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

Courage trade Darian Jenkins to Reign FC in exchange for 2019 first-round draft pick

NewsDecember 17

2018 Concacaf Awards nominations list

NewsDecember 17

Colaprico picks up first two USWNT caps in a busy offseason

FeatureDecember 13

Notebook: Celia Jiménez Delgado signs with Reign FC; more offseason news

NewsDecember 12

Christine Sinclair named 2018 Canadian Player of the Year

NewsDecember 11

James Clarkson named head coach of the Houston Dash

NewsDecember 11

6 games to watch at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

WWC2019December 08

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw: Complete results

WWC2019December 08

U.S. to face familiar foe Sweden in Group F, along with Thailand and Chile at the Women’s World Cup

WWC2019December 08

Alex Morgan Voted 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

NewsDecember 07

Pots finalized for Women’s World Cup Draw

WWC2019December 07

Schedule set for U.S. women’s national team ahead of the Women’s World Cup

NewsDecember 06

What to watch for: 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

WWC2019December 05

Charting a course to coaching

FeatureDecember 04

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:


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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

Courage trade Darian Jenkins to Reign FC in exchange for 2019 first-round draft pick

With the trade, the Courage now have the fifth, ninth, 14th and 36th picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft

Jenkins played 13 games for the Courage this past season. (Photo credit: Howard C. Smith/isiphotos.com)

The North Carolina Courage have traded the rights to 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 clubs announced on Monday. Following the trade, the Reign signed Jenkins for the 2019 season.

The trade means that the Courage now have the fifth, ninth, 14th and 36th picks in the 2019 NWSL College Draft, and that the Reign no longer have any picks in the upcoming draft. The draft will be held on January 10 at the United Soccer Coaches Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Last January, Seattle sent defender Merritt Mathias and a second-round draft pick to North Carolina in exchange for their first-round pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft. This trade now returns the first-round pick to the Courage. Full 2019 NWSL College Draft order

After being selected in the first round in the 2017 NWSL College Draft out of UCLA, Jenkins didn’t make her professional debut until 2018 after spending her true rookie season rehabbing from a leg injury. In 2018, Jenkins appeared in 13 matches for the Courage and helped the Courage capture the inaugural Women’s International Champions Cup by scoring the game-winner over Paris Saint-Germain to send her team to the ICC final. Jenkins’ NWSL debut was against Portland Thorns FC on March 24 where the Courage went on to defeat the Thorns 1-0.

 

 

 

2018 Concacaf Awards nominations list

Voting closes January 8

United States/Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan (left) and Canada/Seattle Reign FC forward Adriana Leon (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

The 2018 Concacaf Awards nominations have been announced and several NWSL players have made the list. Voting is open to Concacaf national team head coaches, Concacaf national team captains, select media and fans. Voting closes Tuesday, January 8. The link to vote can be found in all categories can be found here and links directly to each category are listed below.

The award spans the time period from January 1, 2018 to December 10, 2018. (Rules and eligibility requirements)

Here are the NWSL players nominated in each category:

 

Female Player of the Year | Vote

 

Female Goalkeeper of the Year | Vote

 

Female Best XI – Defenders | Vote

 

Female Best XI — Midfielders | Vote

 

Female Best XI — Forwards | Vote

 

Goal of the Year | Vote

Colaprico picks up first two USWNT caps in a busy offseason

Colaprico made her first two USWNT appearances in November

Danielle Colaprico made her USWNT debut on November 8 vs. Portugal. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

The stillness of the NWSL offseason is in effect for some. While for others, it can be just as busy and filled with opportunity as ever. For Danielle Colaprico, it has been filled with an array of emotions, thousands of miles traveled, and her first caps at the U.S. senior level.

In late October, the U.S. women’s national team announced the roster for the final pair of friendlies of 2018 in Europe versus Portugal and Scotland – and that roster included Colaprico.

The news came just as she had settled in Australia for the W-League season.

Colaprico got the confirmation that she had been invited into camps just 48 hours after landing in Australia, and thought maybe it was the jet lag kicking in when she learned the news. “I thought I was dreaming to be honest. I was like – ‘Is this actually happening?’” the Chicago Red Stars midfielder said.

The W-League in Australia has become a viable option for NWSL players looking for a professional game environment in their NWSL offseasons. Colaprico had played for Adelaide in previous years, but this season she wanted the chance to challenge herself in with another team in Sydney FC. Little did she know that an even bigger challenge would come knocking.

“Getting called [into camps] was a little bit of a shock, but obviously very exciting and I’m very grateful for that,” Colaprico said. This call-up meant Colaprico would have to tell her new club and new head coach that she would be leaving for two weeks.

“I had to ask [Sydney FC head coach Ante Juric] if I could get away for two weeks and with asking that I had to miss a game. Which I didn’t like because I had made a commitment to this team and I don’t like making commitments and then backing out. Our coach was super understanding of the situation and I’m very thankful for that because it was a huge opportunity to go into this camp and potentially get my first cap.”

With the pair of friendlies being in Europe, Colaprico would now have to travel even more miles during the offseason – but seeing the supportive reaction from back home to the roster announcement helped alleviate some of the travel burden.

“Honestly, just reading all the tweets and posts from all the fans, especially the ones in Chicago, just made me smile over here a whole bunch and made me really happy to know that they are so supportive of the whole team in Chicago and everyone on the Red Stars and that’s what makes [playing there] so special.”

While the recent call up wasn’t Colaprico’s first at the senior level, it was her first in two years. Colaprico was named NWSL Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was first invited into camps that December through January 2016. She received her second call up in October of 2016.

She admits that she struggled with an injury through those camps initially, and when called into a second camp, she faced some mental hurdles. “I just had really bad patella tendonitis and it was an injury that you could play though or you can sit out. Obviously getting called into the national team, like every athlete would, they want to participate, they want to be part of it,” Colaprico said.

Now, two years later and a veteran player on the Red Stars, she said her approach to this camp was different and that she has grown as a player from years prior. “Going into these camps my focus was just to be the best player I could be.”

On the way to the game against Portugal on November 8, Colaprico knew that she would dress and be available for selection. After some first game nerves on the bus, she gave herself a small pep talk in the locker room, and once warm ups began, she felt immediately at ease.

“After warm ups, after touching the ball and realizing that it was just a soccer game … this is my job. I do this every day. That was kind of reassuring to myself. To know that this is what I train for every day. Just believing in yourself and knowing that you are a great player and the people that called you into this camp believe in you and that’s why you’re here.”

Third camp was a charm. As the second half began vs. Portugal, Colaprico subbed on and earned her first cap with the U.S. women’s national team. With Portugal looking for an equalizer, the frantic second half was not unfamiliar for Colaprico, and in fact played into the type of athlete she is on the pitch.

Colaprico has typically played as a defensive midfielder for the Chicago Red Stars — a role that isn’t usually viewed as flashy, but is a crucial link between the defense and the offense. Her presence on the Red Stars has brought a sense of stability though moments of chaos.

“We were in a game with Portugal where I thought the game was very hectic. So for me I thought, ‘As long as you can go in the game, get on the ball, calm the game down, it’ll be OK.’”

Colaprico then earned her second cap versus Scotland five days later, subbing on in the 76th minute. The two caps for Colaprico came after a strong season in the NWSL that saw her lead the league in chances created with 48. She also ranked among the league leaders in assists, duels won, tackles won and total touches as the Red Stars made the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

“Being on the Chicago Red Stars has helped me so much. I owe a lot of credit to Rory [Dames, Red Stars head coach] who believed in me in the first place in drafting me to the Red Stars,” she said. “Chicago is a second home for me now. It’s amazing going to work every day and you’re playing with a team that is so good and everyone wants to get better every day and you don’t have that in most environments.”

Team culture, team chemistry and team environment with the Red Stars is something Colaprico directly attributes to her growth as a player over the last few years. “That makes it a lot easier to develop as a player each year. I think that’s something important.”

“I owe a lot of credit to the Red Stars for helping me get to where I am as a player. I don’t think I would be the player I am today if I didn’t have those teammates and the coaching staff that I do at the Red Stars.”

 

Notebook: Celia Jiménez Delgado signs with Reign FC; more offseason news

The latest news from the NWSL offseason

Seattle Reign FC announced the club has signed Celia Jiménez Delgado for the 2019 NWSL season. (Photo credit: Urszula Striner/FC Rosengård)

Seattle Reign FC has signed Spanish national team defender Celia Jiménez Delgado for the 2019 season, the club announced on Wednesday.

Delgado was selected by the Reign as the 36th overall pick in the 2018 NWSL College Draft out of the University of Alabama. She trained with the Reign throughout the season while also playing for Seattle Sounders Women and later joining FC Rosengård in Sweden where she recorded six starts and scored one goal. At the international level, Delgado has earned 19 caps for the Spanish national team.


Delgado was the most recent signing, however several players across the league have been re-signed by clubs. The Washington Spirit announced earlier this month the re-signing of forward Estefanía Banini

Banini appeared in 12 games for the Spirit this season, earning 11 starts and scoring one goal. Banini has spent the NWSL offseason on a loan with Spanish club Levante Unión Deportiva in Liga Femenina Iberdrola.

Washington Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe also re-signed with the Spirit earlier this offseason. Bledsoe led the NWSL in saves with 108 and also earned four shutouts.


The reigning NWSL champion North Carolina Courage re-signed captain Abby Erceg to a new contract. Erceg was named the 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year. “Re-signing was an easy decision,” said Erceg in a press release earlier this year. “Taking into consideration our success, the culture of the team and the support we receive, it left me very little option other than to sign for as long as I possibly could. I’m excited for the seasons ahead.”


In November, Orlando Pride forward Sydney Leroux announced her pregnancy on Twitter.

 

 

Christine Sinclair named 2018 Canadian Player of the Year

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named the Canadian Player of the Year

Sinclair has 177 international goals. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair has been named the Canadian Player of the Year, Canada Soccer announced on Tuesday.

Sinclair takes home the award for the 14th time in her 19 years with the national team. The Canadian Player of the Year is voted by Canadian media and Canadian coaches.

In 2018 Sinclair led Canada in goal scoring with eight goals in addition to two assists over 12 international games. She also helped Canada qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by chipping in two goals in Canada 7-0 win over Panama on October 14. Sinclair has 177 international goals to date, which is second place in all-time goal scoring behind just former U.S. women’s national team forward Abby Wambach (184 goals.)

In the NWSL, Sinclair scored nine goals and added six assists in 2,160 minutes played for Portland Thorns FC. She also led her team to their second consecutive NWSL Championship. Her six assists were tied for third-best in the league and she was second in scoring for the Thorns, behind the NWSL’s 2018 Most Valuable Player, midfielder Lindsey Horan (13 goals).

Six NWSL players were also also nominated for 2018 Canadian Player of the Year, Allysha Chapman (Houston Dash), Nichelle Prince (Houston Dash), Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit), Desiree Scott (Utah Royals FC) and Shelina Zadorsky (Orlando Pride). Also on the list was former Sky Blue FC forward Janine Beckie, who transferred to Manchester City FC during the 2018 season.

James Clarkson named head coach of the Houston Dash

Clarkson was introduced at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday

James Clarkson was introduced as head coach of the Houston Dash on Tuesday. (Photo credit: Houston Dash)

The Houston Dash named James Clarkson head coach on Tuesday afternoon, at a press conference at BBVA Compass Stadium. Dash managing director Brian Ching introduced Clarkson at a press conference with the media on Tuesday afternoon in Houston.

Clarkson spent 2007 to 2018 with the Houston Dynamo Academy, most recently as director of youth development. He helped launch Brazos Valley Cavalry FC, Houston’s Premier Development League affiliate and served as head coach of the team from 2017 to 2018. Clarkson also organized the Dash’s summer scrimmage with Rayadas de Monterrey, the first NWSL/Liga MX Femenil scrimmage, the Dash said in a news release announcing his hiring.

Clarkson and the Dash said the technical staff would now include two full-time assistants and a full-time goalkeeping coach and that the full staff is expected to be announced in the coming days. Clarkson said he had already spoken with almost every player on the team.

We want to create the right sort of culture, the right environment. We want it to be competitive. We want them to compete Monday to Friday, and ultimately have a real impact on a Saturday. I want the players to come to training every day feeling that they’ve got a chance to making the starting XI,” he said.

Clarkson’s tenure comes following the departure of Vera Pauw on September 20 after Pauw was the head coach of the team in 2018. He takes over a Houston Dash side that had its best-ever season in 2018, finishing with a 9-10-5 record, 32 points and 35 goals scored, all franchise bests. Dash forward Rachel Daly finished fourth in the league in scoring, with 10 regular season goals. Despite the strong season, the Dash missed out on the playoffs, and have never made the postseason in their five seasons in the NWSL.

Both Ching and Clarkson spoke about building on what Pauw accomplished in 2018.

“Haven’t really gotten a chance to publicly thank Vera Pauw for her service to the club over the past year. I think she’s done a fantastic job of really getting us organized and really bringing this team to a point where I think that we’re going to start competing for the playoffs as we move forward,” Ching said.

I thought Vera did a terrific job. She laid down a fantastic foundation that I’m fortunate enough to be able to inherit and the squad is strong. They’re a great group of players and they want to win,” Clarkson said.

Clarkson will be the third full-time head coach of the Dash, joining Pauw and inaugural head coach Randy Waldrum. Omar Morales served as interim coach in 2017.

[Clarkson] really understands the game. He’s lived the game, breathed the game, from his beginnings basically. A lot of that came though, in every conversation I had, more and more. One of the things that we really wanted to do was find a coach that could make that right connection with the players. I think that’s something that we’ve lacked in the past. I think we’ve had great coaches who had great soccer minds, but I think that connection with the players wasn’t quite where it needed to be,” Ching said.

Clarkson praised last year’s attacking presence — the team ranked fourth in goals scored — but noted that the Dash conceded a lot of goals — second most in the NWSL.

“Maintaining that attacking play while trying to avoid conceding as many goals and getting a little bit stingier at the back is vitally important,” he said. “For me, my philosophy has always been [that] I want to attack. I think it’s entertainment. So we’ve got to try to put a product on the field that’s going to be entertaining and that’s usually scoring goals and attacking, so that’s what I want to do.”

The first task of the 2019 season for Clarkson and the Dash will be the NWSL College Draft on January 10 in Chicago. The Dash have six picks in the draft — four in the second round and two in the third round.

This season also presents a challenge as national team players miss games due to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer. The Dash have players with national team experience for Women’s World Cup participants South Africa, Canada, England, the United States and Australia.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do. Preparing for the draft. Getting ourselves organized. Especially with the World Cup coming up, it’s going to be really important for us to fill out the roster and make sure we’ve got depth and we’re competitive, especially when our national team players are away,” Clarkson said.

“Hopefully they’re away for a long time. They’re on teams that have a chance and could go a long way in the tournament, so we may miss them for a large number of games, but we want them to be successful because it’s a fantastic opportunity to play in the World Cup.”

Clarkson holds a UEFA A License, USC Advanced National Diploma, USSF ‘A’ and National Youth and Academy Director License.

6 games to watch at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup begins on June 7

Portland Thorns FC and Brazil midfielder Andressinha (left) and Chicago Red Stars and Australia forward Sam Kerr (right) in action earlier this year. (Photo credit: Bill Barrett/isiphotos.com)

The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup draw took place on Saturday and the group stage games are set. Here are just a few of the games we’re most looking forward to.

The full schedule for the tournament is available on FIFA.com: Group Stage | Knockout Rounds

Results of the draw can also be found here.

 

Sweden vs. United States

June 20

Stade Océane; Le Harve

It wouldn’t be a group stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup without a game between the United States and Sweden. This summer’s tournament will be the fifth consecutive group stage meeting between the two sides, and sixth overall group stage game (1991, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2019). They have never met in the knockout stage of the Women’s World Cup.

They have, however, met in the knockout stage of the Olympics — Sweden beat the United States in penalty kicks in the quarterfinal of last year’s Olympics, to send the U.S. to their earliest exit ever in a major tournament. That game will be fresh on everyone’s minds when Sweden and the United States meet again on June 20 in the final group stage game for Group F.

 

Australia vs. Brazil

June 13

Stade de la Mosson; Montpellier

There’s always drama in the air when Australia and Brazil meet. Australia sent Brazil home in the Round of 16 in 2015 on a late stunner from Houston Dash forward Kyah Simon, and then Brazil returned the favor at the 2016 Olympics with a quarterfinal win in penalty kicks. They also met in the 2011 WWC group stage and the 2007 WWC quarterfinal, both games won by Brazil. They’ll meet in the second group stage game of Group C on June 13. There’s also the matter of Orlando Pride and Brazil forward Marta needing just two goals to set the all-time World Cup record, for women’s or men’s tournaments.

Read More: What to Watch for at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

 

Japan vs. England

June 19

Stade de Nice; Nice

England will face Japan in Group D, a rematch of the dramatic 2015 Women’s World Cup final, which saw England suffer a heartbreaking loss on a 92nd minute own goal. Japan captured the 2-1 win to advance to their second-straight Women’s World Cup Final. The two teams also met in the group stage of the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cups.

 

England vs. Scotland

June 9

Stade de Nice; Nice

Former Seattle Reign FC midfielder and 2014 NWSL MVP Kim Little and Scotland will make their Women’s World Cup debuts with a big game vs. their neighbor and rival England in the first game of Group D. England comes into the tournament with high expectations after finishing third in 2015. Group D has an average world ranking of 17, the highest of all the groups.

Netherlands vs. Canada

June 20

Stade Auguste-Delaune; Reims

Canada vs. Netherlands will be a big test for Canada, currently ranked No. 5 in the world. Canada took the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics, and is hoping to carry that momentum into a strong showing next summer. The Netherlands claimed Europe’s final spot in the tournament by winning the play-off round and have jumped up to the No. 7 ranked team in the world. They won the Euros in 2017 and forward Lieke Martens claimed the title of FIFA The Best Women’s Player that year as well. Canada and Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair is also chasing the all-time career goal scoring record, which could be set in next summer’s tournament.

 

Germany vs. Spain

June 12

Stade du Hainaut; Valenciennes

Germany is ranked No. 2 in the world and won the 2016 Olympics. But they suffered a shock loss to Iceland in Women’s World Cup qualifying, and fell in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Euros. Gone is head coach Steffi Jones, who replaced Silvia Neid after the Olympics, with former Switzerland head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenburg now set to take over. Spain, meanwhile, went 8-0 through their qualifying group, the only team to do so. They were led on offense by Jennifer Hermoso’s 7 goals and 9 assists in qualifying. Their youth teams have also had recent success, winning the U-17 Women’s World Cup, and finishing second at the U-20 tournament.

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw: Complete results

The 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup begins June 7

2019 FIFA Women's World Cup Draw (Photo credit: Maya Vidon-White/isiphotos.com)

The draw is complete and the groups are set for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, which begins on June 7 with France hosting Korea Republic at Parc des Princes in Paris. The draw was conducted on Saturday at Le Seine Musicale in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

France, United States, Germany, England, Canada, Australia were the seeded teams in the draw in Pot 1, and sorted into Groups A through F.

The United States, defending champion and world No. 1, was drawn into Group F, along with Thailand, Chile and Sweden. It’s the fifth straight time the United States will meet Sweden in the group stage and is a rematch of the 2016 Olympic quarterfinal, won by Sweden.

Portland Thorns FC and United States midfielder Tobin Heath appeared on Fox Sports’ coverage of the draw to react to the matchups. “Obviously Sweden, there,” she said, when asked what stands out to her about the United States’ group. “Especially after the last Olympics. But it’s an interesting group for us. I think it’s a different kind of group than we’ve faced in the past.”

Canada was drawn into Group E, along with Cameroon, New Zealand and the 2017 European champion Netherlands.

Australia is in Group C with Italy, Brazil, Jamaica. Australia vs. Brazil will be a rematch of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Round of 16 game, won by Australia, and the 2016 Olympic quarterfinal, won by Brazil.

England was drawn into Group D with Scotland, Argentina and Japan. England vs. Japan will be a rematch of the 2015 Women’s World Cup semifinal, won by Japan on a late England own goal. Group D has an average world ranking of 17, the highest of all the groups.

France is joined in Group A by Korea Republic, Norway and Nigeria. Germany is in Group B with China PR, Spain and South Africa.

Read More: 6 games to watch at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

The full schedule for the tournament is available on FIFA.com: Group Stage | Knockout Rounds

2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Groups

Group A: France, Korea Republic, Norway, Nigeria

Group B: Germany, China PR, Spain, South Africa

Group C: Australia, Italy, Brazil, Jamaica

Group D: England, Scotland, Argentina, Japan

Group E: Canada, Cameroon, New Zealand, Netherlands

Group F: United States, Thailand, Chile, Sweden

  • Seven teams have qualified for every Women’s World Cup: Brazil, Germany, Japan, Nigeria, Norway, Sweden, United States
  • Four teams are making their Women’s World Cup debuts: Chile, Jamaica, Scotland, South Africa
  • FIFA’s latest women’s world rankings

The United States will face Sweden in the final Group F game on June 20. Sweden knocked the United States out of the 2016 Olympics in penalty kicks in the quarterfinals.

“Immediately when they got put in our group, it was the memories of 2016 coming back and just knowing that we need to get a little bit of redemption,” U.S. and Utah Royals FC defender Kelley O’Hara said on Major League Soccer’s live Twitter stream ahead of the 2018 MLS Cup in Atlanta on Saturday night.

U.S. to face familiar foe Sweden in Group F, along with Thailand and Chile at the Women’s World Cup

The U.S. will meet Sweden for the sixth time in the group stage of the Women's World Cup

The U.S. and Sweden last met in a friendly in June of 2017. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

They’ve already met in five of the past seven group stages, so it’s no surprise that the United States and Sweden were both drawn into Group F of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, but the game carries some extra attention this time around following the 2016 Olympics.

On August 12, 2016, in the quarterfinals of the Olympics in Brazil, Sweden beat the United States in penalty kicks to send the U.S. to their earliest exit ever at a major international tournament. Next summer, they’ll be meeting in the group stage for the fifth consecutive Women’s World Cup and sixth time overall.

“Sweden is a good matchup for us in terms of just probably anticipating a team that’s going to slow the tempo a little bit and maybe sit in a little bit. Again, I think we are further along in the track in terms of being able to manage that scenario if it’s presented [to] us with our personnel,” U.S. women’s national team head coach Jill Ellis said in a conference call with reporters on Saturday following the draw.

“They obviously have a different coach [from 2016]. They have some new faces. They have some familiar faces, as do we. So I think it’s going to be a game that’s pretty tactical in terms of that.”

Sweden head coach Peter Gerhardsson replaced Pia Sundhage following the 2017 Euros, so it’ll be his first time facing the United States.

“It’s history. Even if I don’t have a history [with the U.S.], but many people have a history. My players have a history,” Gerhardsson told ussoccer.com after the draw. “It’s going to be a big game, an interesting game, and, of course, important game.”

Sweden was seeded into Pot 2, along with the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Spain and Norway, meaning that no matter which team was drawn into Group F, it would’ve presented a challenge for the United States. “That second group of six teams, there’s not one you’d really pick,” Ellis said.

Joining the United States and Sweden in Group F are Thailand and Women’s World Cup debutants Chile. The United States will begin defense of their 2015 title on June 11 vs. Thailand at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims (3 p.m. ET). They’ll then face Chile on June 16 at Parc des Princes in Paris (9 a.m. ET), before the meeting with Sweden on June 20 at Stade Océane in Le Havre (3 p.m. ET).

One player in particular who is excited about the game in Paris: Portland Thorns FC and U.S. midfielder Lindsay Horan, who started her professional career in France, playing for Paris Saint-Germain.

“Of course, if I make the team, playing in Paris would be surreal for me. I might actually start crying getting back to where it all started for me,” she said in comments shared by U.S. Soccer.

The United States and Sweden have met in the group stage in 1991, 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015, and now will do the same in 2019. Ellis said she told Swedish media before the draw that the U.S. would be drawn with Sweden.

“It’s like a rule now that we have to face them every time in the opening round,” Seattle Reign FC and U.S. forward Megan Rapinoe said in comments shared by U.S. Soccer.

“I just knew they were going to be in our group,” Sky Blue FC/U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd said in the U.S. Soccer news release. “I think obviously, looking back to the last big tournament, we have that bad taste in our mouth from the last time we played them. For us, it’s even more motivation.”

Sweden vs. United States will be the final group stage game for both sides, like it was in 2011, when Sweden won, dropping the U.S. to second in the group and setting up the epic quarterfinal win over Brazil in Dresden, Germany.

“Obviously Sweden, there,” Portland Thorns FC and USWNT midfielder Tobin Heath said on Fox Sports when asked what stands out to her about the United States’ group. “Especially after the last Olympics. But it’s an interesting group for us. I think it’s a different kind of group than we’ve faced in the past.”

Utah Royals FC and USWNT defender Kelley O’Hara, speaking with Major League Soccer ahead of the 2018 MLS Cup in Atlanta, said she thought of the 2016 loss when Sweden was added to Group F. “Immediately when they got put in our group, it was the memories of 2016 coming back and just knowing that we need to get a little bit of redemption,” she said.

On paper, Group F is one of the weaker groups in the tournament, based on world rankings. Sweden is ranked No. 9 in the world, and are the Olympic silver medalists. But Chile is ranked No. 38 and making their Women’s World Cup debut. Thailand is ranked No. 29 and appearing in their second Women’s World Cup after debuting in 2015.

I think you can spin it either way in terms of your group. I think last time around we were in, people labeled it I think the Group of Death. … I think ultimately it all falls on us to be ready and this group knows how to kick that switch in terms of knowing when it’s the knockout. Regardless of who we play in our group, I think we know what’s at stake when it’s win or go home,” Ellis said.

“Whatever teams were rolled out in front of us, you’ve got to play and you’ve got to prepare. I think we will be really locked on because we do know we’ve got to get points in those games. Having played Chile twice [in 2018], it certainly helped, because they were a complete unknown.”

Though United States won it all in 2015, Ellis said it’s not about defending a title, it’s about attacking a new one in 2019.

“Some of these players that are going to play in this World Cup weren’t on that team. So they’re not really defending a trophy. They are going to attack a new one. That’s going to be our mindset about this World Cup. Sure, we are quote/unquote the defending champions, but we have to approach this like we are a team that has a unique opportunity. I think we’re incredibly talented. A lot of good things have to fall into place to win a World Cup. It’s really about what’s in front of us than what we’ve done previously,” Ellis said.

For now, the focus is on Game 1 vs. Thailand.

“The most important game is the first one,” Ellis said. “I know everybody says that, but it is because you want to have that good feeling going into that second game, so I think we will come full throttle in the first opening match.”


More coverage of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup:

Alex Morgan Voted 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year

Morgan scored 18 goals in 19 games this year for the U.S. national team

The Orlando Pride forward has won U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year twice. (Photo credit: Robin Alam/isiphotos.com)

Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan is the 2018 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday.

The award was voted on by U.S. women’s national team coaches, national team players who appeared in 2018, members of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors, U.S. Soccer’s Athletes’ Council, NWSL head coaches, former players and administrators, select college coaches and select members of the media.

The other four nominees for the award included Chicago Red Stars midfielder Julie Ertz, Portland Thorns midfielder Lindsey Horan, Portland Thorns forward Tobin Heath and Seattle Reign forward Megan Rapinoe.

Morgan led the USWNT in scoring this year with 18 goals in 19 games. She also picked up three assists. This is the second time she has earned the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award; she earned her first in 2012.

Morgan had six multiple-goal games this year. On July 26 against Japan in the Tournament of the Nations, she scored a hat trick that moved her to third place all-time in the U.S. for multiple-goal games. She has 26 multiple-goal games in her career which is tied with Michelle Akers (26), and behind just Mia Hamm (38) and Abby Wambach (45).

After her performance in 2018, Morgan is just two goals shy of reaching 100 career goals with the national team.

In the NWSL, Morgan helped the Orlando Pride by scoring five goals and earning two assists in 1,500 minutes played over 19 games. Morgan had 25 chances created for the Pride and also won 94 duels, 56 of which were aerial duels, good for 12th in the NWSL.

“It was an incredible year for the U.S. Women’s National Team, going undefeated, and there were a lot of players that stepped up and played essential parts in leading this team,” Morgan said in U.S. Soccer’s release. “Of the five of players nominated, any one was deserving, so I am incredibly honored to have won this award.”

In addition to the announcement of the U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year award, U.S. Soccer also awarded the Young Female Player of the Year award on Friday, recognizing Stanford University junior defender  Tierna Davidson.

Pots finalized for Women’s World Cup Draw

The draw for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup will take place on December 8

Australia and the United States are among six teams seeded into Pot 1 for Saturday's Women's World Cup Draw. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

With one day to go before the draw for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, the pots are finalized for the 24 qualified teams. The pots are based on the latest world rankings, released on Friday. Teams from the four pots will then be drawn into six groups on Saturday from Le Seine Musicale in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

 

Pot 1: France, United States, Germany, England, Canada, Australia

Pot 2: Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Norway

Pot 3: Korea Republic, China PR, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Thailand

Pot 4: Argentina, Chile, Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa, Jamaica

 

Read More — What you need to know: FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw

When

Saturday, December 8, at 12 p.m. ET, from Le Seine Musicale in Boulogne-Billancourt, France.

Where To Watch

For viewers in the United States, the draw will air on FS2, the Fox Sports app, Telemundo, Universo and the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app. More details. Coverage on FS2 and the Fox Sports app begins at 11:30 a.m. ET, and users who subscribe to FS1 will be able to watch on the app, even if they don’t get FS2. Coverage on Telemundo and Universo, as well as the Telemundo Deportes En Vivo app will begin at 11:55 a.m. ET.

FIFA.com will also be streaming the draw, with certain restrictions depending on the user’s country.

How the Draw Works

The twenty-four teams will be divided evenly across four pots, based on world rankings. The top six teams will be seeded into Pot 1, based on FIFA’s women’s world rankings, the next six teams will be in Pot 2, and then Pots 3 and 4 after that. Pot 1 will include host nation France, who are automatically assigned to Group A. As teams are drawn, they will be be added to groups alphabetically, Groups A through F. Pot 1 teams will be placed in the No. 1 position in those groups. When the draw is complete, each group will contain four teams.

Other than countries from Europe, no two teams from the same confederation can be drawn into the same group. Europe has nine teams, so there is a minimum of one and a maximum of two European teams for the groups.

Schedule set for U.S. women’s national team ahead of the Women’s World Cup

The USWNT will play 10-games in 10-cities ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup

The U.S. went unbeaten in 2018. (Photo credit: Brad Smith/isiphotos.com)

The schedule leading up to next summer’s 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is set for the U.S. women’s national team, U.S. Soccer announced on Thursday. The USWNT will play in 10 games in 10 cities as a part of their “Countdown to the Cup” tour. The games will run from January until May, with the USWNT set to play two games in Europe and eight domestic matches ahead of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, which runs from June 7 to July 7.

The TV broadcast information for all of the pre-World Cup matches in 2019 will be announced next year, but in the meantime you can watch the 2019 World Cup Draw on Saturday, December 8 (12 p.m. ET; FS2 and FOX Sports App, Telemundo.) [What you need to know: FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw]

First up on the schedule, the USWNT will travel abroad to face France and Spain in January. The USWNT will get to experience one of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup venues right off the bat when they take on France at Stade Oceane in Le Havre, France on January 19. On January 22, the USWNT will take on Spain, another team that will be competing in the Women’s World Cup this upcoming summer.

After the two games abroad, the USWNT will play in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup against Japan on February 27 at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester, Pennsylvania, England on March 2 at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, and Brazil on March 5 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Japan and Brazil, regulars at the Tournament of Nations, are new teams for the SheBelieves Cup, replacing France and Germany. There will be no Tournament of Nations this summer, as it is only played in years without a Women’s World Cup or Olympics.

On April 4, they will face Australia at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado and then Belgium on April 7 at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The USWNT will close out the tour with a three-match send-off series against South Africa on May 12 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California, a to-be-determined team on May 16 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, and Mexico on May 26 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

“This schedule checks a lot of important boxes in our preparation for the World Cup,” USWNT head coach Jill Ellis said in a press release. “We’ll get to experience a variety of teams in regard to their strengths and styles of play and almost all of the countries will be in their World Cup preparation as well. We are playing tough games in Europe, which is vitally important, and also get to play quality opponents in front of our home fans at venues all across the USA. It will go fast, but these games will be a major factor in pushing us to be at our peak once we arrive in France next summer.”


2019 USWNT Schedule (all times Eastern)
Jan. 19 vs. France | 2:30 p.m. | Stade Océane; Le Havre, France
Jan. 22 vs. Spain | 2:30 p.m. | Estadio José Rico Perez; Alicante, Spain
Feb. 27 vs. Japan (SheBelieves) | 7 p.m. | Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pennsylvania
Mar. 2 vs. England (SheBelieves) | 4:30 p.m. | Nissan Stadium; Nashville, Tennessee
Mar. 5 vs. Brazil (SheBelieves) | 8 p.m. | Raymond James Stadium; Tampa, Florida
Apr. 4 vs. Australia | 9 p.m. | Dick’s Sporting Goods Park; Commerce City, Colorado
Apr. 7 vs. Belgium | 9 p.m. | Banc of California Stadium; Los Angeles, California
May 12 vs. South Africa | 4:30 p.m. | Levi’s Stadium; Santa Clara, California
May 16 vs. TBA | 8 p.m. | Busch Stadium; St. Louis, Missouri
May 26 vs. Mexico | 12 p.m. ET | Red Bull Arena; Harrison, New Jersey

What to watch for: 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

An early look at what to watch for at the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup

(Left to right) Portland Thorns FC/Canada forward Christine Sinclair, Chicago Red Stars/Australia forward Sam Kerr and Seattle Reign FC/United States forward Megan Rapinoe (Photo credit: isiphotos.com)

We’re just days away from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw, when we’ll find out all the games for the group stage of next summer’s tournament in France. We’re very excited and have been running simulations for the draw daily, thanks to FIFA.com.

What you need to know: FIFA Women’s World Cup Draw

We’ll have plenty of coverage and time to discuss more things we’re looking forward to over the next six months, but for now here are just some of the things we can’t wait to see this summer.

 

NWSL Stars in Action

Players who were named to Women’s World Cup qualifying rosters for Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, England, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, Scotland, South Africa and the United States all appeared on NWSL rosters in 2018, with players coming from all nine NWSL teams. There will likely plenty of NWSL talent to follow over the summer in France.

 

The Defending Champions

Only once in the history of the Women’s World Cup has a team successfully defended their title — when Germany won in 2007 after winning in 2003. The United States will be attempting to defend their 2015 title, earned with a 5-2 win over Japan in the final thanks to Sky Blue FC forward Carli Lloyd’s epic hat trick and a shutdown defense.

The No. 1 ranked team in the world boasts the reigning NWSL MVP in Portland Thorns FC midfielder Lindsey Horan, as well as MVP finalist Seattle Reign FC forward Megan Rapinoe. They’ve also got Orlando Pride forward Alex Morgan — who scored a stunning 18 goals in 19 games in 2018 for the USWNT — leading the forward line. Almost all of the U.S. women’s national team plays in the NWSL.

Records

Portland Thorns FC forward Christine Sinclair has 177 career international goals, just seven behind U.S. legend Abby Wambach’s record of 184. Wambach is the only player, man or woman, to have scored more international goals than Sinclair. If things go well in the first half of the year for Sinclair, she could very well set the record during the Women’s World Cup.

Orlando Pride forward Marta is already the Women’s World Cup all-time leading scorer, with 15 career goals in 17 matches. With two more goals, she will become the World Cup all-time leading scorer, man or woman, passing Germany’s Miroslav Klose’s record of 16 in 24 matches.

 

Sam Kerr

France 2019 will be Chicago Red Stars forward Sam Kerr’s third Women’s World Cup, but her first since breaking a host of NWSL and Australia scoring records. The reigning two-time NWSL Golden Boot winner — and NWSL’s all-time leading scorer — leads the front line of an Australia team with high hopes for this summer’s tournament.

 

Future Stars

One of the best parts of each year’s tournament are finding out who the breakout stars will be, and there are already several players making their case to be that player next summer.

South Africa will be making its Women’s World Cup debut, led by the goal scoring performance of Thembi Kgatlana. The Houston Dash forward scored five goals during the 2018 Africa Women Cup of Nations to clinch a Women’s World Cup berth for South Africa and was named Player of the Tournament.

Forward Khadija “Bunny” Shaw of Jamaica, currently a senior at the University of Tennessee, scored 19 goals in 12 games to lead all goal scorers in World Cup qualifying, in any confederation. Shaw could be a top pick in the 2019 NWSL College Draft on January 10.

Several NCAA college stars could find their onto Women’s World Cup rosters. UCLA senior Hailie Mace, also a likely top NWSL draft pick, has seen time with the U.S. women’s national team this year, as has Stanford junior defender Tierna Davidson, who could decide to leave school early and head to the NWSL draft, following changes to the eligibility requirements. UCLA forward Jessie Fleming and University of Florida forward Deanne Rose are two of several college players who could make their mark for Canada this summer.

We’re also hoping that North Carolina Courage midfielder Debinha will show off some of her skills for Brazil this summer.

Old Friends

This summer’s tournament will also be a chance to see former NWSL players on our televisions again. Former Seattle Reign FC midfielder — and 2014 NWSL MVP — Kim Little could be a key part of Scotland’s squad as they make their Women’s World Cup debuts. Little has been injured this fall, but should be recovered in time for France.

Among the other former NWSL players we could see next summer: France midfielder Amandine Henry, who won a title with Portland in 2017, as well as Australia’s Lisa DeVanna (Sky Blue FC/Boston Breakers/Washington Spirit/Orlando Pride) and Canada’s Janine Beckie (Houston Dash/Sky Blue FC) and Stephanie Labbé (Washington Spirit).

 

France as Host Nation

From the opening match in Paris to the semifinals and final in Lyon, France will surely put on a show. France’s highest Women’s World Cup finish was fourth in 2011. This year, the No. 4 ranked team in the world — led by Henry and striker Eugénie Le Sommer — will have their sights set on becoming the tournament’s fifth-ever champion. They’ll find out their group stage opponents on Saturday.

 

Host cities and venues

  • Parc des Princes in Paris
  • Parc Olympique Lyonnais in Lyon
  • Stade des Alpes in Grenoble
  • Stade Océane in Le Havre
  • Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier
  • Allianz Riviera in Nice
  • Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims
  • Roazhon Park in Rennes
  • Stade de Hainaut in Valenciennes

 

 

 

Charting a course to coaching

NWSL players work towards C License this offseason

Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger is one of 21 players taking the C License course this offseason. (Photo credit: Al Sermeno/isiphotos.com)

It may be the offseason for most NWSL players, but nearly two dozen of the league’s best have been hard at work for the last two months in an attempt to earn their C License through U.S. Soccer.

Starting in late September, 21 players representing every team in the league met up in Salt Lake City to kick off the effort. First came a full week of 12-hour sessions, which was then followed by 10 weeks of homework assignments and practicums. This week, the course will culminate with the players meeting up in Utah once again for their final assessment.

Part of a joint partnership between the NWSL, U.S. Soccer, Utah Royals FC and U.S. Soccer donors, the class was offered to the players free of cost and represented an effort to increase the number of women coaches. Utah Royals FC and owner Dell Loy Hansen also helped arrange housing in the team’s apartments and a nearby hotel, as well as meals and rental cars for the players while they were in town.

“We’ve had to kind of take our player hat off and put our coaching hat on,” said Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger. “I can say I respect my coaches a little bit more now that I’ve been through the course. It’s pretty demanding, yet very rewarding. We’re learning a lot. Our instructors are super-knowledgeable. They’re inspiring and now have become some of our mentors throughout this process.”

“We need more female coaches in the world, especially in the NWSL and in youth development,” she added. “With us having all the knowledge that we have from playing at the highest level and going through different levels throughout our careers, I think we already have that advantage over a lot of other coaches who might just be starting out. And I think we need to start being willing to take these courses and give back in a way.”

North Carolina Courage midfielder Heather O’Reilly explained that she took the course as a first step in her coaching journey and is interested in pursuing her B License and maybe even her UEFA badges in the future.

“I wanted to take the class because I’m really interested in coaching and managing at a high level,” said O’Reilly. “I think I’m at the point in my career, obviously, where I’m in my latter years, I suppose, and looking to the future of what I’m going to be doing after my playing days are wrapped up.”

Utah Royals FC goalkeeper Abby Smith hopes to use the course as a springboard in her own coaching career down the road. Having already completed half of her master’s degree in education, she wants to work in a high school or middle school and coach at the youth level.

“I actually want to be a teacher when I’m done [playing] just because I like the thought of giving back to kids that aren’t in the best situations and don’t necessarily have everything that is provided for them,” she said.

In that role, Smith’s goal is to build confidence in players who might otherwise be overlooked. She also thinks it’s important to make sure young players remember to enjoy the game.

“I feel like now it’s so competitive, it’s so driven — to a point where there has to be an endgame of, ‘I have to play in college,’ or ‘I have to be in [Division 1],’ or ‘I have to get a scholarship.’ At the end of the day, I feel like kids need to have fun and really enjoy what they’re doing,” said Smith. “I also want to be able to give them the confidence that they may not have and also show them that sport can be an avenue for them to really grow as a person and better themselves.”

All three players said they picked up different lessons from the course with O’Reilly noting that she particularly appreciated the parts that dealt with how to plan out and break down an entire season of training sessions to “shape it with player loads and physical demands.”

“I am a very eager player who wants results right away and that will be a challenge for me to sort of have a little bit more long-term plan and patience,” she said.

O’Reilly also praised the tactical aspects of the course. “[There’s] a big emphasis on decision-making and I think that’s where our country sort of still lacks,” she explained. “Certainly in my development, I’ve had wonderful coaches and wonderful playing environments, but I do think that in comparison to some other parts of the world, the areas of decision-making and problem-solving is maybe where we sort of lack in the U.S., so I think that’s where we have to spend some time trying to catch up.”

Krieger has high ambitions for her coaching career, explaining that she would be interested in coaching at the professional level, or even the U.S. national team. Yet, she also understands the value of youth development, stressing that kids deserve coaches who understand the game, know how to lead, and are willing to work hard — all values reinforced throughout the course.

“Not all great players are good coaches, so you have to really practice,” said Krieger. “You have to study. You have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations out on the field teaching kids. It’s about teaching.”

She added: “It’s our duty as a coach to impact so many young kids’ lives. … I think that the best part about it—that you’re not only impacting them on the field and teaching them about the game, but you’re teaching them life skills that they can carry on.

“A lot of us can say that about our youth coaches because we had a certain connection with them when we were young and they knew that they could impact us with their experiences — and so incredibly at a young age — and mold us into good people and good players.”

All three players acknowledged that the United States, despite being a world leader in women’s soccer for decades, still has a significant gender imbalance in the coaching ranks at all levels. In 2018, three of nine NWSL head coaches were women and three of the 16 teams to make it to the Division 1 NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament Round of 16 were coached by women. In 2015, 32% of women’s college soccer coaches were women. They’re hoping this course can be a first step in moving the needle in the opposite direction.

“I think [the lack of women coaches] could be because there’s a misconception that it’s hard to coach and have a family, or it’s hard to prioritize what is needed, so people think that you can’t be an elite coach while being a female,” said Smith. “I don’t think that’s true. … It’s traditionally been a male-dominant field and I think that’s something that we’re trying to change.”

Krieger says that women need to recognize what they can contribute to the game through coaching. She argues that many women, especially those in the NWSL and those with national team experience, are more knowledgeable than many of those currently in the coaching field.

“We are just as knowledgeable, if not more knowledgeable than a lot of the male counterparts and coaches,” she said. “We need more female, badass coaches in the world and I know that a lot of the women who are going through the NWSL and the national team, we have experienced so much and we can use that to give back to the youth.”

O’Reilly explained that there are many reasons women haven’t gotten into coaching in the past, including a lack of representation that has created a self-perpetuating problem.

“There’s not one reason why [there aren’t more women coaches],” said O’Reilly. “Some of it is due to women wanting to have families, some of it is due to confidence. Some of it is due to people that we’ve seen in those spots before and that gets you in a rut of thinking that that’s what a coach looks like or acts like.

“I certainly think my generation of players, there’s so many of my peers that are interested in coaching, so hopefully, those numbers go up soon.”

All three also agreed that providing the course cost-free was a major incentive and likely to help more women get into the coaching profession.

“Sometimes you have to break some cycles by doing things like that and being bold and taking big steps and that’s what they did,” said O’Reilly.

“We’re super thankful that the league and U.S. Soccer provided [the course] for us because a lot of us, [coaching is] kind of something that we’re still trying to push for,” Smith said. “[It’s] making it a little bit easier for us to access that side just because our league is still growing.”