NWSL Offseason Notebook
News and notes from around the league this offseason
Catch up on all the offseason signings below (Photo credit: Bryan Byerly/isiphotos.com)
Catch up on all the offseason signings below (Photo credit: Bryan Byerly/isiphotos.com)

A month and a half after the North Carolina Courage secured their second straight NWSL Championship, there’s a lot of offseason news to catch up on around the league. Strap in and take a tour of all the moves and announcements of the offseason thus far in our new Offseason Roundup series!

League-wide News

  • NWSL Louisville has blown past 3,000 season ticket deposits for their first season at Lynn Family Stadium in 2020. You can read more about October’s expansion announcement here 
  • 29 players from the NWSL were named to the Guardian 100 best female footballers of 2019, with Megan Rapinoe (#3, Reign FC) and Rose Lavelle (#7, Washington Spirit) cracking the top 10. 
  • New compensation guidelines for the upcoming 2020 season were announced, featuring a 19.33% salary cap increase as well as the introduction of transfer fees being paid for players outside of the league.
  • The league wide effort to raise money for Libby’s Legacy, a charity selected by Orlando Pride defender Toni Pressley, concluded with a final count of over $45,000 raised. Money was raised through auction, merchandise, and ticket sales by teams and players from across the league.

Chicago Red Stars

  • Legendary striker Sam Kerr moved to Chelsea FC of the FA Women’s Super League, following two seasons in the Windy City that saw her total a staggering 34 goals and nine assists.
  • Maria Sanchez confirmed via Twitter that she will be moving on from the Red Stars to join Chivas Feminil in Mexico.
  • Defender Julie Ertz was named the 2019 U.S. Soccer Female Player of the Year.
  • Defender Sarah Gorden has collaborated with the club on their annual toy drive, benefiting St. Vincent de Paul Center for Underprivileged Children. Fans have the opportunity to meet Gorden and drop toys off at the club front office on December the 16th and 17th, from 5pm – 6pm.

Houston Dash

  • Midfielder Haley Hanson and forward Veronica Latsko both were re-signed by the club in November. Hason, who played in every regular-season game for the Dash in 2019, is coming off a key year as a newcomer to the Dash’s back line. Latsko, a product of the University of Virginia, has totalled four goals and two assists in twenty five NWSL appearances, but was forced to miss a majority of the 2019 season with a knee injury.

North Carolina Courage

  • Forward Lynn Williams was named to her first USWNT training camp in a year and a half for Vlatko Andonovski’s side against Sweden and Costa Rica. The 26-year old forward, who has been a key part of the North Carolina Courage’s back-to-back NWSL titles, featured in both friendlies and scored two second-half goals against Costa Rica.
  • The Courage exercised contract options for thirteen players ahead of the 2020 season, and a new contract offer was accepted by Denise O’Sullivan. 

Orlando Pride

  • The Orlando Pride exercised options on eighteen of their current players, while extending new contract offers to five. The club also announced that Brazilian legend Marta had accepted her new contract offer ahead of the 2020 NWSL season, which will be her fourth in the league.

Portland Thorns FC

  • Dagný Brynjarsdóttir and the club announced that they would mutually part ways ahead of the 2020 season. 
  • The club additionally exercised options on nine players, with Ellie Carpenter signing a new multi-year contract and Ana Crnogorcevic not being extended a deal. 

Reign FC

  • Megan Rapinoe captured the 2019 Ballon D’Or on December 3rd, capping off an impressive 2019 season that saw her capture the Golden Boot and Golden Ball in the United States women’s national team’s second consecutive World Cup victory. Rapinoe was also named Sports Illustrated’s 2019 Sportsperson of the Year.
  • NWSL Rookie of the Year Bethany Balcer and rookie standout Casey Murphy both were named to December’s USWNT Identification Training Camp.
  • The club exercised contract options of 23 players and extended offers to seven others. Additionally, the club did not exercise options on Scout Watson and Jaycie Johnson, with Theresa Nielsen additionally opting to join Brondby IF in her native Denmark. 

Sky Blue FC

  • Sky Blue FC announced that they would play the entirety of their 2020 home matches at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. This comes on the heels of two successful home matches at the same venue during the 2019 season. The club previously played home matches at Yurcak Field on the campus of Rutgers University. 
  • The club exercised contract options or offered new contracts to 23 players, waiving Amadine Pierre-Louis and 2019 NWSL Draft pick Kyra Carusa.
  • Imani Dorsey earned her first USWNT call-up in November, with teammates Sarah Killion and Paige Monaghan additionally joining Dorsey at December’s USWNT Identification Training Camp.

Utah Royals FC

  • Katie Bowen, Lo’eau LaBonta, and Mallory Weber have all agreed to new deals ahead of the 2020 season
  • The club additionally acquired Kyra Carusa, Carli Farquharson, and Arielle Ship off of the NWSL Re-Entry Wire ahead of the 2020 season.
  • Goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart, midfielder Gunny Jonsdottir, and forward Taylor Lytle all agreed to new deals for the 2020 season. Additionally, the club waived forward Cali Farguharson.

Washington Spirit

  • The club announced that they would be splitting their 2020 NWSL home games between three separate venues – Audi Field, Segra Field, and Maryland SoccerPlex 
  • Jordan DiBiasi and Ashley Hatch were named to December’s USWNT Identification Training Camp.
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