National Women's Soccer League Announces 2018 Allocated Players

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The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced today the official list of allocated players for the 2018 NWSL season. A total of 34 players - 23 Americans and 11 Canadians - will be participating as Federation Players in the upcoming season.

In addition to the returning Federation Players, there are six newly assigned national team players set to participate in the upcoming season - including U.S. internationals Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage) and Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit) as well as Canada internationals Adriana Leon (Sky Blue FC) and Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit).

Former allocated players Sydney Leroux (Orlando Pride), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) and Meghan Klingenberg's (Portland Thorns FC) rights are with their current clubs, while the NWSL rights of Morgan Brian, who signed with French club Olympique Lyonnais, remain with the Chicago Red Stars.

All nine NWSL clubs have at least one allocated U.S. player - while five clubs have three or more on their team, with the North Carolina Courage leading the way with four allocated American players. Seven of the nine clubs in the league have a player allocated by Canada Soccer, with the three allocated Canadian players on Sky Blue FC the most of any team in the NWSL.

Below is the club-by-club list:

Chicago Red Stars
Julie Ertz (USA)
Alyssa Naeher (USA)
Casey Short (USA) 

Houston Dash
Jane Campbell (USA)*
Christen Press (USA)
Nichelle Prince (CAN)

North Carolina Courage
Allysha Chapman (CAN)
Sabrina D'Angelo (CAN)
Abby Dahlkemper (USA)*
Crystal Dunn (USA)*
Samantha Mewis (USA)
Lynn Williams (USA)

Orlando Pride
Ashlyn Harris (USA)
Alex Morgan (USA)
Shelina Zadorksy (CAN) 

Portland Thorns FC
Tobin Heath (USA)
Lindsey Horan (USA)
Christine Sinclair (CAN)
Emily Sonnett (USA) 

Seattle Reign FC
Allie Long (USA)
Megan Rapinoe (USA) 

Sky Blue FC
Janine Beckie (CAN)
Adriana Leon (CAN)*
Carli Lloyd (USA)
Kailen Sheridan (CAN) 

Utah Royals FC
Diana Matheson (CAN)
Kelley O'Hara (USA)
Amy Rodriguez (USA)
Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)
Desiree Scott (CAN)

Washington Spirit
Rose Lavelle (USA)
Mallory Pugh (USA)
Rebecca Quinn (CAN)*
Taylor Smith (USA)*

* = New Federation Player in 2018

 

Orlando Pride Secure Important Point in 0-0 Draw With Portland Thorns FC

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Orlando Pride picked up a crucial point on Saturday afternoon, drawing Portland Thorns FC  0-0 in front of 7,353 fans at Orlando City Stadium. With the point, the Pride extended its unbeaten streak to eight straight games, dating back to a 1-1 tie with the Chicago Red Stars on Aug. 5. Orlando also picked up its first point against the 2013 Champions over its four all-time meetings.

“Portland are a very good side, but I thought it would’ve been a grave injustice if we would have lost the game. We limited them to one real chance. We dominated the game, particularly for the first 30 minutes. I thought we played really well,” Head Coach Tom Sermanni said.  “But defensively they’re very good and they don’t give up a lot of chances, and they get everybody behind the ball. They are good at grinding out one-nil results away from home. I was delighted with how our players went about the job tactically today, considering we didn’t have any time to work with the team. I was delighted with the effort and thought if any team should’ve deserved to win the game I thought it was us.”

The draw also helped the Pride add to its lead over Seattle Reign FC, who are chasing Orlando for a place in the 2017 postseason. Following the completion of Saturday’s match, the Pride are in fourth place in the table, with Chicago clinching their playoff spot in a 3-2 win over the Houston Dash Saturday night.

The Pride can clinch a place in the postseason on Sunday night if Reign FC loses or draws in its 9 p.m. ET match against FC Kansas City. Orlando wraps up the regular season next weekend, traveling to face top-seeded North Carolina Courage in what could be a critical match for a place in the final four.

“[The draw] puts an awful lot of pressure on Seattle to win both games and turn the seven-goal differential around. I think I’d much rather be in our position now than Seattle’s. But we still, theoretically, need another point depending on what happens this weekend,” Sermanni added.

The match was tight throughout and, though the Pride held a 14-5 advantage on shots, shots on target were limited as Alex Morgan totaled Orlando’s only two attempts on frame. In other other end, the Pride held Portland to just one shot on goal, a 40th-minute attempt from Ashleigh Sykes.

On that play, Sykes broke through the Pride defense with a give-and-go and nearly beat Ashlyn Harris from the six-yard box. But Harris got just enough on the ball, allowing Monica to recover and clear the ball away from danger before the Thorns could breakthrough.

Alanna Kennedy, who was one of six Pride players to return from international duty this week, came just inches from goal on two different occasions with shots from outside of the penalty area. The midfielder, along with teammates Steph Catley, Marta and Monica, returned to training just a day before Saturday’s match after Australia hosted Brazil in two matches this week. Harris and Morgan also traveled for two domestic games with the U.S. Women’s National team on Sept. 16 and 19.

The clean sheet marked the fourth shutout from the Pride defense this season, with Harris only needing to make a lone first-half save. After missing two games due to a calf injury, Kristen Edmonds returned to right back. Catley started the match at left back, but was replaced early in the second half by Jasmyne Spencer, which sent forward Chioma Ubogagu to the left side. It was Ubogagu’s second time featuring on the backline this season.

Portland midfielder Tobin Heath made her 2017 debut, but was kept at bay by the Pride defense, which also featured Ali Krieger and Toni Pressley during the 90 minutes.

Orlando wraps up the regular season on Saturday, Sept. 30 at the Courage. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

The 2017 NWSL Championship will be hosted at Orlando City Stadium on Oct. 14. Tickets are available at nwslsoccer.com/championship or by calling (855) ORL-CITY.

NWSL Match Report
Match: Orlando Pride vs. Portland Thorns FC
Date: Sept. 23, 2017
Venue: Orlando City Stadium
Kickoff: 3:50 p.m. ET
Attendance: 7,353
Weather: Rainy, overcast
 

Scoring Summary

Goals                             1          2          F

Orlando (10-6-7)          0          0          0

Portland (13-5-5)          0          0          0


Lineups:
Orlando Pride: Ashlyn Harris ©; Kristen Edmonds (Toni Pressley 78’), Monica, Ali Krieger, Steph Catley (Jasmyne Spencer 50’); Dani Weatherholt, Alanna Kennedy; Camila; Chioma Ubogagu, Alex Morgan, Marta

Substitutes Not Used: Aubrey Bledsoe; Nickolette Driesse; Danica Evans, Jamia Fields, Rachel Hill

Portland Thorns FC: Adrianna Franch; Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett, Emily Menges, Meghan Klingenberg; Allie Long (Amandine Henry 60’), Lindsey Horan, Ashleigh Sykes; Christine Sinclair ©, Nadia Nadim (Tobin Heath 60’), Hayley Raso

Substitutes Not Used: Britt Eckerstrom; Celeste Boureille, Dagney Brynjarsdottir; Mallory Weber, Savannah Jordan


Stats Summary: ORL / POR
Possession: 50.9% / 49.1%
Shots: 14 / 5
Shots on Goal: 2 / 1
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 5 / 1
Fouls: 6 / 17
Offside: 3 / 7

Misconduct Summary:
POR - Allie Long (Yellow Card) 18’

Officials:
Referee: Christopher Spivey
Assistant Referee 1: Adrienne McDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Trent VanHaitsma
Fourth Official: Francesco Terranova

QueensCast Top Ten: Tiny But Mighty

This week we take a look around the league at some players who sometimes get overlooked.  Literally! These players hold the old adage "great things come in small packages" true.  Don't underestimate these ladies by their size.  Their speed and skill more than make up for what they lack in height. Now, let's score!

Jasmyne Spencer - Forward - Orlando Pride - 5'1"

Taylor Lytle - Midfielder - Sky Blue FC - 5'2"

Meg Morris - Forward - Portland Thorns FC - 5'2"

Diana Matheson - Midfielder - Seattle Reign FC - 5'2"

Adriana Leon - Forward - Boston Breakers - 5'2"

Lo'eau Labonta - Midfielder - FC Kansas City - 5'2"

Meghan Klingenberg - Defender - Portland Thorns FC - 5'2"

Nahomi Kawasumi - Forward - Seattle Reign - 5'2"

Brooke Elby - Defender - Boston Breakers - 5'2"

Daphne Corboz - Midfielder - Sky Blue FC - 5'2