Ashlyn Harris to join Tyresö after NWSL season

Jeff Kassouf July 22, 2013 42

Ashlyn Harris is headed to Sweden after the end of this rough NWSL season for the Washington Spirit. (Photo Copyright Amanda McCormick | www.amandamccormick8.com)

Washington Spirit and U.S. women’s national team goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris will join Swedish club Tyresö FF after the NWSL season, Tyresö announced on Monday. The deal “extends initially until November 2013.”

The inaugural NWSL regular season ends on August 17. Washington officially became the first club eliminated from playoff contention after losing to Chicago 1-0 on Saturday and the Western New York Flash’s 3-0 win over Sky Blue FC on Sunday.

Via the Swedish press release, Harris said the move is all about gaining valuable experience at the current Damallsvenskan leaders. Fellow U.S. international Christen Press plays for Tyresö and leads the league in scoring with 12 goals. Marta — her teammate — has nine. U.S. teammate Meghan Klingenberg also plays at Tyresö.

“In Ashlyn we get a goalie with the classic American winning attitude,” Tyresö coach Tony Gustasson said. “Ashlyn is very good at communicating, an athletic goalie who is good with her feet and totally fearless in the penalty area.”

Tyresö’s last scheduled league game is Oct. 20, but they are in the UEFA Champions League.

  • Silver Frost

    I doubt she’s coming back to the NWSL. Has to be the money, and being on the same team as Marta / Press.

    • Michelle

      She’s an allocated player – I can’t imagine they’re paying buckets more in Sweden than what she makes from the US Federation already. I think it’s more for experience than anything else – no down time = no rust.

      I can’t wait to see who else signs overseas.

    • Lorehead

      Unlikely. ESPNw estimated that salaries in the Damallsvenskan typically are about €1,000–€1,200 ($1,373–$1,648) a month. It’s a semi-pro league. Presumably the goalie on the USWNT would make more than that, although I doubt she gets Marta money.

      Harris said back in June, before she ever played in the NWSL, “I had such a great year and I really think my heart and my life is in Sweden now. For me, the way the timing worked out, it’s better for me to be in Sweden.” That sounds as if she has personal reasons to stay.

      On top of that, Tyresö probably offers a lot more stability. I’m sure that the former WPS teams whose owners kept paying the bills even when they lost millions will still be here no matter what, and the Portland Thorns have to be legitimately profitable, but which other teams are still going to be operating in two years? Are you sure? But playing with Marta and Press and leading the league in scoring probably feels better than her half-season in the NWSL, too.

      • Random

        the articke you link to with the quote is about Press not Harris.

        • Lorehead

          Whoops. Thanks for the catch.

    • Elaine

      She will probably be back for the next season of NWSL. I heard somewhere that the NT players are locked in for at least 2 yrs for the league. It’s a short contract with Tyreso anyway, only until Nov 2013.

  • Totter22

    I’m glad for her. Maybe WNT will take notice. She is a popular player with skills and people follow her. She will bring more fans to help women’s soccer.

    • Slicey

      I don’t know. She’s the 4th best goalkeeper at the USWNT level. The younger keepers we’ve seen this year in the NWSL could easily get callups ahead of her.

      It seems to me that Barnhart has secured her spot as #2 and I think Loyden is ahead of Harris.

  • STT

    “In Ashlyn we get a goalie with the classic American winning attitude”
    …did anyone else snicker (or cry) at this, considering which NWSL team she’s on?

    • kernel_thai

      Im having a hard time laying Washington’s woes at Harris’ feet. The defense in front of her could be a tad better and they havent scored a goal in the run of play since I was a boy. She also has Duisburg and WNY on her resume’.

      • STT

        Well yeah, I wouldn’t lay it at her feet either, but she’s not exactly helping much either. She can’t organize her back line like Solo, Franch, McLeod, etc. can.

        I can’t believe I forgot about her past teams, though… major DERP on my part, thanks for the input!

        • D23

          I think this is unfair. She has almost single-handedly prevented some major blow outs this season. The Spirit have either drawn or lost by a single goal in nine games this season. If their team could actually score goals their season would look very different.

        • kernel_thai

          Franch has a good back line and they prolly dont need much organization. The others r fair. Her best two defenders r Krieger and Pressley on the corners but she keeps getting hammered right down the middle.

          • D23

            To clarify, I meant that I felt that the comment that she’s not exactly helping much was unfair.

  • ems09

    Truth of the matter is that the US has a great deal of keeper talent. Depending on what they ever determine the rules to be regarding allocations, there’s a good chance she might not be one of the US allocated players next year. The fire sale that is hopefully happening in Washington should have her on the block as well. She is marketable and can hopefully net them more of a play maker. Chantel Jones is more than capable of being a great GK for the Spirit.

    • heremerawr

      Harris would be a great addition for the Breakers team, who have plenty of attacking players and a rather severe lack of quality goalies (I’m assuming Naeher is going to head back to Germany next season?).

      • Steglitz49

        The Breakers can start playing their allocated goalie. Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

        • kernel_thai

          I really dont believe Mexico will allocate her again. Santiago would be better served playing somewhere.

          • Steglitz49

            I do not understand Boston’s strategy on the goalie front. In this inaugural season there are teething problems and anything goes. They might as well have played their allocated goalie and been in a strong negotiating position for next year’s allocations by following suit.

            People feel sorry for DC. Their fans (seem to stay) loyal. 7 points from 16 games. People also feel sorry for Chicago, yet they have 22 pts from 16 games.

            Boston has 20 pts from 16 games, while WNYF 27 from 17 and KC 29 from 17. Boston will finish outside the playoffs unless one of the top 4 teams are wiped out in a disaster, heaven forbid. What profits it a team — but why not play your allocated players?

      • kernel_thai

        Why would u assume that? I dont believe she is on loan from Turbine Potsdam…she signed a Breakers contract.

        • Steglitz49

          That was my understanding also. Ms Naeher wanted to go back and live in her own country and Boston made her an offer. I wonder what her long-term plans are? Any ideas?

        • heremerawr

          I didn’t realize she was staying permanently with the Breakers, I was under the impression Naeher was on loan. My apologies.

    • VW

      This has to be the most ridiculous thing I have read all day long. You have got to be kidding.

    • Rufan

      I agree that she may be thinking the same thing. Elaine, there was a article about Morgan with said she is with Portland for another year, but I have reasons to believe that is not the case with all the allocated players.

      • Boston Red

        I think that was speculation on her part. I doubt NWSL & USSF have figured out the rules for 2014 allocation.

        • kernel_thai

          Because they make them up as they go along? I look forward to Jeff’s article but I believe the contracts players signed included an option year. If that’s the case, it only effects players rights within the league. If they arent under actual contract they can go play in any other league. I wonder if the league will allow multi year contracts to help stabilize things.

          • Boston Red

            I can believe that there is a team/federation option year, but that simply means the players can get dropped or moved around. Doesn’t give them a lot of stability, but that’s not really the plan for the 1st year, is it?

            I’m all for players going overseas during the “gap” like Ashlyn is doing. I’ll guess that multi-year contracts are coming in the next wave. Baby steps…

          • kernel_thai

            baby steps on broken ground near a cliff. Most of the players theyd love to sign up for a while r either controlled by USSF or on the cusp. If they have a name for their system and it isnt Half-Assed-System, they missed the boat.

      • jeffkassouf

        Morgan won’t go anywhere, but that article was wrong with what it said about allocated players. I’ll have something up in the morning with some clarification.

      • Elaine

        I don’t have any insider knowledge and you may be right about the other allocated players not being in for another year or two. Then it would mean that the contracts drawn up for the NT players and USSoccer/NWSL/team owners are different for different players. The article I saw stated that “she (Alex) is tied to being back with the Thorns for at least another year–and perhaps another three, depending on her status with the national team.” In the same article, Alex was quoted as saying, “I am here next year, and I’m happy about that, because I love it here.” (taken from portlandtribune.com) I guess Jeff will clear it up for us as far as the allocations for next year. But if the league is looking to expand into 10 teams, then I would expect all current allocated players to be back and then some more would be added. Of course this all depends on if the federations will finance these additional players and maybe players can opt out for personal/financial reasons. Just a guess on my part anyway.

        • Steglitz49

          Ashlyn played for Duisburg. She may have caught the foreign bug. It would be hard for Tyresö to get a keeper for the remaining season (not least if they have someone lined up for the next season).

          Tyresö is not a wealthy club and just like Ali Krieger probably helped get Conny Pohlers to come over so the Americans in Tyresö might have gotten Ashlyn.

    • kernel_thai

      I see no reason why they wouldnt allocate her. As u may have noticed this year, GKs get hurt. I suppose they might allocate Franch instead of Harris but Im betting they still allocate four.

      • ems09

        What I’ve noticed is that players seem to be dropping like flies with mcl/acl injuries. It will be interesting to see which players get called up for national duty (and which do not) in the fall. That may have some influence on the allocations. I’ll be interested to read Jeff’s clarifying comments re: allocations tomorrow.

      • Steglitz49

        One assumes that Ashlyn has discussed the matter with the First Secretary of the NWSL. Otherwise I do not understand her contract being to Nov this year. Should she not get Allocated stsatus, her negotiating position with Tyresö is weak.

        If Tyresö remain in the CL, Ashlyn may well want a bite at the ultimate cherry. Meanwhile, she has a decent chance of doing the Double in Sweden — lifting both the League and Cup trophies. Linköping were the last to do that (4 years ago I think). A certain Kosse Asllani played for them, plus another bunch of great players.

    • Michelle

      I can’t see the goalie situation changing going into next year – Harris may not be the fourth goalie by the time the WWC rolls around but I doubt we’ll see anything different next year. I do think that Franch and perhaps Cameron deserve a call up to camp in the fall.

      I’m quite interested to see how allocations change next year and what it means for teams – in particular I’m watching Washington with Lori Lindsey, because obviously she’s no longer part of the WNT’s plans for the future. Will they get another player allocated to them (and in that case… who? Will anyone return from overseas to fill that spot? I can’t imagine any of the group playing in Sweden will return quite yet.) or will they get some sort of cap relief in lieu of allocation?

  • snishy

    During her time there, hopefully she can work on being more consistent and not as flashy/risky. The two tie into each other and seem to be her flaws as a GK. If she wants to edge out Lloyden maybe even Barnhart, she needs to address those problems.

    • z

      She also needs to work on her decision making because that is another aspect of her performances that is severely lacking. She’s going to have to fight to get playing time in Sweden so perhaps that will push her to actually address her weaknesses.

  • kernel_thai

    This is about playing for WNT. Instead of sitting on her butt for 6 months she going to keep playing and trying to improve.

  • wosofan

    I really hope this is the first of many Americans in the NWSL who are going to play out the year in Sweden or wherever they can get quality playing time and training. Not everyone can sign with a club like Tyreso, but there have to be clubs with openings. How can players improve if they are not playing any real matches from mid-August to April? I think a bunch of younger players should try to go to Australia.

    The one complication here is that players who have a shot at a USWNT camp might not want to sign away and thereby risk jeopardizing that type of opportunity. But frankly, a younger player (like Mewis, for example), should try to keep playing wherever she can get quality minutes.

    • heremerawr

      Even the ones whose spots on the NT are assured, such as Alex Morgan, should consider going overseas to keep their skills fresh. I’d love to see more players in the Australia league, as it works so well with the NWSL and would be a good recompense for all the Australians coming to play for us. But a Morgan vs Press battle in Sweden would also be quite epic.

      • Steglitz49

        Alex should enjoy life, liberty and pursue happiness in USA. Granted, should a really juicy club open their wallets for her, maybe a jaunt abroad, but if so where?

        I would say Japan because it is such a different experience from USA-lite.

      • kernel_thai

        I second the Aussie W-League. The two leagues match up well as their league runs from October to the end of January. What the WNTers really need is a long residency camp. If TS had them together for over a month u might see some real changes in possession and formation.