Notebook: Busy week across the NWSL; call-ups, coaching hires, preseason matches and more
The latest NWSL news
The North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride will meet ahead of the season in a preseason match in Cary, N.C. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/
The North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride will meet ahead of the season in a preseason match in Cary, N.C. (Photo credit: Jeremy Reper/

There’s been no shortage of news across the NWSL this week.

Orlando Pride defender Monica announced on Instagram that she will not be returning to the Pride for the 2019 season. Monica played in 17 games for the Pride in 2018 and recorded 15 starts on the backline. She finished the season with 40 clearances, 17 blocks, and 31 interceptions.

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It took me a little while to write this to you all because I did not know how to say bye to my purple family. When I came here, the love was instant, from people who did not even know me at the time. I lived some of the best moments of my life here, in Orlando. Here, I was treated as a professional and received from you all daily support and love that I could have never dreamed of. However, unfortunately, this year I will not be part of the purple warriors on the field but I am very happy for all those years I spent here. I am very grateful to all of you who in a certain way helped me and followed me during this time… friends, family and you, my beloved fans, thank you! I hope to come back soon, our journey did not come to an end yet. valeu @obsplayers ??✅mais uma etapa concluída… #obsplayer #purple #thecrow #pridescrown #ourcityourpride #orlando #futfem #womensoccer #dreams #grateful #gratidao?

A post shared by Monica Hickmann Alves (@monicahickmann) on

Sky Blue FC re-signed forward Jen Hoy to a new contract ahead of the 2019 season, the club announced on Wednesday. Hoy was acquired by Sky Blue in a trade with the Chicago Red Stars in January 2018 and appeared in 10 matches in her first season with New Jersey.

“Jen is the type of player that contributes both on and off the field,” Sky Blue FC head coach Denise Reddy said in the club’s press release. “In addition to her talent on the ball, her leadership and experience in the league is a huge asset to this team and we are excited to have her return for another year at Sky Blue.”

Sky Blue FC also announced they have hired assistant coaches Alex Mendolia and Christiane Lessa, as well as goalkeeper coach Hugo Macedo on Thursday.

“We have put together a strong, experienced and diverse technical staff to ensure we get the best out of each individual player,” Reddy said. “These coaches all bring international experience, expertise and are specifically knowledgeable of the women’s game here in the States.”

Washington Spirit forward Cheyna Matthews was named to Jamaica’s national team roster for a set of two friendlies against Chile before the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Before she earned the call-up, Matthews attended Jamaica’s January camp for the first time in her career.

On Wednesday, the North Carolina Courage and Orlando Pride announced that they will play in a preseason game on Saturday, March 23 at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. The game will be a part of North Carolina Football Club’s first-ever Friendship Cup international doubleheader.

Courage vs. Pride will kick off at 1 p.m. ET followed by NCFC vs. Necaxa of Mexico’s Liga MX at 3:30 p.m. ET.

North Carolina Courage forward Crystal Dunn participated in Major League Soccer’s Black History Month panel. MLS invited five members from the soccer community to come together and discuss race and their black experience in soccer. The full panel is available on the MLS site.

New Australia women’s national team head coach Ante Milicic announced the 23 players that will represent the Matildas at the inaugural Cup of Nations in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne later this month.

The 2019 Cup of Nations will kick-off at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in Kogarah on Thursday, February 28. 11 NWSL players were named to the roster.

Lydia Williams (Reign FC), Ellie Carpenter (Portland Thorns FC), Steph Catley (Reign FC), Alanna Kennedy (Orlando Pride), Clare Polkinghorne (Houston Dash), Chloe Logarzo (Washington Spirit), Emily Van Egmond (Orlando Pride), Caitlin Foord (Portland Thorns FC), Elise Kellond-Knight (Reign FC), Sam Kerr (Chicago Red Stars) and Hayley Raso (Portland Thorns FC).

In addition to the three Reign FC players named to Australia’s roster, the club sends off seven other players on international duty during the FIFA break. Megan Rapinoe (United States),  Allie Long (United States), Rumi Utsugi (Japan), Jodie Taylor (England), Theresa Nielsen (Denmark) and Celia Jiménez Delgado (Spain).


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