2019, the Chicago Red Stars have acquired forward Katie Johnson from Sky Blue FC in a trade announced on Wednesday afternoon. In exchange, Sky Blue FC will receive the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and the Red Stars’ highest second-round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.

^^^ On December 17, 2018, the North Carolina Courage acquired Seattle Reign FC’s first-round pick (originally acquired by the Courage from the Reign in the trade for Merritt Mathias **) in exchange for Darian Jenkins.

** Seattle Reign FC acquired the North Carolina Courage’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Seattle’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Merritt MathiasDetails

* The Chicago Red Stars acquired the No. 1 overall pick and the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from Utah Royals FC in exchange for the rights to Christen Press. Utah Royals FC received the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft when they entered the league and acquired the No. 7 overall pick from the Orlando Pride (via Seattle Reign FC). Details

# Sky Blue FC received a conditional first-round and natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from the Washington Spirit in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL dispersal draft. Details

& The Washington Spirit acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Aubrey Bledsoe in exchange for Shelina Zadorsky. Details

@ The North Carolina Courage acquired the Houston Dash’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for two second-round draft picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Allysha ChapmanDetails

^ The Washington Spirit acquired Portland Thorns FC’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for a 2018 international roster spot and future considerations. Details

## The Houston Dash acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for defender PolianaDetails

&& The North Carolina Courage acquired Utah Royals FC’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and the rights to Heather O’Reilly in exchange for Makenzy Doniak and North Carolina’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. Details

@@ The Houston Dash acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Lotta ÖkvistDetails

^^ The Orlando Pride acquired Seattle Reign FC’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Haley Kopmeyer in exchange for Jasmyne Spencer. Details

*** The Chicago Red Stars acquired Portland Thorns FC’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for the 29th pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. Details

### The Washington Spirit acquired the Houston Dash’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Tiffany Weimer. Details

&&& Sky Blue FC acquired Seattle Reign FC’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Adriana Leon. Details

 

 

Tierna Davidson selected No. 1 overall by the Chicago Red Stars at the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Davidson was in Portugal with the USWNT when she became the first pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft

(Photo credit: Robin Alam/isiphotos.com)

Chicago — Stanford and U.S. women’s national team defender Tierna Davidson is now a member of the Chicago Red Stars. Davidson left Stanford early to join the NWSL and was picked first overall by the Chicago Red Stars at the start of the 2019 NWSL Draft in Chicago on Thursday morning.

Davidson, 20 years old and a junior at Stanford University, registered for the draft in the last few days, forgoing her final year of college eligibility to join the NWSL and take a more full-time role on the U.S. women’s national team as they prepare for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. She learned of her selection in the draft while in Portugal training with the U.S. ahead of friendlies in France and Spain later this month.

“I’m really bummed that I couldn’t make it to the NWSL draft, but I’m extremely honored to have been chosen No. 1 overall by the Chicago Red Stars. I’d like to thank Rory [Dames, Red Stars head coach] and the rest of the Red Stars for having confidence in me,” Davidson said in a video message recorded at camp in Portugal and played after her selection.

“I’d also like to thank my coaches, teammates and family for pushing me to a better player and person both on and off the field, and supporting me in every decision that I make.”

Davidson was recently named U.S. Soccer’s Young Female Player of the Year. In 2018, she established herself a starter on the backline for the U.S. women’s national team. She started all 12 games in which she appeared. She played every minute of the SheBelieves Cup vs. Germany, France and England, earning the second, third and fourth caps of her career. She has one goal for the USWNT, scored on August 31 vs. Chile.

She broke her ankle in September vs. the University of North Carolina and did not play again for Stanford, missing the NCAA tournament. She also missed the United States qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.

“There were a couple of factors and, of course, numerous conversations, but I would say the biggest factor was putting me in the best position to develop as a soccer player in these coming months before the World Cup and beyond, looking at the very busy U.S. women’s national team schedule between now and the end of 2020,” Davidson said in a conference call with reporters of her decision to leave Stanford early. “Obviously there’s room to grow in every part of my game and I think that just elevating my game to the next level with the elite competition of the NWSL was the best way to go for me.”

Davidson finishes her college career with six goals and eight assists. She started 48 of the 49 games in which she played. In 2017, she was named College Cup Most Outstanding Defensive Player, helping to lead Stanford to the NCAA title.

“Over the past two and a half years at this institution I have grown as a player and a person each day. The support from faculty, coaches, classmates and teammates has enabled me to confidently make the decision to take the next step in my life and soccer career by entering the 2019 NWSL College Draft,” Davidson said in a video message posted on social media, thanking Stanford.

“I will forever be indebted to this prestigious institution and its people, and I fully intend to return to achieve the highest honor I could ever earn as a Stanford student athlete — the completion of my bachelor’s degree,” she said in the video.

Davidson joins a Red Stars team with several teammates that she knows very well from the U.S. women’s national team. Red Stars captain Julie Ertz, goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, defender Casey Short, midfielder Morgan Brian and midfielder Danielle Colaprico are all with her in Portugal for training camp.

“They definitely helped me in my decision,” she said of her new Red Stars teammates. “They gave me a lot of good advice, the inner workings of the team, what the team culture was like, the personality of players on the team and they really helped me take a first person look into the team without actually being there, which was incredibly helpful. They’ve definitely welcomed me in really well and I already feel a part of the team.”

 

No. 1 picks in NWSL College Draft history:

2019 — Tierna Davidson

2018 — Andi Sullivan

2017 — Rose Lavelle

2016 — Emily Sonnett

2015 — Morgan Brian

2014 — Crystal Dunn

2013 — Zakiya Bywaters

Watch: 2019 NWSL College Draft

Watch the full broadcast of the 2019 NWSL College Draft

With the third pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, the Washington Spirit selected Jordan DiBiasi of Stanford University. (Photo credit: Robin Alam/isiphotos.com)

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

NWSL increases roster size ahead of the 2019 season

The news was announced on Thursday ahead of the 2019 NWSL College Draft

(Photo credit: Rob Gray/isiphotos.com)

On Thursday, the NWSL announced rule changes that increased the roster size, salary cap and permitted team assistance cap ahead of the 2019 NWSL season. The roster size will now be a minimum of 20 players and a maximum of 22 players, and there will now be four supplemental roster spots that will not count against the salary cap. The minimum and maximum salaries will also rise for the 2019 season.

More details below in the full news release from the NWSL:

 

NWSL INCREASES PLAYER COMPENSATION CAPS AND ROSTER SIZE FOR THE 2019 SEASON

CHICAGO (Jan. 10, 2019) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) announced today changes to the roster rules to increase roster size, Salary Cap and Permitted Team Assistance Cap ahead of the 2019 NWSL Season.

“This is an important step in the growth of the league,” said NWSL Managing Director Amanda Duffy. “In addition to these roster changes allowing the league and its teams to provide additional employment opportunities for more players plus additional benefits in connection with housing and auto, this marks the sixth consecutive season the Board of Directors has supported increased compensation.”

The NWSL senior rosters will expand to a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 22 players. In addition, the League has created four new supplemental roster spots that will allow teams to sign up to four additional players at the League minimum who will not count against the Salary Cap.

The NWSL Salary Cap will also be increasing to $421,500 for each NWSL club for the upcoming season including an increase of $54,000 for the two new spots. The minimum and maximum salary figures will be rising to $16,538 and $46,200, respectively.

In addition, the Permitted Team Assistance Cap has nearly doubled from the previous season, allowing teams to spend additional amounts through providing players assistance in the areas of housing and automobiles.

Final list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, at 12 p.m. ET

Wednesday evening, the NWSL released the final list of registered players for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will take place on Thursday, January 10, at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago. [Full Draft Order]

Fans can watch the draft live by visiting: Facebook.com/NWSL, YouTube.com/NWSL and nwslsoccer.com/collegedraft. (Download the NWSL App: iTunes App Store | Google PlayMarisa Pilla, Lori Lindsey, Jen Cooper and Jordan Angeli, along with special guests, will be on the call for the draft live from McCormick Place in Chicago, providing fans will the latest news, information and insight on each selection.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Finalist list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft:

(x) denotes new name since the previous list of registered players was released on January 8

 

 

Name (First, Last) | School/University | Position(s) Played | Hometown | Youth Club | Citizenship
(x) Iris Achterhof | Old Dominion University | F, M | Groningen, The Netherlands | SC Heerenveen | Netherlands
(x) Alexa Adams | University of Texas | F, M | Quartz Hill, Calif. | Real So Cal
(x) Ayan Adu | University of Virginia | F, M | Ashburn, Va. | McLean Youth Soccer
(x) Fabiana Alborghetti | Auburn University at Montgomery/ASA College | F, M, D | Bonate Sotto, Italy | ASD Orobica Calcio Bergamo | Italy
Diandra Aliaga | University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | F, M | Spring, Texas | Challenge Soccer Club
Julia Ashley | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | D | Verona, N.J. | Match Fit Academy Colchesters
(x) Caroline Ashton | Murray State University | F, M, D | Fishers, Ind. FC Pride
(x) Mimi Asom | Princeton University | F | Fairview, Texas | Dallas Sting
Dorian Bailey | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Mission, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Bethany Balcer | Spring Arbor University | F, M | Hudsonville, Mich. | Michigan Fire
Camille Bassett | University of Central Arkansas | F, M | Vista, Calif. | San Diego Surf
(x) Camille Battle | Methodist University | F | Raleigh, N.C. | Capital Area Soccer League
Jorian Baucom | University of Colorado Boulder/Louisiana State University | F | Scottsdale, Ariz. | SC del Sol
Christina Bellero | St. John’s University | F, M | Melville, N.Y. | East Meadow ECNL
(x) Paige Bergman | Saint Joseph’s University | D | Runnemede, N.J. | FC Bucks
Jessica Bianchi | Trinity Christian College | F, M | Elmhurst, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Maggie Bill | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M, D | Huntington, N.Y. | Albertson FC
April Bockin | University of Minnesota | F | Eden Prairie, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
(x) Sarina Bolden | Loyola Marymount University | F, M, D | Milpitas, Calif. | DeAnza Force
(x) Cassie Boren | Texas Tech University | D | Albuquerque, N.M. | Rio Rapids FC
Remy Borinsky | Dartmouth College | F, M | Warren, N.J. | Match Fit Academy Colchesters
Abbie Boswell | University of Alabama/Ball State University | F, M | Woodridge, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
(x) Yari Bradfield | American University | F, M | Hialeah, Fla. Weston FC
Deirdre Bradley | Old Dominion University | M, D | Newtown Square, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
(x) Betsy Brandon | University of Virginia | M | Littleton, Colo. | Colorado Rush
(x) Taylor Brittingham | South Carolina State University | GK | Kennesaw, Ga. | North Atlanta Soccer Association
Caroline Brockmeier | Louisiana State University | GK | Tallahassee, Fla. | Eclipse Select
Mykayla Brown | Indiana University | F, D | Indianapolis, Ind. | Indy Premier
Ryley Bugay | Marquette University | M, D | West Lafayette, Ind. | FC Indiana
Lainey Burdett | University of Arizona | GK | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
(x) Chelsea Burns | Duke University | D | Jacksonville, Fla. | Chicago Eclipse Select Soccer Club
(x) Taylor Burton | University of Wyoming | M, D | Centennial, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Katy Byrne | Pepperdine University | F, M | Katy, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
(x) Reema Bzeih | University of California, Irvine/UCLA | D | Irvine, Calif. | West Coast Futbol Club
Millene Cabral | Martin Methodist College | F, M | Porto Alegre, Brazil | WFC Gremio Porto Alegre | Brazil
Claudia Cagnina | St. John’s University | F, M | Lindenhurst, N.Y. | Brentwood Pride Soccer Club
(x) Mary Carlson | Central Michigan University | F, M, D | Ada, Mich. | Grand Rapids Crew Juniors (Midwest United)
(x) Kyra Carusa | Georgetown University/Stanford University | F, M | San Diego, Calif. | San Diego Surf
Franny Cerny | DePaul University | F, M | Berkeley, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Jewel Christian | George Mason University/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Woodbridge, Va. | Prince Williams Soccer Inc.
Kyra Cloutier | Jacksonville University | M | Ladera Ranch, Calif. | West Coast Futbol Club
Grace Cutler | West Virginia University/Santa Clara University | F, M | Fort Collins, Colo. | Real Colorado
(x) Carissima Cutrona | University at Buffalo/Colgate University | F, M | Buffalo, N.Y. | Blackwatch Premier
Kelsey Daugherty | University of Alabama Birmingham | GK | Kennesaw, Ga. | Southern Soccer Academy
(x) Tierna Davidson | Stanford University | M, D | Menlo Park, Calif. | De Anza Force
Hannah Davison | Northwestern University | D | Geneva, Ill. | Eclipse Select
Brooke Denesik | Texas Tech University | D | Anthem, Ariz. | Sereno Soccer Club
Jordan DiBiasi | Stanford University | M | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Kayra Dollas | University of Texas | M, D | Orange, Calif. | Legends FC
Kelsey Dossey | University of Missouri | GK | Plainfield, Ind. | Zionsville Youth Soccer Association
(x) Jordan Duke | Texas Tech University | F, M, D | Amarillo, Texas | Defeeters Soccer Club
(x) Christine Etzel | Brown University | GK | Madison, Conn. | Connecticut Football Club
Marissa Everett | University of Oregon | F | Canyon Lake, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Abbie Faingold | Portland State University | GK | Lincoln, Calif. | Placer United Soccer Club
Alexandra Farmer | Heidelberg University | GK | Dayton, Ohio | Metro Coraggio Futbol Club
Caitlin Farrell | Georgetown University | F | Wallingford, Conn. | Connecticut Football Club
Kayla Feigenbaum | University of North Georgia | F, M, D | Peachtree City, Ga. | AFC Lightning Elite ’97
Bayley Feist | Wake Forest University | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
(x) Desarae Felix | California Baptist University | F, M | Norco, Calif. | Legends FC
(x) Molly Fiedler | University of Minnesota | M | Eagan, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
Sabrina Flores | University of Notre Dame | M, D | Livingston, N.J. | PDA Slammers
Vanessa Flores | West Virginia University | M, D | Baytown, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
(x) Meghan Flynn | University of Tennessee | F, M, D | Arlington, Va. | McLean ECNL
Janessa Fowler | University of Montana | F, M, D | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Chloe Froment | California State University, Long Beach | M, D | Mezeriat, France | Olympique Lyonnais | France
Amelia Fullmer | Lamar University/Iowa Western Community College | M, D | Pleasant Grove, Utah | Utah Celtic FC
Olivia Gauthier | University of Memphis | M, D | Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada | Shattuck-St. Mary’s | Canada
Patricia George | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, D | Chicago, Ill. | Power Strikers
Nadya Gill | West Virginia University/Quinnipiac University | F, M | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Vaughan SC | Canada
Katie Glenn | University of Texas | F, M, D | Round Rock, Texas | Lonestar Soccer Club
Hannah Godfrey | University of South Alabama | M, D | Thornton-Cleveleys, England | Manchester City Ladies, Blackburn Rovers | England
Ashley Gonzales | California State University, Long Beach | F | Chino Hills, Calif. | Beach FC
(x) Sh’nia Gordon | West Virginia University | F, M, D | Ocklawaha, Fla. | GSA Soccer Club
Sarah Gorham | Western Kentucky University | F, M, D | Lexington, Ky. | Lexington Futbol Club
(x) MacKenzie Gouner | University of Tennessee – Knoxville | F, D | Monument, Colo. | Real Colorado
Erin Greening | University of Colorado Boulder | F, M, D | Oakland, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Corynne Griffith | Valparaiso University | F, M | Lemont, Ill. | Chicago International Soccer Club
Mariel Gutierrez | University of Northern Colorado | F, M | Gypsum, Colo. | Vail Valley Soccer Club
Grace Hancock | Washington State University | M, D | Boise, Idaho | Boise Thorns FC
Hailey Harbison | Pepperdine University | F, M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
(x) Jarena Harmon | University of Maryland | F | Washington, D.C | McLean Youth Soccer
Maddy Haro | Washington State University | F, M, D | Corona, Calif. | Legends FC
Donish Henry | Lynn University | F, M | Parkland, Fla. | Schulz Academy
Emily Heslin | University of Minnesota | M, D | Woodbury, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
(x) Kayla Hill | Texas Christian University | M | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Rachel Hise | University of Missouri-Columbia | M, D | Lucas, Texas | Dallas Sting
Arden Holden | Ohio State University | F, M, D | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
(x) Alisa Holloway | Texas Southern University | F, M | Alexandria, Va. | Herndon Chaos
Rebecca Holloway | Cumberland University | M, D | Bristol, England | Bristol Academy | England
Erica Hubert | Bowling Green State University | F, M | Welland, Ontario, Canada | Burlington Bayhawks | Canada
Jazmin Jackmon | Santa Clara University/University of Oregon | D | Sacramento, Calif. | LA Premier FC
Alison Jahansouz | Stanford University | GK | Huntington Beach, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Julie James | Baylor University | M, D | Fairview, Texas | Dallas Sting
(x) Olivia Jarrell | Columbus State University | F, M | St. Augustine, Fla. | Ponte Vedra Soccer Club
(x) Ella Johnson | Brigham Young University/University of Mississippi | D | Bountiful, Utah | Utah Forza FC
(x) Kerene Johnson | Corning Community College | F, GK | New York, N.Y. | Asphalt Green Soccer Club
Natalie Johnson | Old Dominion University | F, D | New Bern, N.C. | JASA Surge
(x) Victoria Kealy | Pace University | F, M, D | Nutley, N.J. | World Class, PDA
Liane Keegans | University of Connecticut | F, M, D | Wayzata, Minn. | CFC United
(x) Colleen Kennedy | University of Mobile | F, M | Murfreesboro, Tenn. | Murfreesboro Strikers
(x) Hannah Keogh | North Carolina State University | D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
(x) Hana Kerner | University of Virginia | F, M, D | Upper Saddle River, N.J. | Match Fit Colchesters
Devon Kerr | Ohio State University | GK | Columbus, Ohio | Glen Shields FC
(x) Kenne Kessler | Hardin-Simmons University | F, M | Highland Village, Texas | Andromeda Soccer Club
(x) Kennedy Kieneker | University of Arizona | M, D | Woodinville, Wash. | Crossfire Premier
Alex Kimball | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M, D | Chapel Hill, N.C. | CASL
Sarah Kinzner | University of Colorado Boulder | M | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Calgary Foothills United
(x) Julia Kirkpatrick | West Chester University of Pennsylvania | D | Brick, N.J. | Albertson FC
CeCe Kizer | University of Mississippi | F, M | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Caroline Kopp | University at Albany | D | Fayetteville, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
(x) Kira Laurento | Old Dominion University | F, M | Coatesville, Pa. | Penn Fusion
Shelby Lee | University of California, Irvine | F, M, D | Carlsbad, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Samantha Leshnak | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | GK | Liberty Township, Ohio | Ohio Elite Soccer Academy
(x) Catherine Levasseur | University of Memphis | D | Memphis, Tenn. | Diable Rouges de la Haute Saint-Charles
Marie Levasseur | University of Memphis | F, M, D | Stoneham, Quebec, Canada | Haute-Saint-Charles | Canada
(x) Brenna Lovera | Northwestern University | F, M, D | Milford, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
(x) Melissa Lowder | Santa Clara University | GK | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Hailie Mace | UCLA | F, D | Ventura, Calif. | Eagles Soccer Club
Carrie Madden | Marquette University | F, M | Barrington, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Michelle Maemone | Pepperdine University | F, M, D | San Jose, Calif. | MVLA (Mountain View/Los Altos)
(x) Danielle Marcano | University of Tennessee | F, D | Mount Pleasant, S.C. | Tennessee Soccer Club
Kaylan Marckese | University of Florida | GK | St. Petersburg, Fla. | Tampa Bay United
Kate Mason | Lipscomb University | GK | Keller, Texas | FC Dallas Premier
Summer Mason | University of San Diego/Seattle University | F, M, D | Carlsbad, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Hannah Massagli | William Jessup University/Notre Dame de Namur University | F, M, D | Loomis, Calif. | Cal Blues
Morgan Matthews | Portland State University | F, M, D | Portland, Ore. | Crossfire United ECNL
Carly Mauldin | Mississippi State University | M | Laurel, Miss. | GCUFC
(x) Charlotte Maurer | Central Connecticut State University | F, M, D | Florence, Mass. | FSA United
Kayla McCoy | Duke University | F | Lincolnwood, Ill. | Sockers FC Chicago
(x) Kat McDonald | Duke University | M | Raleigh, N.C. | North Carolina Football Club
(x) Tegan McGrady | Stanford University | D | San Jose, Calif. | MVLA Mercury Black
Colleen McKay | Western Michigan University | M, D | Rochester Hills, Mich. | Vardar SC
(x) Samantha Mendoza | Ottawa University-Kansas/UNLV | M, D | Las Vegas, Nev. Empire Soccer club
(x) Marnie Merritt | University of Mississippi | GK | Huntersville, N.C. | Lake Norman Soccer Club
Lauren Milliet | Colorado College | F, M, D | Durango, Colo. | Rio Rapids SC
(x) Leah Mohammadi | Harvard | F, M, D | Upland, Calif. | Slammers FC
Paige Monaghan | Butler University | F, M, D | Roxbury, N.J. | PDA Clash
(x) Shelby Money | Rowan University | GK | Vineland, N.J. | New Jersey Rush
Melanie Monteagudo | University of Florida | F, M | Pembroke Pines, Fla. | Sunrise Sting
Cosette Morche | Texas A&M University | GK | Lawrenceville, Ga. | Atlanta Fire United
(x) Jennifer Munoz | University of New Mexico | M, D | Mission Viejo, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Katie Murray | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
Karin Muya | University of Notre Dame | F, M | London, England | Chelsea Ladies Football Club | England
Kari Närdemann | Tennessee Tech University | GK | Herne, Germany | SGS Essen | Germany
Miranda Nild | University of California, Berkeley | F, M | Castro Valley, Calif. | Mustang Soccer
Madeline Nolf | Penn State University | D | Omaha, Neb. | Elite Girls Academy
Emily Ogle | Penn State University | M | Strongsville, Ohio | Internationals SC
Nano Oronoz | California State University, Fullerton | F, M, D | La Mirada, Calif. | Galaxy FC South Bay
(x) Laura Ortega Bueno | College of Charleston | F, M | Aranjuez, Spain | Atlético de Madrid Femenino | Spain
Alyssa Palacios | University of Texas at El Paso | GK | Carrollton, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
Lexi Pelafas | Central Michigan University | F, M | Wheaton, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
(x) Mayra Pelayo | University of Florida | M | West Palm Beach, Fla. | Palm Beach MagicJack
Peyton Perea | Wake Forest University | F, M | Riverside, Calif. | Legends FC
Kelso Peskin | Lamar University | F, M | Cape Town, South Africa | University of the Western Cape | South Africa
Jennifer Phillips | Grace College/Saint Joseph’s College | F, M | Cary, Ill. | Ela SC
Madison Pogarch | Rutgers University/Central Michigan University | F, M, D | Hartland, Mich. | Michigan Jaguars FC
Maddie Pokorny | Saint Louis University | F, M | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Taylor Porter | North Carolina State University | M, D | Raleigh, N.C. | Surf Soccer Club
Brielle Preece | Pepperdine University | GK | Livermore, Calif. | Pleasanton Rage
Ally Prisock | University of Southern California | D | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Legends FC, So Cal Blues
Leah Pruitt | University of Southern California/San Diego State | F | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Slammers FC
Jemma Purfield | Arizona State University | F, M, D | Cottingham, England | Doncaster Rovers Belles | England
(x) Quinley Quezada | University of California, Riverside | F, M | Rosemead, Calif. | LA Premier FC
(x) Allison Raniere | Eastern Washington University | F, M, D | Tucson, Ariz. | Sereno Soccer Club
Kristen Ricks | University of Central Arkansas | M, D | Keller, Texas | Fort Worth FC
Kendall Ritchie | Texas A&M University | M, D | Austin, Texas | Lonestar Soccer Club
Kristen Ritter | Misericordia University | D | Hauppauge, N.Y. | Smithtown Revolution
(x) Alexis Robles | Texas Southern University | GK | Garland, Texas | Texas Soccer United
(x) Junique Rodriguez | Georgia Southern University | F, D | Katy, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
(x) Kayla Saager | Binghamton University/West Virginia University | F | East Islip, N.Y. | Alberston
(x) Brooke Salmon | Fordham University | M, D | West Hempstead, N.Y. | Brentwood United
Tanya Samarzich | University of Kentucky | F, M | Upland, Calif. | Legends FC
Maria Sanchez | Santa Clara University/Idaho State | F, M | American Falls, Idaho | American Falls
Lindsay Sands | Saint Louis University | F, M, D | Amherst, Ohio | Ambassadors Futbol Club
(x) Elena Santos | University of Connecticut/Fairfield University | F, D | Greenwich, Conn. | Connecticut Football Club
Hannah Scafaria | University of Toledo | F, D | Kalamazoo, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
(x) Samantha Scaffidi | St. John’s University | F, M | Silver Spring, Md. | McLean ECNL
Taylor Schneider | Arkansas State University | M, D | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Kayla Sharples | Northwestern University | D | Naperville, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Marissa Sheva | Penn State University | F, M | Sellersville, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Felicia Silveira | Lynn University/Kutztown University | F, M | Hampton, N.J. | Match Fit Academy
Paige Simoneau | San Jose State University | GK | Corona, Calif. | Legends FC
Hailey Skolmoski North | University of Utah | F, D | Riverton, Utah | Utah Avalanche
(x) Nikia Smith | Northwestern University | F, M, D | Bolingbrook, Ill. | Windy City Pride
Rachelle Smith | University of Florida | D | Pembroke Pines, Fla. | Palm Beach MagicJack
Briana Solis | University of Florida | M | Orlando, Fla. | Florida Kraze/Krush
(x) Jocelyn Springer | Georgia Southern University/Kentucky | GK | Lincoln, Neb. | Grenta Soccer Club
(x) Bianca St. Georges | West Virginia University | F, D | St-Felix-de-Valois, Quebec, Canada | Canada
Sam Staab | Clemson University | M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Natalie Stephens | Arizona State University | F, M, GK | Phoenix, Ariz. | SC del Sol
April Stewart | William Carey University | M, D | Pascagoula, Miss. | GCUFC
Raisa Strom-Okimoto | University of Hawaii | F, M | Aiea, Hawaii | Surf Soccer Hawaii
(x) Chelsea Surpris | University of Texas | M, D | Crowley, Texas | Dallas Sting
(x) Montana Sutton | University of Virginia | M | Bedminster, N.J. | PDA
Kelli Swenson | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee | D | Wauwatosa, Wisc. | Milwaukee Sport Club
Jenna Szczesny | Loyola University Chicago | F | Hoffman Estates, Ill. | Chicago Red Stars U-19
Devan Talley | Eastern Washington University | F, M | Bellevue, Wash. | Crossfire Premier ECNL
Kyra Taylor | University of California, Riverside | M, D | Elk Grove, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Brittany TerryGrambling State University/Concordia University Irvine | D | St. George, Utah | Utah Avalanche
Alex Thomas | Louisiana State University | F, D | New Orleans, La. | Chicago Fire Juniors Louisiana
Kaycie Tillman | Florida State University | F, M | Rowlett, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
(x) Taylor Timko | University of Michigan | F, M, D | Rochester, Mich. | Vardar Michigan Soccer Club
Taylor Torres | University of North Texas | F, M | Frisco, Texas | FC Dallas Soccer Club
Sarah Troccoli | University of Florida | M | Troy, Mich. | Michigan Gators
Phallon Tullis-Joyce | University of Miami | GK | Medford, N.Y. | Match Fit Colchesters
(x) Vanessa Valadez | Southern Methodist University | F, M | Kingwood, Texas | Challenge Soccer Club
Vera Varis | University of Central Florida | GK | Vantaa, Finland | HJK (Finland) | Finland
(x) Andrea Vera | University of Rio Grande | GK | Quito, Ecuador | Universidad San Francisco de Quito | Ecuador
Marisa Viggiano | Northwestern University | M | Macomb, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
(x) Gabrielle Vincent | University of Louisville | M, D | Columbia, Md. | Maryland United FC
(x) Annie Walker | Rice University | F, M | Grand Blanc, Mich. | Vardar Michigan Soccer Club
Scout Watson | University of Colorado Boulder | GK | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Lucy Whipp | St. John’s University | F, M | Ormskirk, England | Everton Ladies | England
Carly Wickenheiser | Texas Tech University | M, D | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Antoinette Williams | South Dakota State University | D | Cottage Grove, Minn. | Fire SC ’98
Charlotte Williams | Penn State University | F, M | Rochester, N.Y. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Mariah Williams | University at Albany | F, M | Whitesboro, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
Kenie Wright | Rutgers University | M, D | Mt. Laurel, N.J. | PDA Arsenal
Shae Yanez | University of Tennessee | GK | Downingtown, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Kaycie Young | University of Kansas/University of Portland | F, M, D | Castle Rock, Colo. | Real Colorado

Latest 2019 NWSL College Draft order

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago (Photo credit: John Todd/isiphotos.com)

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. What you need to know 

2019 NWSL College Draft Order (Last updated on Jan. 9)

Round 1

No. 1 | Chicago Red Stars *
No. 2 | Sky Blue FC
No. 3 | Sky Blue FC #
No. 4 | Washington Spirit &
No. 5 | North Carolina Courage @
No. 6 | Sky Blue FC @@@
No. 7 | Washington Spirit ****
No. 8 | Washington Spirit ^
No. 9 | North Carolina Courage ^^^ **

Round 2

No. 10 | Sky Blue FC
No. 11 | Sky Blue FC #
No. 12 | Houston Dash ##
No. 13 | Houston Dash
No. 14 | North Carolina Courage &&
No. 15 | Chicago Red Stars
No. 16 | Houston Dash @ **
No. 17 | Portland Thorns FC
No. 18 | Houston Dash @

Round 3

No. 19 | Sky Blue FC
No. 20 | Chicago Red Stars ****
No. 21 | Houston Dash @@
No. 22 | Houston Dash
No. 23 | Utah Royals FC
No. 24 | Chicago Red Stars
No. 25 | Orlando Pride ^^
No. 26 | Chicago Red Stars ***
No. 27 | Utah Royals FC &&

Round 4

No. 28 | Sky Blue FC
No. 29 | Washington Spirit
No. 30 | Orlando Pride
No. 31 | Washington Spirit ###
No. 32 | Utah Royals FC
No. 33 | Chicago Red Stars
No. 34 | Sky Blue FC &&&
No. 35 | Portland Thorns FC
No. 36 | North Carolina Courage

**** On January 9, 2019, the Washington Spirit acquired the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft via trade from the Chicago Red Stars. In exchange, Washington sent the 20th pick in the 2019 College Draft and the club’s natural first-round selection in the 2020 College Draft to the Red Stars.

@@@ On January 9, 2019, the Chicago Red Stars have acquired forward Katie Johnson from Sky Blue FC in a trade announced on Wednesday afternoon. In exchange, Sky Blue FC will receive the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and the Red Stars’ highest second-round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.

^^^ On December 17, 2018, the North Carolina Courage acquired Seattle Reign FC’s first-round pick (originally acquired by the Courage from the Reign in the trade for Merritt Mathias **) in exchange for Darian Jenkins.

** Seattle Reign FC acquired the North Carolina Courage’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Seattle’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Merritt MathiasDetails

* The Chicago Red Stars acquired the No. 1 overall pick and the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from Utah Royals FC in exchange for the rights to Christen Press. Utah Royals FC received the No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft when they entered the league and acquired the No. 7 overall pick from the Orlando Pride (via Seattle Reign FC). Details

# Sky Blue FC received a conditional first-round and natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft from the Washington Spirit in exchange for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NWSL dispersal draft. Details

& The Washington Spirit acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Aubrey Bledsoe in exchange for Shelina Zadorsky. Details

@ The North Carolina Courage acquired the Houston Dash’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for two second-round draft picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Allysha ChapmanDetails

^ The Washington Spirit acquired Portland Thorns FC’s natural first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for a 2018 international roster spot and future considerations. Details

## The Houston Dash acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for defender PolianaDetails

&& The North Carolina Courage acquired Utah Royals FC’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and the rights to Heather O’Reilly in exchange for Makenzy Doniak and North Carolina’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. Details

@@ The Houston Dash acquired the Orlando Pride’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Lotta ÖkvistDetails

^^ The Orlando Pride acquired Seattle Reign FC’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and Haley Kopmeyer in exchange for Jasmyne Spencer. Details

*** The Chicago Red Stars acquired Portland Thorns FC’s natural third-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for the 29th pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft. Details

### The Washington Spirit acquired the Houston Dash’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Tiffany Weimer. Details

&&& Sky Blue FC acquired Seattle Reign FC’s natural fourth-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for Adriana Leon. Details

 

 

Katie Johnson traded from Sky Blue FC to Chicago Red Stars

Sky Blue FC now hold eight picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Katie Johnson scored four goals for Sky Blue FC in 2018. (Photo credit: Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com)

The Chicago Red Stars have acquired forward Katie Johnson from Sky Blue FC in a trade announced on Wednesday afternoon. In exchange, Sky Blue FC will receive the sixth overall pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft and the Red Stars’ highest second-round pick in the 2020 NWSL College Draft.

The 2019 NWSL season will be Johnson’s third in the NWSL. She has eight goals in 42 career NWSL games with Sky Blue FC in 2018 and Seattle Reign FC in 2017. Johnson is a member of Mexico’s national team, which did not qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, so she is expected to be available for the full season. Johnson could give the Red Stars a key offensive threat while reigning Golden Boot winner Sam Kerr is away on international duty with Australia. She has eight goals in 21 appearances for Mexico.

“I am absolutely excited and thrilled to be joining this club,” Johnson said in a Red Stars news release. “They’ve always had a great reputation and have repeatedly been one of the top teams in the league. I can’t wait to arrive in Chicago and play with some of the best players because I think if you play with some of the best players it elevates your game too.”

Following the trade, Sky Blue FC now have eight total picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft — three picks in the first round (No. 2, 3 and 6), as well as the No. 10, No. 11, No. 19, N0. 28 and No. 34 picks. Even with giving up a pick, the Red Stars still hold two picks in the first round (No. 1 and No. 7) following the trade, as well as the No. 15, No. 24, No. 26 and No. 33 picks.

The latest order for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, last updated on January 9, can be found here

“Katie is an outstanding forward with international experience that has proven to be a force up top in the NWSL,” head coach Rory Dames said the Red Stars news release. “This is a big get for us and gives us a strong forward to have with us the entire season. I’m excited to welcome Katie to the Chicago family.”

 

 

 

Updated preliminary list of players registered for 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago

NWSL College Draft (Photo credit: Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com)

Tuesday afternoon, the NWSL released an updated preliminary list of registered players for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will take place on January 10 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This is not the final list of players who are eligible to be drafted, and there is still time for players to add their names to the list. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. More NWSL College Draft information, including how players can register for the draft and eligibility requirements can be found here.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Preliminary list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft:

(x) denotes new name since the previous list of registered players was released on January 3

Name (First, Last) | School/University | Position(s) Played | Hometown | Youth Club | Citizenship
Diandra Aliaga | University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | F, M | Spring, Texas | Challenge Soccer Club
Julia Ashley | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | D | Verona, N.J. | Match Fit Academy Colchesters
Dorian Bailey | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Mission, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Bethany Balcer | Spring Arbor University | F, M | Hudsonville, Mich. | Michigan Fire
Camille Bassett | University of Central Arkansas | F, M | Vista, Calif. | San Diego Surf
Jorian Baucom | University of Colorado Boulder/Louisiana State University | F | Scottsdale, Ariz. | SC del Sol
Christina Bellero | St. John’s University | F, M | Melville, N.Y. | East Meadow ECNL
Jessica Bianchi | Trinity Christian College | F, M | Elmhurst, Ill. | Eclipse Select
April Bockin | University of Minnesota | F | Eden Prairie, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
(x) Remy Borinsky | Dartmouth College | F, M | Warren, N.J. | Match Fit Academy Colchesters
Abbie Boswell | University of Alabama/Ball State University | F, M | Woodridge, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
Deirdre Bradley | Old Dominion University | M, D | Newtown Square, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Caroline Brockmeier | Louisiana State University | GK | Tallahassee, Fla. | Eclipse Select
Mykayla Brown | Indiana University | F, D | Indianapolis, Ind. | Indy Premier
Ryley Bugay | Marquette University | M, D | West Lafayette, Ind. | FC Indiana
Lainey Burdett | University of Arizona | GK | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
Katy Byrne | Pepperdine University | F, M | Katy, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
Millene Cabral | Martin Methodist College | F, M | Porto Alegre, Brazil | WFC Gremio Porto Alegre | Brazil
Claudia Cagnina | St. John’s University | F, M | Lindenhurst, N.Y. | Brentwood Pride Soccer Club
Franny Cerny | DePaul University | F, M | Berkeley, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Jewel Christian | George Mason University/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Woodbridge, Va. | Prince Williams Soccer Inc.
Kyra Cloutier | Jacksonville University | M | Ladera Ranch, Calif. | West Coast Futbol Club
(x)Grace Cutler | West Virginia University/Santa Clara University | F, M | Fort Collins, Colo. | Real Colorado
Kelsey Daugherty | University of Alabama Birmingham | GK | Kennesaw, Ga. | Southern Soccer Academy
Hannah Davison | Northwestern University | D | Geneva, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Brooke Denesik | Texas Tech University | D | Anthem, Ariz. | Sereno Soccer Club
Jordan DiBiasi | Stanford University | M | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Kayra Dollas | University of Texas | M, D | Orange, Calif. | Legends FC
Kelsey Dossey | University of Missouri | GK | Plainfield, Ind. | Zionsville Youth Soccer Association
Marissa Everett | University of Oregon | F | Canyon Lake, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Abbie Faingold | Portland State University | GK | Lincoln, Calif. | Placer United Soccer Club
Alexandra Farmer | Heidelberg University | GK | Dayton, Ohio | Metro Coraggio Futbol Club
Caitlin Farrell | Georgetown University | F | Wallingford, Conn. | Connecticut Football Club
Kayla Feigenbaum | University of North Georgia | F, M, D | Peachtree City, Ga. | AFC Lightning Elite ’97
Bayley Feist | Wake Forest University | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
Sabrina Flores | University of Notre Dame | M, D | Livingston, N.J. | PDA Slammers
Vanessa Flores | West Virginia University | M, D | Baytown, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
Janessa Fowler | University of Montana | F, M, D | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Chloe Froment | California State University, Long Beach | M, D | Mezeriat, France | Olympique Lyonnais | France
Amelia Fullmer | Lamar University/Iowa Western Community College | M, D | Pleasant Grove, Utah | Utah Celtic FC
Olivia Gauthier | University of Memphis | M, D | Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada | Shattuck-St. Mary’s | Canada
Patricia George | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, D | Chicago, Ill. | Power Strikers
Nadya Gill | West Virginia University/Quinnipiac University | F, M | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Vaughan SC | Canada
(x) Katie Glenn | University of Texas | F, M, D | Round Rock, Texas | Lonestar Soccer Club
Hannah Godfrey | University of South Alabama | M, D | Thornton-Cleveleys, England | Manchester City Ladies, Blackburn Rovers | England
Ashley Gonzales | California State University, Long Beach | F | Chino Hills, Calif. | Beach FC
Sarah Gorham | Western Kentucky University | F, M, D | Lexington, Ky. | Lexington Futbol Club
Erin Greening | University of Colorado Boulder | F, M, D | Oakland, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Corynne Griffith | Valparaiso University | F, M | Lemont, Ill. | Chicago International Soccer Club
Mariel Gutierrez | University of Northern Colorado | F, M | Gypsum, Colo. | Vail Valley Soccer Club
Grace Hancock | Washington State University | M, D | Boise, Idaho | Boise Thorns FC
Hailey Harbison | Pepperdine University | F, M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
(x) Maddy Haro | Washington State University | F, M, D | Corona, Calif. | Legends FC
Donish Henry | Lynn University | F, M | Parkland, Fla. | Schulz Academy
Emily Heslin | University of Minnesota | M, D | Woodbury, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
(x) Kayla Hill | Texas Christian University | M | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
(x) Rachel Hise | University of Missouri-Columbia | M, D | Lucas, Texas | Dallas Sting
Arden Holden | Ohio State University | F, M, D | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
Rebecca Holloway | Cumberland University | M, D | Bristol, England | Bristol Academy | England
Erica Hubert | Bowling Green State University | F, M | Welland, Ontario, Canada | Burlington Bayhawks | Canada
Jazmin Jackmon | Santa Clara University/University of Oregon | D | Sacramento, Calif. | LA Premier FC
(x) Alison Jahansouz | Stanford University | GK | Huntington Beach, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Julie James | Baylor University | M, D | Fairview, Texas | Dallas Sting
Natalie Johnson | Old Dominion University | F, D | New Bern, N.C. | JASA Surge
Liane Keegans | University of Connecticut | F, M, D | Wayzata, Minn. | CFC United
Devon Kerr | Ohio State University | GK | Columbus, Ohio | Glen Shields FC
Alex Kimball | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M, D | Chapel Hill, N.C. | CASL
Sarah Kinzner | University of Colorado Boulder | M | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Calgary Foothills United
CeCe Kizer | University of Mississippi | F, M | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Caroline Kopp | University at Albany | D | Fayetteville, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
(x) Shelby Lee | University of California, Irvine | F, M, D | Carlsbad, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Samantha Leshnak | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | GK | Liberty Township, Ohio | Ohio Elite Soccer Academy
Marie Levasseur | University of Memphis | F, M, D | Stoneham, Quebec, Canada | Haute-Saint-Charles | Canada
(x) Hailie Mace | UCLA | F, D | Ventura, Calif. | Eagles Soccer Club
Carrie Madden | Marquette University | F, M | Barrington, Ill. | Eclipse Select
Kaylan Marckese | University of Florida | GK | St. Petersburg, Fla. | Tampa Bay United
Kate Mason | Lipscomb University | GK | Keller, Texas | FC Dallas Premier
Summer Mason | University of San Diego/Seattle University | F, M, D | Carlsbad, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Hannah Massagli | William Jessup University/Notre Dame de Namur University | F, M, D | Loomis, Calif. | Cal Blues
Morgan Matthews | Portland State University | F, M, D | Portland, Ore. | Crossfire United ECNL
Carly Mauldin | Mississippi State University | M | Laurel, Miss. | GCUFC
Kayla McCoy | Duke University | F | Lincolnwood, Ill. | Sockers FC Chicago
Colleen McKay | Western Michigan University | M, D | Rochester Hills, Mich. | Vardar SC
Lauren Milliet | Colorado College | F, M, D | Durango, Colo. | Rio Rapids SC
Paige Monaghan | Butler University | F, M, D | Roxbury, N.J. | PDA Clash
(x) Melanie Monteagudo | University of Florida | F, M | Pembroke Pines, Fla. | Sunrise Sting
Cosette Morche | Texas A&M University | GK | Lawrenceville, Ga. | Atlanta Fire United
Katie Murray | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
Karin Muya | University of Notre Dame | F, M | London, England | Chelsea Ladies Football Club | England
(x) Kari Närdemann | Tennessee Tech University | GK | Herne, Germany | SGS Essen | Germany
Miranda Nild | University of California, Berkeley | F, M | Castro Valley, Calif. | Mustang Soccer
Madeline Nolf | Penn State University | D | Omaha, Neb. | Elite Girls Academy
Emily Ogle | Penn State University | M | Strongsville, Ohio | Internationals SC
(x) Nano Oronoz | California State University, Fullerton | F, M, D | La Mirada, Calif. | Galaxy FC South Bay
Alyssa Palacios | University of Texas at El Paso | GK | Carrollton, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
Lexi Pelafas | Central Michigan University | F, M | Wheaton, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
Peyton Perea | Wake Forest University | F, M | Riverside, Calif. | Legends FC
Kelso Peskin | Lamar University | F, M | Cape Town, South Africa | University of the Western Cape | South Africa
Jennifer Phillips | Grace College/Saint Joseph’s College | F, M | Cary, Ill. | Ela SC
Madison Pogarch | Rutgers University/Central Michigan University | F, M, D | Hartland, Mich. | Michigan Jaguars FC
Maddie Pokorny | Saint Louis University | F, M | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Taylor Porter | North Carolina State University | M, D | Raleigh, N.C. | Surf Soccer Club
Brielle Preece | Pepperdine University | GK | Livermore, Calif. | Pleasanton Rage
Ally Prisock | University of Southern California | D | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Legends FC, So Cal Blues
Leah Pruitt | University of Southern California/San Diego State | F | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Slammers FC
Jemma Purfield | Arizona State University | F, M, D | Cottingham, England | Doncaster Rovers Belles | England
Kristen Ricks | University of Central Arkansas | M, D | Keller, Texas | Fort Worth FC
Kendall Ritchie | Texas A&M University | M, D | Austin, Texas | Lonestar Soccer Club
Kristen Ritter | Misericordia University | D | Hauppauge, N.Y. | Smithtown Revolution
Tanya Samarzich | University of Kentucky | F, M | Upland, Calif. | Legends FC
Maria Sanchez | Santa Clara University/Idaho State | F, M | American Falls, Idaho | American Falls
(x) Lindsay Sands | Saint Louis University | F, M, D | Amherst, Ohio | Ambassadors Futbol Club
Hannah Scafaria | University of Toledo | F, D | Kalamazoo, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
Taylor Schneider | Arkansas State University | M, D | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Kayla Sharples | Northwestern University | D | Naperville, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Felicia Silveira | Lynn University/Kutztown University | F, M | Hampton, N.J. | Match Fit Academy
Paige Simoneau | San Jose State University | GK | Corona, Calif. | Legends FC
Hailey Skolmoski North | University of Utah | F, D | Riverton, Utah | Utah Avalanche
Rachelle Smith | University of Florida | D | Pembroke Pines, Fla. | Palm Beach MagicJack
Briana Solis | University of Florida | M | Orlando, Fla. | Florida Kraze/Krush
Sam Staab | Clemson University | M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Natalie Stephens | Arizona State University | F, M, GK | Phoenix, Ariz. | SC del Sol
April Stewart | William Carey University | M, D | Pascagoula, Miss. | GCUFC
Raisa Strom-Okimoto | University of Hawaii | F, M | Aiea, Hawaii | Surf Soccer Hawaii
(x) Kelli Swenson | University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee | D | Wauwatosa, Wisc. | Milwaukee Sport Club
Jenna Szczesny | Loyola University Chicago | F | Hoffman Estates, Ill. | Chicago Red Stars U-19
Devan Talley | Eastern Washington University | F, M | Bellevue, Wash. | Crossfire Premier ECNL
Kyra Taylor | University of California, Riverside | M, D | Elk Grove, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Brittany TerryGrambling State University/Concordia University Irvine | D | St. George, Utah | Utah Avalanche
Alex Thomas | Louisiana State University | F, D | New Orleans, La. | Chicago Fire Juniors Louisiana
Kaycie Tillman | Florida State University | F, M | Rowlett, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
(x) Taylor Torres | University of North Texas | F, M | Frisco, Texas | FC Dallas Soccer Club
Sarah Troccoli | University of Florida | M | Troy, Mich. | Michigan Gators
Phallon Tullis-Joyce | University of Miami | GK | Medford, N.Y. | Match Fit Colchesters
Vera Varis | University of Central Florida | GK | Vantaa, Finland | HJK (Finland) | Finland
(x) Marisa Viggiano | Northwestern University | M | Macomb, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
Scout Watson | University of Colorado Boulder | GK | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
(x) Lucy Whipp | St. John’s University | F, M | Ormskirk, England | Everton Ladies | England
(x) Carly Wickenheiser | Texas Tech University | M, D | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
Antoinette Williams | South Dakota State University | D | Cottage Grove, Minn. | Fire SC ’98
Charlotte Williams | Penn State University | F, M | Rochester, N.Y. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Mariah Williams | University at Albany | F, M | Whitesboro, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
Kenie Wright | Rutgers University | M, D | Mt. Laurel, N.J. | PDA Arsenal
Shae Yanez | University of Tennessee | GK | Downingtown, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Kaycie Young | University of Kansas/University of Portland | F, M, D | Castle Rock, Colo. | Real Colorado

Spirit hire Richie Burke as head coach, name technical staff

Burke will serve as the new head coach and technical director

The Washington Spirit finished the 2018 NWSL season with a 2-17-5 overall record. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

The Washington Spirit hired Richie Burke as the new head coach and technical director on Tuesday.

In addition to the hiring of Burke, the Spirit also welcomed Michael Minthorne as the new high performance coach and Christian Cziommer as the tactical analyst and team performance coach.

Burke joins the NWSL after serving as the head coach of D.C. United’s Under-23 team. He previously coached with D.C. United’s academy program from 2005-2010 and later went on to work with Livingston FC in the Scottish Professional Football League from 2012-2013. He found his way back to D.C. United in 2014.

“I’ve worked with professional men’s teams in both the U.K. and U.S., and now the chance to work with professional women is very exciting,” Burke said in the Spirit press release. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to coach this team of world-class players, alongside a knowledgeable and passionate group of coaches and staff. We will work tirelessly to provide Spirit fans with an exciting brand of football that they will be proud of, and establish a winning culture on and off the field.”

The Spirit return members of their technical staff in Tom Torres  (player/opponent analyst and technical development coach), Kati Jo “KJ” Spisak (scouting and reserve team head coach) and Ben Berczek (equipment manager and training coordinator).

Last week, the Spirit hired Larry Best as the team’s first CEO. According to a press release from the Spirit, his role will include club strategy and operations along with the hiring and management of technical staff.

Notebook: Orlando, Houston make front office moves; more player news

The latest NWSL news

Orlando City Stadium (Photo credit: Mark Thor/Orlando Pride)

As the 2019 NWSL College Draft approaches, teams are continuing to make moves. Here’s the latest news from around the NWSL following a busy Monday:

 

The Orlando Pride named former Orlando City (MLS) player Erik Ustruck as general manager. Ustruck will manage all aspects of the Pride’s technical operations, the club said, and report to Luiz Muzzi, the new executive vice president of soccer operations for Orlando City SC.

The Pride said that Ustruck has been assisting with the team’s search for a new head coach, who will be announced in the near future. The Pride also said that Ustruck will represent the Pride at the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will take place Thursday.

Ustruck was most recently the manager of soccer operations for the Pride and Orlando City.

“I am honored and excited to begin this new position with the Pride and want to thank Luiz and the rest of the executive leadership for entrusting me with this opportunity,” Ustruck said in a Pride news release. “We have already hit the ground running, not only to put together a strong, competitive roster, but also to build a team culture here in Orlando that every player will want to be a part of.”


Brian Ching has stepped down as managing director of the Houston Dash, the club announced on Monday, to focus on personal and entrepreneurial interests. He will serve as an advisor to the Dash for the 2019 season.

Dash head coach James Clarkson will be the technical director for the Dash, and oversee all soccer operations and player personnel decisions.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to have worked for the Dash. I remember the first time we discussed the idea of creating an NWSL club, and six years later we have the most talented team in the history of the club,” Ching said in a Dash news release. “I will be available to help in any way possible as James gets acclimated with the league, starting with the NWSL College Draft next week. Fans can find me at BBVA Compass Stadium as I support James and the rest of the team for an exciting NWSL season.”


Also on Monday, the North Carolina Courage announced the signing of Swedish midfielder Julia Spetsmarkpending the receipt of her P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC).

Spetsmark made her senior international debut for Sweden in 2016 and made one appearance at the 2017 Euros. She most recently played for Djurgården in the Damallsvenskan in Sweden, scoring six goals in 11 games after joining the team in July of 2018.

“Julia fits our profile for an attacking player. Skillful, pacey, excellent 1-on-1 ability, crafty and relentless both sides of the ball,” said Courage head coach Paul Riley said in a team news release.  “It’s a tremendous opportunity for Julia and we believe this will be key in her establishing herself as an invaluable piece on the Swedish national team. Excited to add her to all the other key attacking pieces we have.”


Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan has been added to the U.S. women’s national team roster for their upcoming training camp in Portugal and friendlies in France and Sweden, U.S. Soccer announced Monday.

The USWNT will now have 27 players in camp.

 

U.S. WNT Roster by Position – January Camp 2019 (Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 38/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 30/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 12/1), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 75/24), Emily Fox (UNC; 2/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 41/8), Andi Sullivan (Washington Spirit; 11/0), McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage; 7/0)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 3/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 153/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)

What You Need To Know: 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago. (Photo credit: Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com)

What you need to know for the 2019 NWSL College Draft.

 

When/Where

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, at 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago. The draft will be open to the public and media and will be held in the Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place, with DJ Amy Robbins doing the music inside the room.

Attending the draft? RSVP to our Facebook event: nwsl.us/2ONUBcC

 

2019 NWSL College Draft

United Soccer Coaches Convention

McCormick Place – West Building

2301 S. King Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60616

Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019

Start time: 12 p.m. ET/11 a.m. CT

Room: Skyline Ballroom

 

How to Watch and Follow Every Pick

Fans can watch the draft live by visiting: Facebook.com/NWSL, YouTube.com/NWSL and NWSLsoccer.com. (Download the NWSL App: iTunes App Store | Google Play)

Marisa Pilla, Lori Lindsey, Jen Cooper and Jordan Angeli, along with special guests, will be on the call for the draft live from McCormick Place in Chicago, providing fans will the latest news, information and insight on each selection.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

Latest Order

The latest order for the 2019 NWSL College Draft can be found here.

 

Players Available

On January 3, the NWSL released an updated preliminary list of players eligible for the 2019 NWSL College Draft. The list can be found here.

This is not the final list of players who are eligible to be drafted, and there is still time for players to add their names to the list. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

Link for players to register.

The eligibility requirements have been amended for the 2019 season.

“In order to be eligible for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, a player must:

  • Be a player who will forego any remaining college eligibility or must have exhausted their eligibility during the 2018/2019 academic year, and
  • Be at least 18-years-old during the College Protected Period (which ends at the conclusion of the 2019 season), and
  • Register for the draft with the NWSL by the deadline at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

The League will review each College Draft registration form. No player may be selected who has not registered for the College Draft; unregistered and ineligible players will not be included on the list of interested players provided to the teams on the day of the College Draft.” More Details

 

How the Draft Works

NWSL teams will take turns making their selections over four rounds, with nine picks per round. Utah Royals FC were awarded the first pick in the draft when they joined the league, but later traded it to the Chicago Red Stars. The rest of the draft order in Round 1, and for Rounds 2, 3 and 4, is in reverse order of the 2018 regular season standings.

Picks are eligible to be traded, and indeed many of the picks in this year have been traded — some more than once. [Read all the details of the traded picks]

 

United Soccer Coaches Convention

The United Soccer Coaches Convention will take place Jan. 9-13, 2019 in Chicago. More details can be found here: unitedsoccercoachesconvention.org.

On Friday, NWSL managing director Amanda Duffy will hold a one-on-one session with Alexi Lalas from 9:30 a.m. CT to 10:30 a.m. CT.

Also on Friday, Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey will hold a one-on-one session with JP Dellacamera from 2:30 p.m. CT to 3:30 p.m. CT.

Convention Schedule

NWSL College Draft: Players to Watch

14 names to listen for at the 2019 NWSL College Draft

UNC senior Julia Ashley has registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft. (Photo credit: Andy Mead/isiphotos.com)

At the 2018 NWSL College Draft, it was no surprise to anyone when Andi Sullivan was chosen first overall out of Stanford by the Washington Spirit. This year, however, it isn’t as easy to predict who will be selected first.

On January 3, the NWSL released an updated list of players who have registered for the draft. Note — This is not the final list of players who are eligible to be drafted, and there is still time for players to add their names to the list. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. Registration details

As the big selection day draws near, here are 14 seniors to watch for, if they register for this year’s draft.

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will be held on Thursday, January 10 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago and the Chicago Red Stars hold the first pick. Full draft order

 

Khadija “Bunny” Shaw, Tennessee 

The senior forward out of the University of Tennessee has had quite the year, both for her college team but also on the international level with Jamaica. Shaw made her international debut in July before World Cup qualifying and scored a jaw-dropping 19 goals in 12 appearances to lead all goal scorers in World Cup qualifying, in any confederation. Shaw’s goals helped Jamaica clinch their first-ever Women’s World Cup berth. For the Vols, Shaw finished her final season with 13 goals in 15 appearances.


Hailie Mace, UCLA

Despite playing in just 13 games for the Bruins due to her international duties with the U.S. women’s national team, Mace still totaled nine goals in her senior season. Mace led her team in game-winning goals (3) and was named an All-American. Mace has already showed that she can play at the highest level given her national team call-up and first cap in 2018. Mace is versatile and has showed that she can succeed as either a forward or defender. She finished her career with 24 goals and 12 assists.


Julia Ashley, UNC

Ashley was a four-year starter in the back for North Carolina and helped the Tar Heels win 60 games and an ACC title in 2017. The Tar Heels fell to their ACC rival Florida State in the NCAA Women’s College Cup final, but Ashley’s senior career was nothing short of impressive on all sides of the pitch. Ashley led the Tar Heels in assists (10) and was tied for the team lead in goals (6). Ashley is the type of player that can be seen all over the field in any given game – her fitness is top tier and was on full display when she scored the game-winner against Georgetown in the national semifinals.


Jordan DiBiasi, Stanford 

DiBiasi was a key part of Stanford’s midfield this season and was named Pac-12 Midfielder of the Year along with being named first-team All-America. She finished her career for the Cardinal with 31 goals and 23 assists, 15 of which were game winners. Her senior year she had 10 goals and 10 assists for 30 points. DiBiasi is a player who can find the back of the net in big moments – in the College Cup semifinal game against South Carolina, DiBiasi scored twice to push her team onto the final.


Caitlin Farrell, Georgetown

 The senior forward out of Georgetown helped the Hoyas finish the 2018 season as the most successful team in program history with an overall record of 21-1-3. Farrell scored 18 goals, eight of which were game-winners and chipped in three assists. Farrell is another senior forward who can score big goals, but even more promising is that she has improved every season. Farrell went from scoring just one goal as a rookie, three goals in her sophomore campaign, to closing out her college career with eight as a junior and then 18 in her final season.


Emily Ogle, Penn State 

Ogle is a redshirt senior out of Penn State and was named Big Ten Midfielder of the Year after scoring six goals and adding five assists in her final season. She finished her career with the Nittany Lions with 20 goals and 21 assists. Ogle started all 25 matches this past season and is a dynamic midfielder that has a field awareness that will help her adapt to the professional pace.


Victoria Pickett, Wisconsin 

Pickett is a senior midfielder out of the University of Wisconsin and became the first All-American since Washington Spirit midfielder Rose Lavelle picked up the nod for UW in 2016. Pickett finished 2018 with one goal and four assists for six points. Pickett is best when given the task to distribute and open space for her attacking line.


Ally Prisock, USC 

Starting every game in the back for the University of Southern California, Prisock helped the Trojans earn 15 shutouts this past season, the second most in program history and allow just 11 goals. Prisock was named First Team All-American along with her All Pac-12 and All-Pacific Region first team honors. The defender earned 90 career starts and also scored one and had an assist in her senior season.


Leah Pruitt, USC 

Pruitt is another standout player from USC. Pruitt finished her senior season second on the team in points (33) after scoring 12 goals and earning nine assists. Pruitt led the Pac-12 in game-winning goals (6). Her career for the Trojans started in 2016 after transferring from San Diego State. Pruitt emerged from an offensive spark off the bench her sophomore season to a starter her junior and senior year. 


Bianca St. Georges, West Virginia 

 St. Georges was a lockdown defender for the University of West Virginia in 2018 earning All-America and 2018 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year accolades. She helped the Mountaineers earn 12 shutouts this season and snatch the Big 12 championship. Don’t let her defensive position fool you, St. Georges also proved she can score goals. This past season she scored seven goals, after only having two goals in her career prior to last year. 


Arielle Schechtman, Georgetown

In 2018, Schechtman was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year for the second year in a row. The Georgetown goalkeeper led the nation in shutouts (15), goals-against-average (.296) and save percentage (.920). She made 80 saves this season and allowed only seven goals through 23 games. Schechtman will likely be the first goalkeeper out of the 2019 draft class to get scooped up, she lifted the Hoyas to their most successful year yet with a 21-1-3 overall record. 

 


Alana Cook, Stanford 

Defender Alana Cook was part of the standout Stanford senior class that went 82-6-5 overall including an impressive 41-1-2 in Pac 12-play over their four-year careers. Cook picked up All-America honors and finished her career with five goals and seven assists. Cook started all 93 games during her four years at Stanford and was named Pac-12 Defender of the Year this season.


CeCe Kizer, Ole Miss

Kizer closed out her career at Ole Miss with 13 goals her senior season along with nine assists. She led the SEC in both, respectively and picked up an All-American nod. She set an Ole Miss career record for goals (48), points (119). The forward has put Ole Miss on her back and will surely find a way to score some goals if selected by an NWSL team.


Kayla McCoy, Duke 

McCoy finished her career at Duke leading her team in goals (12), shots (61), attempts on goal (36) and assists (8). McCoy was a firepower on offense and was named an All-American in 2018. McCoy led the ACC with eight goals and finished second with 19 points. McCoy played alongside 2018 NWSL Rookie of the Year Imani Dorsey (Sky Blue FC) when Dorsey was at Duke. The two were dynamic on the front line, each scoring 14 goals in 2017.

Utah Royals FC sign midfielder Veronica Boquete

Boquete last played in the NWSL in 2014

Utah Royals FC have signed midfielder Verónica Boquete, the club announced Friday. Boquete rejoins the NWSL after playing for Portland Thorns FC in 2014.

Boquete joins Utah Royals FC after last playing in China for Beijing BG Phoenix. After departing the Thorns, she also played for Frankfurt, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain. She scored four goals and six assists in 15 games with the Thorns in 2014.

I wanted a new challenge in an ambitious club. There is nothing better than Utah Royals FC and the NWSL,” Boquete said in comments released by Utah Royals FC. “I am happy to be back in the U.S. and I am grateful for the trust of Utah Royals FC. I can’t wait to start the season and fight for our goals. Great club, team, fantastic fans, and a world class coach. I am looking forward to meeting my teammates and to work with Laura.”

“We are really happy to bring Vero to Utah. She is a proven talent that knows what it takes to play in the NWSL,” Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey said in the team’s news release about the signing. “Her commitment to wanting the best is unbelievable and once we started speaking about the possibility of bringing her to the club, that level of professionalism shined through. Vero is a player I have admired for a number of years and I am glad we can finally work together. She is a proven goal-scorer, play-maker, and can play anywhere in the midfield or the frontline.”

Boquete also has international experience, having last played for Spain in 2017. In 2011, she was named Player of the Year of Women’s Professional Soccer while playing for the Philadelphia Independence.

She should help a Utah Royals FC offense that finished with the third-fewest goals in the league last season, and will likely lose several key offensive players to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

USWNT roster set for January camp and friendlies in Europe

The United States will play France on January 19 and Spain on January 22

The USWNT is headed to Europe in January. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicking off in June, teams are beginning their final preparations leading up to next summer’s tournament. On Friday, U.S. Soccer announced that U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis has called in 26 players for January’s training camp and games on the road vs. France and Spain. Twenty-four of those players are from the NWSL.

The United States will play France in Le Havre on January 19 (2:30 p.m. ET/FS1) and then Spain in Alicante on January 22 (2:30 p.m. ET/ESPN2 & UDN). They’ll travel to Europe for a camp in Portugal beginning January 7 before traveling to the game in France. It’s the first time that the USWNT’s annual January training camp will take place in Europe. Ellis will name gameday rosters for each game, and not all players in camp will suit up for each match.

The game at Stade Océane in Le Havre will give the U.S. a preview of the stadium that will host their final group stage game of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, vs. Sweden on June 20. The U.S. will play Spain at Estadio José Rico Perez in Alicante. It will be the first time the U.S. will play Spain, and also the first time they will play in Spain.

“It’s a real positive to start the year with this training period in Portugal and then play two top teams in France and Spain away,” Ellis said in a U.S. Soccer news release. “Finding ways to be successful against European teams in Europe is something every team in the World Cup will have to do to advance deep into the tournament, so this is an essential trip in our prep for the summer.”

North Carolina Courage midfielder McCall Zerboni and Stanford defender Tierna Davidson are back with the team for the first time since suffering injuries last fall. Also back with the team after missing the November trip to Europe are Chicago Red Stars midfielder Morgan Brian, Portland Thorns forward Tobin Heath, Utah Royals FC defender Kelley O’Hara and Utah Royals FC forward Christen Press.

Houston Dash goalkeeper Jane Campbell is one of four goalkeepers in camp, her first call-up since April 2018. She joins Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride) and Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC).

Chicago Red Stars midfielder Danielle Colaprico, who earned her first caps in November, and North Carolina Courage forward Jessica McDonald, who scored her first international goal in November, are both on the roster for this camp.

The two non-NWSL players called in for this camp are Davidson and University of North Carolina defender Emily Fox.

 

U.S. WNT Roster by Position – January Camp 2019 (Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (4): Jane Campbell (Houston Dash; 3/0), Adrianna Franch (Portland Thorns FC; 0/0), Ashlyn Harris (Orlando Pride; 19/0), Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars; 38/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage; 30/0), Tierna Davidson (Stanford; 12/1), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage; 75/24), Emily Fox (UNC; 2/0), Kelley O’Hara (Utah Royals FC; 112/2), Becky Sauerbrunn (Utah Royals FC; 149/0), Casey Short (Chicago Red Stars; 27/0), Emily Sonnett (Portland Thorns FC; 26/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Morgan Brian (Chicago Red Stars; 81/6), Danielle Colaprico (Chicago Red Stars; 2/0), Julie Ertz (Chicago Red Stars; 73/18), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC; 62/7), Rose Lavelle (Washington Spirit; 20/6), Samantha Mewis (North Carolina Courage; 41/8), McCall Zerboni (North Carolina Courage; 7/0)

FORWARDS (7): Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC; 142/25), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC; 265/105), Jessica McDonald (North Carolina Courage; 3/1), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride; 153/98), Christen Press (Utah Royals FC; 106/46), Mallory Pugh (Washington Spirit; 43/12), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC; 145/41)

 

“We are fortunate to have solid depth in numbers for this pre-camp, because having the ability to train against ourselves is a vital part of our preparation,” Ellis said in the release. “Inviting seven central midfielders and seven forwards for three starting positions each, speaks to the depth and competitiveness of the front six. We recognize that we have formally entered a World Cup year and I know the players’ focus and enthusiasm will reflect the importance of the work we have to do in January.”

Notebook: Spirit, Dash and Red Stars add to staff ahead of the 2019 season

The latest news from the NWSL offseason

The 2019 NWSL regular season will begin the weekend of April 13-14. (Photo credit: Wilf Thorne/isiphotos.com)

It continues to be a busy offseason for teams across the NWSL as the Washington Spirit, Houston Dash and the Chicago Red Stars all announced new additions to their staff this week.

On Friday, the Spirit hired Larry Best as the team’s first CEO. According to a press release from the Spirit his role will include club strategy and operations along with the hiring and management of technical staff.


Additionally on Friday, the Chicago Red Stars named named Rade Tanaskovic as the goalkeeper coach. Tanaskovic joins the Red Stars after coaching the goalkeepers at the University of Iowa. Tanaskovic led his unit to 14 shutouts and 17 wins over two seasons.

“The Chicago Red Stars is one of the best soccer organizations in the land and I am very thankful for the opportunity to be part of it,” Tanaskovic said in the Red Stars press release. “I have been blessed to be able to work with some remarkable individuals throughout my career and that trend is going to continue here in Chicago by working with Coach Dames and rest of the staff. I truly look forward to meeting all the players and starting preseason soon.”


On Thursday, the Houston Dash announced their technical staff for the 2019 season. Joining new Dash head coach James Clarkson as assistant coaches are Eddie Robinson and Monica Gonzalez, and Brenton Saylor was hired as the goalkeeper coach.

“I’m extremely excited about the technical staff we have been able to put together for the new season,” Clarkson said in the Dash’s press release. “All three bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help me and the players on and off the field. We are striving to create an outstanding environment and culture that will allow everyone involved to be successful.”

Updated preliminary list of players eligible for 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago

Thursday afternoon, the NWSL released an updated preliminary list of registered players for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will take place on January 10 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This is not the final list of players who are eligible to be drafted, and there is still time for players to add their names to the list. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. More NWSL College Draft information, including how players can register for the draft and eligibility requirements can be found here.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Preliminary list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft:

(x) denotes new name since the first list of registered players was released on December 19

Name (First, Last) | School/University | Position(s) Played | Hometown | Youth Club | Citizenship
Diandra Aliaga | University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | F, M | Spring, Texas | Challenge Soccer Club
(x) Julia Ashley | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | D | Verona, N.J. | Match Fit Academy Colchesters
(x) Dorian Bailey | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Mission, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
(x) Bethany Balcer | Spring Arbor University | F, M | Hudsonville, Mich. | Michigan Fire
Camille Bassett | University of Central Arkansas | F, M | Vista, Calif. | San Diego Surf
Jorian Baucom | University of Colorado Boulder/Louisiana State University | F | Scottsdale, Ariz. | SC del Sol
(x) Christina Bellero | St. John’s University | F, M | Melville, N.Y. | East Meadow ECNL
(x) Jessica Bianchi | Trinity Christian College | F, M | Elmhurst, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) April Bockin | University of Minnesota | F | Eden Prairie, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
(x) Abbie Boswell | University of Alabama/Ball State University | F, M | Woodridge, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
Deirdre Bradley | Old Dominion University | M, D | Newtown Square, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
(x) Caroline Brockmeier | Louisiana State University | GK | Tallahassee, Fla. | Eclipse Select
(x) Mykayla Brown | Indiana University | F, D | Indianapolis, Ind. | Indy Premier
(x) Ryley Bugay | Marquette University | M, D | West Lafayette, Ind. | FC Indiana
Lainey Burdett | University of Arizona | GK | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
(x) Katy Byrne | Pepperdine University | F, M | Katy, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
Millene Cabral | Martin Methodist College | F, M | Porto Alegre, Brazil | WFC Gremio Porto Alegre | Brazil
(x) Claudia Cagnina | St. John’s University | F, M | Lindenhurst, N.Y. | Brentwood Pride Soccer Club
Franny Cerny | DePaul University | F, M | Berkeley, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Jewel Christen | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Woodbridge, Va. | Prince Williams Soccer Inc.
Kyra Cloutier | Jacksonville University | M | Ladera Ranch, Calif. | West Coast Futbol Club
(x)Grace Cutler | West Virginia University/Santa Clara University | F, M | Fort Collins, Colo. | Real Colorado
Kelsey Daugherty | University of Alabama Birmingham | GK | Kennesaw, Ga. | Southern Soccer Academy
(x) Hannah Davison | Northwestern University | D | Geneva, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Jordan DiBiasi | Stanford University | M | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
(x) Kayra Dollas | University of Texas | M, D | Orange, Calif. | Legends FC
(x) Kelsey Dossey | University of Missouri | GK | Plainfield, Ind. | Zionsville Youth Soccer Association
Marissa Everett | University of Oregon | F | Canyon Lake, Calif. | So Cal Blues
Abbie Faingold | Portland State University | GK | Lincoln, Calif. | Placer United Soccer Club
Alexandra Farmer | Heidelberg University | GK | Dayton, Ohio | Metro Coraggio Futbol Club
Caitlin Farrell | Georgetown University | F | Wallingford, Conn. | Connecticut Football Club
Kayla Feigenbaum | University of North Georgia | F, M, D | Peachtree City, Ga. | AFC Lightning Elite ’97
(x) Bayley Feist | Wake Forest University | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
(x) Vanessa Flores | West Virginia University | M, D | Baytown, Texas | Albion Hurricanes FC
Sabrina Flores | University of Notre Dame | M, D | Livingston, N.J. | PDA Slammers
Janessa Fowler | University of Montana | F, M, D | Highlands Ranch, Colo. | Colorado Rush
Chloe Froment | California State University, Long Beach | M, D | Mezeriat, France | Olympique Lyonnais | France
Amelia Fullmer | Lamar University/Iowa Western Community College | M, D | Pleasant Grove, Utah | Utah Celtic FC
Olivia Gauthier | University of Memphis | M, D | Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada | Shattuck-St. Mary’s | Canada
Patricia George | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, D | Chicago, Ill. | Power Strikers
Nadya Gill | West Virginia University/Quinnipiac University | F, M | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Vaughan SC | Canada
Hannah Godfrey | University of South Alabama | M, D | Thornton-Cleveleys, England | Manchester City Ladies, Blackburn Rovers | England
(x) Ashley Gonzales | California State University, Long Beach | F | Chino Hills, Calif. | Beach FC
Sarah Gorham | Western Kentucky University | F, M, D | Lexington, Ky. | Lexington Futbol Club
Erin Greening | University of Colorado Boulder | F, M, D | Oakland, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Corynne Griffith | Valparaiso University | F, M | Lemont, Ill. | Chicago International Soccer Club
Mariel Gutierrez | University of Northern Colorado | F, M | Gypsum, Colo. | Vail Valley Soccer Club
(x) Grace Hancock | Washington State University | M, D | Boise, Idaho | Boise Thorns FC
Hailey Harbison | Pepperdine University | F, M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Donish Henry | Lynn University | F, M | Parkland, Fla. | Schulz Academy
(x) Emily Heslin | University of Minnesota | M, D | Woodbury, Minn. | Minnesota Thunder Academy
Arden Holden | Ohio State University | F, M, D | Las Vegas, Nev. | Heat FC
(x) Rebecca Holloway | Cumberland University | M, D | Bristol, England | Bristol Academy | England
(x) Erica Hubert | Bowling Green State University | F, M | Welland, Ontario, Canada | Burlington Bayhawks | Canada
Jazmin Jackmon | Santa Clara University/University of Oregon | D | Sacramento, Calif. | LA Premier FC
(x) Julie James | Baylor University | M, D | Fairview, Texas | Dallas Sting
(x) Natalie Johnson | Old Dominion University | F, D | New Bern, N.C. | JASA Surge
Liane Keegans | University of Connecticut | F, M, D | Wayzata, Minn. | CFC United
Devon Kerr | Ohio State University | GK | Columbus, Ohio | Glen Shields FC
(x) Alex Kimball | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M, D | Chapel Hill, N.C. | CASL
(x) Sarah Kinzner | University of Colorado Boulder | M | Calgary, Alberta, Canada | Calgary Foothills United
CeCe Kizer | University of Mississippi | F, M | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
Caroline Kopp | University at Albany | D | Fayetteville, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
Samantha Leshnak | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | GK | Liberty Township, Ohio | Ohio Elite Soccer Academy
Marie Levasseur | University of Memphis | F, M, D | Stoneham, Quebec, Canada | Haute-Saint-Charles | Canada
(x) Carrie Madden | Marquette University | F, M | Barrington, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Kaylan Marckese | University of Florida | GK | St. Petersburg, Fla. | Tampa Bay United
(x) Kate Mason | Lipscomb University | GK | Keller, Texas | FC Dallas Premier
(x) Summer Mason | University of San Diego/Seattle University | F, M, D | Carlsbad, Calif. | So Cal Blues
(x) Hannah Massagli | William Jessup University/Notre Dame de Namur University | F, M, D | Loomis, Calif. | Cal Blues
Morgan Matthews | Portland State University | F, M, D | Portland, Ore. | Crossfire United ECNL
Carly Mauldin | Mississippi State University | M | Laurel, Miss. | GCUFC
(x) Kayla McCoy | Duke University | F | Lincolnwood, Ill. | Sockers FC Chicago
Colleen McKay | Western Michigan University | M, D | Rochester Hills, Mich. | Vardar SC
Lauren Milliet | Colorado College | F, M, D | Durango, Colo. | Rio Rapids SC
(x) Paige Monaghan | Butler University | F, M, D | Roxbury, N.J. | PDA Clash
Cosette Morche | Texas A&M University | GK | Lawrenceville, Ga. | Atlanta Fire United
Katie Murray | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, M | Cincinnati, Ohio | Kings Hammer Academy
(x) Karin Muya | University of Notre Dame | F, M | London, England | Chelsea Ladies Football Club | England
Miranda Nild | University of California, Berkeley | F, M | Castro Valley, Calif. | Mustang Soccer
(x) Madeline Nolf | Penn State University | D | Omaha, Neb. | Elite Girls Academy
(x) Emily Ogle | Penn State University | M | Strongsville, Ohio | Internationals SC
Alyssa Palacios | University of Texas at El Paso | GK | Carrollton, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
Lexi Pelafas | Central Michigan University | F, M | Wheaton, Ill. | Naperville Soccer Association
Peyton Perea | Wake Forest University | F, M | Riverside, Calif. | Legends FC
Kelso Peskin | Lamar University | F, M | Cape Town, South Africa | University of the Western Cape | South Africa
Jennifer Phillips | Grace College/Saint Joseph’s College | F, M | Cary, Ill. | Ela SC
(x) Madison Pogarch | Rutgers University/Central Michigan University | F, M, D | Hartland, Mich. | Michigan Jaguars FC
(x) Maddie Pokorny | Saint Louis University | F, M | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
(x) Taylor Porter | North Carolina State University | M, D | Raleigh, N.C. | Surf Soccer Club
(x) Brielle Preece | Pepperdine University | GK | Livermore, Calif. | Pleasanton Rage
Ally Prisock | University of Southern California | D | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Legends FC, So Cal Blues
(x) Leah Pruitt | University of Southern California/San Diego State | F | Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Slammers FC
Jemma Purfield | Arizona State University | F, M, D | Cottingham, England | Doncaster Rovers Belles | England
Kristen Ricks | University of Central Arkansas | M, D | Keller, Texas | Fort Worth FC
(x) Kendall Ritchie | Texas A&M University | M, D | Austin, Texas | Lonestar Soccer Club
(x) Kristen Ritter | Misericordia University | D | Hauppauge, N.Y. | Smithtown Revolution
Tanya Samarzich | University of Kentucky | F, M | Upland, Calif. | Legends FC
(x) Maria Sanchez | Santa Clara University/Idaho State | F, M | American Falls, Idaho | American Falls
(x) Hannah Scafaria | University of Toledo | F, D | Kalamazoo, Mich. | Michigan Hawks
(x) Taylor Schneider | Arkansas State University | M, D | St. Louis, Mo. | Lou Fusz Soccer Club
(x) Kayla Sharples | Northwestern University | D | Naperville, Ill. | Eclipse Select
(x) Paige Simoneau | San Jose State University | GK | Corona, Calif. | Legends FC
Hailey Skolmoski North | University of Utah | F, D | Riverton, Utah | Utah Avalanche
Rachelle Smith | University of Florida | D | Pembroke Pines, Fla. | Palm Beach MagicJack
Briana Solis | University of Florida | M | Orlando, Fla. | Florida Kraze/Krush
Sam Staab | Clemson University | M, D | San Diego, Calif. | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
(x) Natalie Stephens | Arizona State University | F, M, GK | Phoenix, Ariz. | SC del Sol
(x) April Stewart | William Carey University | M, D | Pascagoula, Miss. | GCUFC
(x) Raisa Strom-Okimoto | University of Hawaii | F, M | Aiea, Hawaii | Surf Soccer Hawaii
Jenna Szczesny | Loyola University Chicago | F | Hoffman Estates, Ill. | Chicago Red Stars U-19
Devan Talley | Eastern Washington University | F, M | Bellevue, Wash. | Crossfire Premier ECNL
(x) Kyra Taylor | University of California, Riverside | M, D | Elk Grove, Calif. | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
(x) Brittany TerryGrambling State University/Concordia University Irvine | D | St. George, Utah | Utah Avalanche
(x) Alex Thomas | Louisiana State University | F, D | New Orleans, La. | Chicago Fire Juniors Louisiana
(x) Kaycie Tillman | Florida State University | F, M | Rowlett, Texas | Sting Soccer Club
(x) Sarah Troccoli | University of Florida | M | Troy, Mich. | Michigan Gators
(x) Phallon Tullis-Joyce | University of Miami | GK | Medford, N.Y. | Match Fit Colchesters
(x) Vera Varis | University of Central Florida | GK | Vantaa, Finland | HJK (Finland) | Finland
Scout Watson | University of Colorado Boulder | GK | Overland Park, Kan. | Sporting Blue Valley
(x) Charlotte Williams | Penn State University | F, M | Rochester, N.Y. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Antoinette Williams | South Dakota State University | D | Cottage Grove, Minn. | Fire SC ’98
Mariah Williams | University at Albany | F, M | Whitesboro, N.Y. | Syracuse Development Academy
(x) Kenie Wright | Rutgers University | M, D | Mt. Laurel, N.J. | PDA Arsenal
Shae Yanez | University of Tennessee | GK | Downingtown, Pa. | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
(x) Kaycie Young | University of Kansas/University of Portland | F, M, D | Castle Rock, Colo. | Real Colorado

2019 NWSL College Draft team-by-team previews

A look at what each of the nine teams are looking to add for the 2019 season

The Chicago Red Stars hold the No. 1 pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. (Photo credit: Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com)

We’re just around the corner from the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

Player registration has been open since December 12 and on December 19 the NWSL released the preliminary list of registered players. While new NWSL hopefuls are preparing for their next step, all nine teams and coaches are simultaneously gearing up for the league’s seventh season.

Ahead of the big day, here’s a look at what each team could be looking for heading into the 2019 season.

Chicago Red Stars

This year’s NWSL College Draft will take place in the Red Stars’ backyard in Chicago. The Red Stars closed out the 2018 NWSL season in fourth place with a 9-5-10 overall record. Their last time out in 2018, Rory Dames’ team fell to the North Carolina Courage 2-0 in the semifinals. The Red Stars have the first, sixth and seventh picks in Round 1 of the draft, and then four more picks in the remaining three rounds. In 2019, the Red Stars will likely be without the NWSL’s back-to-back Golden Boot winner, Sam Kerr  for a good part of the beginning of the season due to her international duties with Australia at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Kerr scored 16 goals in 2018, so Dames could be looking to add some forwards to his squad for this season.

Several potential top draft picks could also be called on to represent their respective national teams, so it will be interesting to see if NWSL coaches invest their first picks in players like Khadija “Bunny” Shaw out of Tennessee, a member of Jamaica’s women’s national team, or if they look at non-national team players. Shaw’s name was not on the preliminary draft list, though players have until January 9 at 4 p.m. ET to register. If Shaw does enter the draft, and she is selected by the Red Stars, she would be a huge gain for Dames’ squad. Shaw scored 19 goals in 12 games to lead all goal scorers in World Cup qualifying, in any confederation.


Sky Blue FC

Sky Blue FC won just one game in 2018, finishing in last place in the league standings with a 1-17-6 overall record. Sky Blue have a lot of picks in the upcoming draft with the No. 2 and No. 3 overall picks, along with No. 10, No. 11, No. 19, No. 28 and No. 34. They could benefit from another few forwards to work with 2018 rookie attacking players Savannah McCaskill and Imani Dorsey, a couple midfielders that can feed the speed of Sky Blue forward Shea Groom and Dorsey, and disciplined defenders that can help Sky Blue turn around a 2018 season that saw them allow 52 goals.

Kayla McCoy an All-American forward out of Duke would be a smart steal for Sky Blue. Not only did McCoy lead her team in goals (12) and assists (8), but when Dorsey was at Duke the two each totaled 14 goals in 2017. Having McCoy and Dorsey reunited in New Jersey would be just the spark the club needs to change the story in 2019. Defender Ally Prisock out of USC started every game of her college career and helped the Trojans earn 15 shutouts in 2018. Prisock is a natural leader and knows how to keep an organized backline, which will be an absolute must when determining Sky Blue’s backline in 2019.


Washington Spirit 

The Spirit won just two games in 2018, and will have a new head coach in 2019, so they will need to take full advantage of their two first picks in the first round at the 2019 NWSL College Draft. At the 2018 NWSL College Draft, the Spirit selected Andi Sullivan first overall out of Stanford, and this time around they have the No. 4 and No. 8 picks in the first round, and then don’t have another selection until the third and fourth round (No. 20, No. 29 and No. 31). The Spirit scored the least amount of goals last season (12), so they should look to add offensive threats first.

If available, midfielder Jordan DiBiasi out of Stanford would be a smart first choice for the Spirit. DiBiasi scored 10 goals and chipped in 10 assists her senior season and was named an All-American her final two seasons. DiBiasi could not only help the Spirit get some offensive power rolling, but the Stanford captain also has experience playing with Sullivan in the Cardinal uniform, which could give Sullivan another player to work with in the middle. Georgetown senior forward Caitlin Farrell is another player that would give the Spirit more options up top. Farrell scored 18 goals her senior season and eight of her goals were game-winners.


North Carolina Courage

The Courage will have quite the test in 2019 after finishing the 2018 regular season with a 17-1-6 record, setting NWSL regular season records for most wins (17), points (57), fewest losses (1), most goals scored (53), fewest goals allowed (17), goals against average (.71) and largest goal differential (+36).

The Courage went on to win the 2018 NWSL Shield and the 2018 NWSL Championship, beating Portland Thorns FC 3-0 in the final. So what are the Courage looking for in 2019?

On December 17, the Courage announced that they traded forward Darian Jenkins to Seattle Reign FC in exchange for Seattle’s first-round draft pick (ninth overall) in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. The trade means that the Courage now have the fifth, ninth, 14th and 36th picks.

The Courage, along with the other eight NWSL teams, will be sending several of their players to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France. That being said, Riley will be looking for some young talent to fill in and perform when players like Courage starters Crystal Dunn and Abby Dahlkemper likely earn a call-up to the U.S. women’s national team World Cup roster.

Julia Ashley, a senior defender out of UNC is a player Riley should consider adding to his squad. Just last month, Ashley played her final college soccer game at the Courage’s home field, WakeMed Soccer Park in the NCAA College Cup final against Florida State. While the Tar Heels fell to ACC rival Florida State 1-0, Ashley walked away with some impressive hardware in blue – she was named to the All-ACC team three times and was named to the All-Tournament Team this past season. Her versatility and pace on and off the ball fits in with the style of the Courage. While the Courage could have most of their backline on the field in 2019, Ashley could absolutely emerge into a role in the midfield, an area where the Courage could possibly lose most of their players to the World Cup. Ashley led the Tar Heels in assists (10) and was tied for the team lead in goals (6).


Houston Dash

The Houston Dash have already added a new face in the offseason by announcing James Clarkson as the head coach. He replaces Vera Pauw, who left the Dash after coaching them for the 2018 season finishing to a 9-10-5 record and franchise bests in points (32) and goals scored (35). Clarkson will look to build off of the work put in by the Dash and Pauw last season and gets to pick up plenty of new talent with the No. 12, No. 13, No. 16, No. 21 and No. 22 picks in the upcoming draft.

Kristie Mewis missed the 2018 season after suffering a torn ACL at the start of the year, but if all lines up in her recovery, Mewis will be a player Clarkson will be turning in an offensive or even defensive role. The Dash are also in good form with players like Sofia Huerta and Kealia Ohai, who both have spent time with the USWNT, but missed Jill Ellis’ recent 23-player roster for the set of friendlies against Portugal and Scotland. Huerta had eight goals and six assists in 2018 and Ohai contributed five goals and four assists. The Dash should be looking to add new faces to each line on the pitch — another defender to fill in for Clare Polkinghorne when she is with Australia, and another forward who can put the ball in the back of the net like Rachel Daly, a member of England’s national team. Penn State senior Emily Ogle could be a good fit for the Dash either in the middle or up top. Ogle scored six goals and added five assists this past season and started all 25 matches. She received three All-Region First Team honors in her final three seasons and also earned All-America honors this year. Bianca St. Georges out of West Virginia would be a smart defensive pick for the Dash. In the regular season, St. Georges and the Mountaineers held conference opponents to a combined 14 shots on-goal. WVU allowed just 11 opponent goals and St. Georges earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.


Portland Thorns FC

At the 2019 NWSL College Draft, the Thorns won’t get a pick until the second round (No. 17). The Thorns finished in second place in the NWSL regular season and made their second-straight appearance in the NWSL Championship – but went on to fall to the Courage 3-0 at Providence Park. Mark Parsons’ side have unfinished business, and will likely be looking for pieces on all lines on the pitch to contribute. The Thorns will have a handful of players out on international duty for a good portion of the beginning of the season – they had eight of their players named to respective 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifier rosters.

With the No. 17 and No. 35 pick in the upcoming draft, chances are high that Parsons will prioritize versatility in his player selection. In 2018, the Thorns had a rollercoaster of a season with injuries – defender Emily Menges out early on, goalkeeper Adrianna Franch played in the first three games and then sat out until late June. Defender Midge Purce got hurt, along with Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett and Caitlin Foord. While these injuries came and went, adding new players that can fill in at any given position on the pitch would be wise.

If Stanford defender Alana Cook doesn’t get scooped up early on, Cook as an option in the back would be a huge win for the Thorns. Cook helped Stanford to an unbeaten regular season this year and has certainly showed that she can slow the college game’s best attacking lines.


Utah Royals FC

Utah Royals FC are entering their second season as a club after finishing their inaugural season in fifth place. Utah Royals FC don’t have a pick in the 2019 NWSL Draft until the third round – they have the No. 23, No. 27 and No. 32 picks. Their late selections come after a busy season and offseason of trades – the Red Stars acquired the No. 1 overall pick and the No. 7 overall pick in the 2019 draft from Utah in exchange for the rights to Christen Press. Press joining Utah and making her big return to the NWSL this past season was part of a three-team trade that kept things interesting in June. A few weeks later, the North Carolina Courage acquired the rights to Heather O’Reilly from Utah in exchange for Makenzy Doniak. The Courage also received Utah’s natural second-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft in exchange for the Courage’s natural third-round pick.

Utah has a long list of national team players, like Becky Sauerbrunn, Christen Press, Kelley O’Hara and Amy Rodriguez for the U.S., Rachel Corsie for Scotland and Diana Matheson and Desiree Scott for Canada. With several of those players likely to be competing in the World Cup, the team will turn to players like forward Brittany Ratcliffe and midfielder Taylor Lytle to step up in their absence. Utah has depth all over the pitch, but will certainly benefit from adding another dynamic defender into the mix and possibly a creative forward to compliment and run off of Katie Stengel and Ratcliffe up top.


Orlando Pride

The Pride finished the 2018 season in seventh place and will be looking for several additions to give them a new look in 2019 – including a new head coach after the club and Tom Sermanni parted ways in September. The Pride missing the playoffs in 2018 surprised many after they finished third in 2017 and given the offensive talent of Marta and Alex Morgan. The Pride went from being the most dominant offensive team in 2017 with 45 goals, to only totaling 30 this past season for a league fifth-best.

At this year’s draft, the Pride don’t have a pick until the third round (No. 25) and then will have their second and final pick in the fourth round at No. 30 overall. The Pride need to look into adding some offensive threats to their roster, since their leading goal scorers will be out for the Women’s World Cup. The 2019 draft class is plentiful in offensive talent, so ideally with a pick in the third round, the Pride will commit to a forward or attacking midfielder that can work well with Rachel Hill and Kristen Edmonds. 


Seattle Reign FC

At the moment, Seattle Reign FC don’t have a pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft after trading their first-round pick to the Courage for forward Darian Jenkins. Seattle Reign FC have had a busy offseason, and most recently announced the re-signings of three players who could easily find their way into the starting lineup in the absence of the national team players. Reign FC re-signed Jasmyne Spencer, Morgan Andrews and Kristen McNabb. With no picks this year, they will have to turn inward to make a splash in 2019, or make a trade or two to get them back into the draft.

Reign elect not to retain rights to Adriana Leon

The Canadian forward departs Seattle Reign FC

Adriana Leon appeared in six games for Seattle Reign FC in 2018. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/isiphotos.com)

Seattle Reign FC has elected not to retain the rights to forward Adriana Leon, the club announced Thursday. Leon will be leaving the club to pursue an opportunity to play in Europe this year, the Reign’s news release said, though what team and league was not revealed.

The Canadian international forward was an allocated player for the 2018 season and joined Seattle after being traded from Sky Blue FC midseason. In her time with the Reign, she played 152 minutes in six games.

Through the NWSL Distribution Process, teams had until 5 p.m. ET on Thursday to submit their interest in acquiring Leon’s rights. She was not selected by any of the league’s eight other teams and is now Discovery Eligible within the league.

“We appreciate all Dri contributed last season. She came in, worked hard, and was a positive part of the group during her time in Seattle,” Seattle Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a team press release. “She received a great opportunity to play in Europe that we all agreed would be best for her to pursue, especially given that this is a World Cup year. We wish her the best and would welcome her back to the club in the future.”

“I would like to thank the Seattle Reign for welcoming me halfway through the season last year,” Leon said in the release. “A special thank you to the Predmore family for all they do for the Reign and women’s soccer. It was great to work with such a talented group of athletes. I wish everyone continued success and all the best next season.”

Best of 2018

Highlights from the 2018 NWSL season

The 2018 NWSL Championship at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. (Photo credit: Sam Ortega/isiphotos.com)

The best of the best in 2018.

Watch highlights from this season in our Best of 2018 video, and view all of our Best of 2018 videos on our Best of 2018 YouTube playlist.

Best of 2018 YouTube playlist

 

Registration open for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Jan. 10 at 12 p.m. ET

Registration is now open for the 2019 NWSL College Draft.

The link to register and eligibility requirements can be found here: http://www.nwslsoccer.com/collegedraft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft order can be found here.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Full details about the 2019 NWSL College Draft, including the amended eligibility requirements are below from the league’s official news release.

 

REGISTRATION FOR THE 2019 NWSL COLLEGE DRAFT OPENS ON MONDAY

CHICAGO (Nov. 16, 2018) – The National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) will open registration for the 2019 NWSL College Draft on Monday, Nov. 19. The 2019 College Draft will be held on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

 In addition, the NWSL has amended the eligibility rules for a player to register for the 2019 College Draft, allowing more players the ability to enter the draft and determine the right time for them to pursue a professional career.

 In order to be eligible for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, a player must:

  • Be a player who will forego any remaining college eligibility or must have exhausted their eligibility during the 2018/2019 academic year, and
  • Be at least 18-years-old during the College Protected Period (which ends at the conclusion of the 2019 season), and
  • Register for the draft with the NWSL by the deadline at 4 pm ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.

 The League will review each College Draft registration form. No player may be selected who has not registered for the College Draft; unregistered and ineligible players will not be included on the list of interested players provided to the teams on the day of the College Draft.

Interested players can access the online registration on Monday via the following link: http://www.nwslsoccer.com/collegedraft.

The draft will be held in the Skyline Ballroom at McCormick Place and will be open to the public and media. In addition, NWSL will once again live stream the draft with more details to be announced.  

The latest order for the 2019 College Draft and all past results from the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 drafts can be found on NWSLsoccer.com.

 The United Soccer Coaches Convention will take place Jan. 9-13, 2019 in Chicago — bringing thousands of coaches, administrators and other soccer enthusiasts together in one place. For a complete schedule of events and more information about the convention, please visit the official website at unitedsoccercoachesconvention.org

 

Notebook: Reign re-sign three players; more offseason news

The latest news from the NWSL offseason

Jasmyne Spencer scored two goals in 2018, her first season with the Reign. (Photo credit: Jane Gershovich/isiphotos.com)

Seattle Reign FC continued their busy offseason by announcing the re-signings of three players over the last week. Jasmyne Spencer, Morgan Andrews and Kristen McNabb all signed new contracts with the club.

Spencer, acquired via trade last offseason, and Andrews, acquired in the 2018 Dispersal Draft, will both be heading into their second seasons with the Reign. McNabb, drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NWSL College Draft, will be starting her third season in Seattle.


Washington Spirit defender Taylor Smith tore her ACL while playing for Newcastle Jets in the W-League. Smith was injured in their Round 7 draw vs. Perth Glory.

“Really rough year to say the least,” Smith wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday. “Bummed [about] my ACL, but tough times don’t last tough [people] do.”

“We are devastated for Taylor, but know that she is a warrior and will be back stronger than ever. We’ll be doing everything we can to help her recover and get back to the game she loves,” the Spirit said in a statement.


Seattle Reign FC head coach Vlatko Andonovski and North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley received their U.S. Soccer Pro Licenses this week, the culmination of a year-long process that began last January.

Andonovski and Riley were two of twelve coaches from NWSL, MLS and the USL to become the third class to complete their U.S. Soccer Pro License.


Orlando City SC has hired Luiz Muzzi as executive vice president of soccer operations, the club announced Tuesday.

Muzzi will oversee soccer operations for both the Orlando Pride of NWSL and Orlando City of MLS, the club said, which includes management of all player-related matters, scouting and team administration. Muzzi joins Orlando City SC after working in soccer operations for six years with FC Dallas of MLS.


Seattle Reign FC midfielder Jess Fishlock, currently on loan with Olympique Lyon, was awarded her MBE, Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, by Prince Charles in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday.

The longtime Wales midfielder was honored for her services to women’s football and the LGBT community.

 

 

NWSL releases preliminary list of players eligible for the 2019 NWSL College Draft

The 2019 NWSL College Draft will take place on Thursday, January 10, in Chicago

NWSL College Draft (Photo credit: Jose L. Argueta/isiphotos.com)

Wednesday afternoon, the NWSL released the preliminary list of registered players for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, which will take place on January 10 at 12 p.m. ET at the United Soccer Coaches Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago.

This is not the final list of players who are eligible to be drafted, and there is still time for players to add their names to the list. The deadline is 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. More NWSL College Draft information, including how players can register for the draft and eligibility requirements can be found here.

To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Preliminary list of players registered for the 2019 NWSL College Draft, in alphabetical order:

 

Name (Last, First) | College/University | Position(s) Played | Hometown | Youth Club | Citizenship
Aliaga, Diandra | University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | F, M | Spring, TX | Challenge Soccer Club
Bassett, Camille | University of Central Arkansas | F, M | Vista, CA | San Diego Surf
Baucom, Jorian | Louisiana State University/University of Colorado Boulder | F | Scottsdale, AZ | SC del Sol
Bradley, Deirdre | Old Dominion University | M, D | Newtown Square, PA | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy
Burdett, Lainey | University of Arizona | GK | Las Vegas, NV | Heat FC
Cabral, Millene | Martin Methodist College | F, M | Porto Alegre, Brazil | WFC Gremio Porto Alegre | Brazil
Cerny, Franny | DePaul University | F, M | Berkeley, CA | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Christian, Jewel | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | F, M | Woodbridge, VA | Prince Williams Soccer Inc.
Cloutier, Kyra | Jacksonville University | M | Ladera Ranch, CA | West Coast Futbol Club
Daugherty, Kelsey | University of Alabama Birmingham | GK | Kennesaw, GA | Southern Soccer Academy
Everett, Marissa | University of Oregon | F | Canyon Lake, CA | So Cal Blues
Faingold, Abbie | Portland State University | GK | Lincoln, CA | Placer United Soccer Club
Farmer, Alexandra | Heidelberg University | GK | Dayton, OH | Metro Coraggio Futbol Club
Farrell, Caitlin | Georgetown University | F | Wallingford, CT | Connecticut Football Club
Feigenbaum, Kayla | University of Georgia | F, M, D | Peachtree City, GA | AFC Lightning Elite ’97
Flores, Sabrina | University of Notre Dame | M, D | Livingston, NJ | PDA Slammers
Fowler, Janessa | University of Montana | F, M, D | Highlands Ranch, CO | Colorado Rush
Froment, Chloe | California State University, Long Beach | M, D | Mezeriat, France | Olympique Lyonnais | France
Fullmer, Amelia | Lamar University/Iowa Western Community College | M, D | Pleasant Grove, UT | Utah Celtic FC
Gauthier, Olivia | University of Memphis | M, D | Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada | Shattuck-St. Mary’s | Canada
George, Patricia | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, D | Chicago, IL | Power Strikers
Gill, Nadya | West Virginia University/Quinnipiac University | F, M | Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Vaughan SC | Canada
Godfrey, Hannah | University of South Alabama | M, D | Thornton-Cleveleys, England | Manchester City Ladies, Blackburn Rovers | England
Gorham, Sarah | Western Kentucky University | F, M, D | Lexington, KY | Lexington Fútbol Club
Greening, Erin | University of Colorado Boulder | F, M, D | Oakland, CA | East Bay United/Bay Oaks
Griffith, Corynne | Valparaiso University | F, M | Lemont, IL | Chicago International Soccer Club
Gutierrez, Mariel | University of Northern Colorado | F, M | Gypsum, CO | Vail Valley Soccer Club
Harbison, Hailey | Pepperdine University | F, M, D | San Diego, CA | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Henry, Donish | Lynn University | F, M | Parkland, FL | Schulz Academy
Holden, Arden | Ohio State University | F, M, D | Las Vegas, NV | Heat FC
Jackmon, Jazmin | Santa Clara University/University of Oregon | D | Sacramento, CA | LA Premier FC
Keegans, Liane | University of Connecticut | F, M, D | Wayzata, MN | CFC United
Kerr, Devon Angela | Ohio State University | GK | Columbus, OH | Glen Shields FC
Kizer, Cecelia | University of Mississippi | F, M | Overland Park, KS | Sporting Blue Valley
Kopp, Caroline | University at Albany |D | Fayetteville, NY | Syracuse Development Academy
Leshnak, Samantha | University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | GK | Liberty Township, OH | Ohio Elite Soccer Academy
Levasseur, Marie | University of Memphis | F, M, D | Stoneham, Quebec, Canada | Haute-Saint-Charles | Canada
Matthews, Morgan | Portland State University | F, M, D | Portland, OR | Crossfire United ECNL
Mauldin, Carly | Mississippi State University | M | Laurel, MS | GCUFC
McKay, Colleen | Western Michigan University | M, D | Rochester Hills, MI | Vardar SC
Milliet, Lauren | Colorado College | F, M, D | Durango, CO | Rio Rapids SC
Morche, Cosette | Texas A&M University | GK | Lawrenceville, GA | Atlanta Fire United
Murray, Katie | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | F, M | Cincinnati, OH | Kings Hammer Academy
Nild, Miranda | University of California, Berkeley | F, M | Castro Valley, CA | Mustang Soccer
Palacios, Alyssa | University of Texas at El Paso | GK | Carrollton, TX | Sting Soccer Club
Pelafas, Lexi | Central Michigan University | F, M | Wheaton, IL | Naperville Soccer Association
Perea, Peyton | Wake Forest University | F, M | Riverside, CA | Legends FC
Peskin, Kelso | Lamar University | F, M | Cape Town, South Africa | University of the Western Cape | South Africa
Phillips, Jennifer | Grace College/Saint Joseph’s College | F, M | Cary, IL | Ela SC
Prisock, Ally | University of Southern California | D | Rancho Cucamonga, CA | Legends FC, SoCal Blues
Purfield, Jemma | Arizona State University | F, M, D | Cottingham, England | Doncaster Rovers Belles | England
Ricks, Kristen | University of Central Arkansas | M, D | Keller, TX | Fort Worth FC
Samarzich, Tanya | University of Kentucky | F, M | Upland, CA | Legends FC
Skolmoski North, Hailey | University of Utah | F, D | Riverton, UT | Utah Avalanche
Smith, Rachelle | University of Florida | D | Pembroke Pines, FL | Palm Beach MagicJack
Solis, Briana | University of Florida | M | Orlando, FL | Florida Kraze/Krush
Staab, Samantha | Clemson University | M, D | San Diego, CA | Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks
Szczesny, Jenna | Loyola University Chicago | F | Hoffman Estates, IL | Chicago Red Stars U-19
Talley, Devan | Eastern Washington University | F, M | Bellevue, WA | Crossfire Premier ECNL
Watson, Scout | University of Colorado Boulder | GK | Overland Park, KS | Sporting Blue Valley
Williams, Antoinette | South Dakota State University | D | Cottage Grove, MN | Fire SC ’98
Williams, Mariah | University at Albany | F, M | Whitesboro, NY | Syracuse Development Academy
Yanez, Shae | University of Tennessee | GK | Downingtown, PA | Penn Fusion Soccer Academy