Heather O’Reilly heading to Arsenal, set to return in June

The Equalizer Staff January 17, 2017 67
Heather O'Reilly is heading to Arsenal Ladies FC of the FA WSL for the first half of 2017 (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Heather O’Reilly is heading to Arsenal Ladies FC of the FA WSL for the first half of 2017 (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Three-time Olympic gold-medalist and World Cup champion midfielder Heather O’Reilly will be heading to England to join Arsenal Ladies of the FA WSL this upcoming spring. O’Reilly is set to return to FCKC in June but there could be options in her contract. The news was first reported early Tuesday by Glenn Crooks and has been independently confirmed by The Equalizer.

According to the tweet by Glenn Crooks, O’Reilly “wants to help soccer in the U.S.” and is joining Arsenal Ladies to “be a better ambassador.”

O’Reilly, who recently retired from the United States women’s national team last September, has spent the last two NWSL seasons in Kansas City with FC Kansas City. Upon retirement, she sits at seventh all-time in appearances for the United States women’s national team at 230 caps and registered 46 goals during her 14-year career with the senior team.

With this move overseas, O’Reilly joins fellow Americans Crystal Dunn and Alex Morgan who both recently signed with clubs abroad. Dunn signed with Chelsea in England earlier this month and Morgan signed with Lyon of France in late December. Unlike Dunn who is not expected to return to the Washington Spirit later this year, O’Reilly is set to return to FCKC in June, around the same time that Morgan will return to Orlando. Morgan, Dunn, and O’Reilly are three of the most prominent international transfers out of the NWSL in recent months. All three have spent their time in the NWSL since inception and their moves abroad come on the heels of an expired CBA agreement between the U.S. Soccer Federation and the players. This appears to have loosened the relationship between the players, and federation, and their ties to the NWSL as players are looking for opportunities overseas now more than they have in previous years.

{MORE: Crystal Dunn heading to Chelsea | Alex Morgan to play first half of 2017 with Lyon}

O’Reilly was an alternate for the Rio 2016 Olympics this past summer where the U.S. women’s national team was knocked out during the quarterfinal round by Pia Sundhage’s Sweden in penalty kicks marking the earliest ever exit of the USWNT from a major tournament. Prior to her time at FCKC, O’Reilly played for the Boston Breakers, Sky Blue FC (WPS), and the New Jersey Wildcats after graduation from the University of North Carolina where she played under Anson Dorrance.

 

  • Som Termanni

    Reign FC sign Rebekah Stott, per EQ’s very own Lauletta, so expect a story here in a day or two: https://twitter.com/TheDanLauletta/status/821429376017399809

    • Steglitz49

      Please remind us what happened to NZ in OG-16.

      • Som Termanni

        Same thing that happened to the US—no medal.

        • Steglitz49

          Did not even get out of their group now, did they.

          • Som Termanni

            Fourth, eighth, and last place all win the same amount of nothing.

          • Steglitz49

            The USWNT covered themselves in cow dung. Maybe the Kiwis got away with kiwifruit?

      • Melindaglavoie

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  • Steglitz49

    Congratulations HAO! Wear that iconic strip with pride.

    Many great matches coming up and if the ball bounces your way, the FA women’s Cup final at Wembley.

    Btw, is your hubby relocating to London?

  • #1Fan

    was not their first choice, but hope she does well

    • Steglitz49

      Apart from this snide and denigrating remark — do you know who was their first choice? Type now or forever hold your piece, pray.

      • TROLLWORLD

        par for the course. his salty trolling is almost as annoying as your repetitive trolling.

        • Steglitz49

          Where were you when Bruce and I took another bottomfeeder to task over denigrating comments about Tobin and Christen?

          Take action where action is needed instead of trolling the boards.

          • HOFCToDi

            LOL!

            Alex Morgan will get the last laugh getting paid by Olympique Lyonnais while the rest will get locked out by the USSF.

          • Steglitz49

            Is Alex’s hubby joining her in Lyon? Or, does he just have visiting rights on every other weekend?

          • HOFCToDi

            Who cares?

            Alex Morgan has witnessed the negotiations between the USWNTPA and the USSF. Whether a strike by the USWNTPA or a lockout by the USSF, the members of the USWNTPA will not receive a pay check. Hopefully, the soccer scourge, better known as NWSL player allocation, will cease to exist in the near future.

          • CED

            WNT are still getting paid there distribution of their yearly salary as of now. Neither side has terminated things which takes 60 days notice. Thus all terms are being abide by. This in fact could go on for very long time. USSF has no reason to lock players out, they are getting the old terms as long as the USWNTPA doesn’t give 60 day notice. USWNTPA has zero leverage as the SBC, the only semi event of the year is already within 60 days, and they didn’t give notice. They could go on strike but they wouldn’t get paid and the facts is with nothing happening of importance USSF would not fret to bring in a bunch of non allocated players. They already want to take a look at new people and this would make it even easier. The fact is getting rid of Lloyd who made silly comments that they should actually be paid more than MNT and disparaging the MNT is the first sign of the eventual cave. Press’ comments that they don’t want to be paid equal but fair. What is fair is the debate, equal was never happening. This is the sanity that USSF will be more willing to bargain with over the Lloyd, et al crowd they were dealing with before. The final deal IMO will be standard 20-25% increases of past deals, USSF will get more flexibility in calling in players in trade fro higher per game and other bonus structure. While the allocation structure is bad, it will be continued in modified form.

          • HOFCToDi

            USSF does not subsidize MLS. It’s the 21st century, the NWSL needs to survive on its own merits. No more subsidies.

            “Equal Pay for Equal Play”. Scraps for all.

          • CED

            USSF does not think in terms of teaching lessons. The USSF actions of over paying the WNT for decades compared to their revenue, lead to the entitlement the WNT developed. USSF boxed themselves into the silly allocation structure and subsidization at the start of NWSL. 2 leagues failed before b/c they were actually based on financial merits of the league. Subsidization is essentially how every WoSo leagues work in the world, in the rest of the world it’s mens clubs subsidizing, USA it’s USSF. While it makes sense to cut allocation/subsidy it’s not happening as the league would have to have the team owners come up with the money. The best case scenario short term would ideally move the subsidy from players to equal subsidy per team of 150K. Raise the league max to 50K. The current system encourages a team to get the max allocated player.

          • HOFCToDi

            The subsidy would be better spent on coaching licenses. God knows this country needs it.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

            That is in many ways the legacy of Anna Signeul’s time in Scotland. She set up coaching clinics and academies, and did not just concentrate on the WNT. Coaches have been developed during her tenure.

          • HOFCToDi

            If the USWNTPA feel so disrespected, why hasn’t the USWNTPA filed a lawsuit against FIFA for discrimination? That is gender discrimination.

          • CED

            WNT is all bluster, they need paychecks coming that’s why they will not strike. Regarding FIFA US laws don’t apply and they don’t even have a case in the US. Let’s not even get into the fact that FIFA pays WWCup higher % of revenues to winners than MWcup.

          • Steglitz49

            Hear hear!

          • Steglitz49

            Because they know they will lose it, like the plastic vs natural grass in WC-15?

            Given the revenues the men’s game generates vs the women’s, FIFA subsidizes WoSo.

          • Steglitz49

            I doubt that the pay will be higher for members of the USWNT.

            There may well be a total wage distribution so that the money to the NWSL players and the USWNT players goes up but it will be the crew that will gain not the officers.

            The whole thing will be dressed up as a win-win in the PR blurb obviously.

          • lmaooooooo

            who cares? he is a cuckhold

          • Steglitz49

            Kindly withdraw your remark.

          • moron

            no coach in their right mind would lock out Press, the real best forward in the world.

          • HOFCToDi

            Christen Press is GARBAGE!

            If it wasn’t for Sydney Leroux, Christen Press would be NOTHING! Spoon feeding at its best.

          • JL

            Thanks a lot. Now Mr. Broken Record will post 5 dozen times saying the same exact thing. Sometimes I wonder if his fingers are permanently red with all the cherry-picking he does.

          • Steglitz49

            He has been quite lucid for a while now so why people do not resist naming a certain player I can’t understand — except to goad him and see the result, which is predictable.

      • HOFCToDi

        LOL!

        A bitter parent whose kid was not named to one of the youth national teams.

        • Steglitz49

          Sounds plausible.

      • Som Termanni

        HAO’s exit conveniently aligns with the June transfer window. Arsenal gets a needed winger for their Spring Series filler until the first, more lucrative Europe-aligned fall season transfer window opens, and HAO cashes in for the offseason and returns in time for the back half of the NWSL. Everybody wins except the NWSL, who gets another week of doomsayers.

        • HOFCToDi

          I thought the purpose of the NWSL was to provide a safe haven for college graduates.

          • Steglitz49

            A sort of matchmaker?

          • HOFCToDi

            Matchmaker?

            The Damallsvenskan and Canadian geriatrics.

          • Steglitz49

            Touché!

            At the same time, if you don’t find your partner during college, it is not so easy when all you do is eat, drink and poop soccer all day without earning a queen’s ransom from it.

          • HOFCToDi

            Canadians can make extra money shoveling snow from Swedish driveways.

        • Steglitz49

          Verily.

        • mockmook

          DOOM!!!!

          (I say)

    • DNG

      It sounds like HAO only committed to playing for the spring which isn’t their main season this year switching to a winter calendar. They may try to sign their first choice again in the winter. I wouldn’t mind seeing a couple of US players play for Arsenal but I’d guess that they have a reasonable budget and just spent a bunch to sign Little. The Reign Arsenal friendly last year was interesting to watch. The Reign probably had the better of play with their starters but it was fun to watch the contrasting styles.

      • Waitl for details

        Lets wait until we learn of the HAO signing and details from Arsenal

        • DNG

          I don’t think contract details in the FAWSL are typically released so we may not learn the details until they happen.

        • DNG

          Looks like I was wrong and HAO did an interview were it was stated that her contract was for 18 months which would include the winter season. I wonder if that means she misses the end of the NWSL season as well of if there is more in her contract.

          • Its the details that count

            The math implies running through the end of the 2017-18 FA season about May or June 2018.

          • Steglitz49

            Thank you. Please see the new, updated, article for details.

          • Steglitz49

            HAO does not owe anyone anything. Her hubby is something in finance so maybe he can relocate to London, which is Europe’s big financial center.

    • Doug

      I love how people act like HAO scrub because Ellis got rid of her. She played 15 years on WNT.

      • #1Fan

        who said she was a scrub? i think shes a great player. First choice was a defender.

  • I’m happy for her and for FCKC. I was worried about the possibility of her being traded to NC. Now she gets a few months abroad and (hopefully) we get her back for the 2nd half of the season. I have a feeling KC may need her crosses to feed to her ex-NT teammates.

    • Steglitz49

      HAO gets more than “a few months abroad”. She gets to pull on one of the most recognized strips in football, live in London, crawl the pubs and, if the ball breaks her way, win the FA women’s Cup or at least a chance to play in the final. If HAO is really lucky, maybe they will play a game at Emirates stadium.

      • Som Termanni

        The most she’ll win with Arsenal is a Spring Series trophy or ribbon of some sort. Nothing on the schedule is set for anywhere remarkable. The competition for roster spots increases dramatically after the spring series is over.

        • Steglitz49

          As I typed, she can win the FA women’s Cup.

          The final is at Wembley and televised live on the BBC. A trophy contested since 1971. Arsenal Ladies are the current holders.

  • Steglitz49

    While we are in the European theatre of WoSo, the big news is that Anna Signeul will step down as Scotland head coach after Euro 2017. She will become head coach of Finland’s WNT next.

    The Swede lead Scotland’s ladies to their first-ever major tournament. The Scotch FA say that in 12 years, Anna Signeul has revolutionised the ladies’ game in Scotland. She has also played a key role in developing coaches for the lasses, introducing an academy system to support the development of the most talented players in the country.

  • Alex25

    HAO, Dan Carter, Oshoala, Jodie Taylor and van de Donk as options in attack sounds great.. With Little and Fara Williams bossing the midfield even better… Shame about the defence. Think Arsenal and Chelsea need to take another look at the table from last season and work out why they didn’t win.

    Manchester City – Goals scored 36 – Goals conceded 4
    Chelsea – Goals scored 42 – Goals conceded 17
    Arsenal – Goals scored 33 – Goals conceded 14

    Someone sign Renard already so its actually a contest!

    • Steglitz49

      Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the FA women’s Cup 1-0 but the lack of defense told in the Champions League. Owing to the odd seeding system, Chelsea faced Wolfsburg and lost 0-3 at home and then drew 1-1 away.

    • HOFCToDi

      I thought the FA WSL instituted a salary cap.

      • Steglitz49

        Basically, all clubs can use only 40 % of their turnovers on the wage bill. It is, however, unclear is what is meant by “turnover” in this context.

        There are no minimum or maximum limits for individual salaries and the aim is to help clubs grow sustainably and try to keep a degree of equality, even if there will naturally be disparities between the clubs.

        If teams can attract more sponsors and bigger crowds, their cap will go up to reflect that. Nevertheless, — Even including sponsors, a top bracket of around £70,000 a year is still on a different planet to Wayne Rooney’s £300,000 a week, for example, or what Pogba or Zlatan earn.

        Man Utd has refused to restart their women’s team. Man City are the queen bees in Manchester.

  • Steglitz49

    It is a great picture of HAO. Let’s have one of her in the Gunners strip asap.

  • Bruce

    Losing her motor in the midfield fundamentally changes FCKC. Things are going to slow down for the club, which I’d think raises the stock of one Alexis Shaffer.

  • Som Termanni

    Finland is hiring away Scotland’s manager. Signeul replaces Andree Jeglertz, now at Umea: https://twitter.com/chris_awk/status/821400651494227970

    • Steglitz49

      Do you ever bother to read what others type?

      You are at least 1 hour behind the times.

  • Calci0

    Kinda saw this coming a few months ago. Glad she is having an opportunity to play abroad.