Tuesday Roundup: Matheson says goodbye to the Spirit

The Equalizer Staff January 24, 2017 72

Also in today’s roundup, Carlyn Baldwin foregoes senior year to turn pro, Hope Solo gives followers a peak into her recovery and two NWSL assistant coaches take on new responsibilities

Diana Matheson (right) says goodbye to the Spirit after four years with the club. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Diana Matheson (right) says goodbye to the Spirit after four years with the club. (Copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Over the weekend The Washington Post broke the news that the Washington Spirit were looking to trade Canadian-international Diana Matheson, and on Monday the trade became official when Seattle Reign FC announced they had acquired Matheson in exchange for the draft rights of Arielle Ship and a third round draft pick in 2018.

Shortly after the trade was announced, Matheson wrote a farewell message to the Spirit loyal on an Instagram post. In it Matheson said, “The club gave me so much over the time I was there and I’ll miss so many things: The fans are among the most dedicated in the league (shout out to the Spirit Squadron), the people at the SoccerPlex and the field they take care of are top class, and all the people that own/coach/work/volunteer/host players for the Spirit give their heart and soul to that club day in and day out.”

{THE LOWDOWN: Lauletta chats with NWSL Managing Director of Operations, Amanda Duffy}

Matheson continued by stating that it was her decision to leave the club, saying, “All that said, after four years and some hard thought, I’ll be leaving the Spirit….They have been pushing to do what’s right for the club, but ultimately respected my decision. I truly appreciate all the word Jim [Gabarra] put in to work together with me on this.”

She concluded by expressing her excitement at the chance to play for Laura Harvey at the Reign in 2017. You can read her full statement below.

After four years with the Spirit I will be moving on to Seattle. As my time in DC comes to an end it is without a doubt bittersweet. The club gave me so much over the time I was there and I’ll miss so many things: The fans are among the most dedicated in the league (shout out to the Spirit Squadron), the people at the SoccerPlex and the fields they take care of are top class, and all the people that own/coach/work/volunteer/host players for the Spirit give their heart and soul to that club day in and day out. I’m proud of the people that I got to play and work with, and our push to improve on and off the field every season. It of course hurts that we didn’t reach the pinnacle last season, but I’m excited to see the club continue to push for that championship. Most of all I’ll miss my teammates and friends that play and live in the DMV. All that said, after four years and some hard thought, I’ll be leaving the Spirit. Jim and staff have been great and there has been nothing but honest conversations during the off-season. They have been pushing to do what’s right for the club, but ultimately respected my decision. I truly appreciate all the work Jim put in to work together with me on this.This business can be a tough one, and I leave with nothing but respect and gratitude for the club. Now I’m looking ahead with excitement to 2017 with the Seattle Reign. I am grateful as well to the Reign and to Laura for bringing me out west, and I can’t wait to begin my time there. I look forward to joining the great players, coaches, fans and people that make up the Reign. See you all soon!

A photo posted by Diana Matheson (@dmatheson8) on

University of Tennessee’s Carlyn Baldwin skips senior season to go pro

Carlyn Baldwin, a junior midfielder at the University of Tennessee, announced Monday night that she was skipping her senior season with the Vols after signing with BSC YB Frauen in Switzerland.

“I’m looking forward to this next chapter of my career and I could not be more thankful. See you soon Switzerland!!!!” Baldwin said in a statement posted to Twitter.

The Oakton, Va. native made headlines back in 2014 when she was offered a contract with Olympique Lyonnais after her senior year. Baldwin declined Lyon’s offer, opting instead to play collegiately at Tennessee. For the Vols Baldwin played in 56 matches over three seasons, recording six goals and four assists.

Baldwin was previously a member of the 2014 U.S. U-20 Women’s World Cup team, one of only three incoming college freshmen on that roster, and has played with the WPSL Washington Spirit Academy team. She was a standout player throughout her teens although she did not play for her high school team, instead playing with Braddock Road Youth Club (BRYC) 95 Elite. She spearheaded BRYC’s runs to capture the 2013 U-17 U.S. Youth Soccer national title, the 2012 and 2013 Virginia State Cups and the 2012 Region I championship.

Hope Solo provides surgery recovery update

Yesterday evening USWNT and Seattle Reign FC goalkeeper Hope Solo shared a video via social media displaying the range of motion in her shoulders since having shoulder replacement surgery in September 2016. The video shows Solo extending both arms above her head and pulling down while using a weight machine. The caption accompanying the video says, “More range of motion then (sic) every and finally pain free!”

When Solo broke the news of her shoulder surgery on social media, she stated, “I’ve got a brand new shoulder (read: bionic) and for the first time in years, I can raise my right arm above my head.” That lack of motion and pain when she did lift her arm was a hindrance while Solo was the starting goalkeeper for the national team, a role she told Anne M. Peterson of the Associated Press she was hoping to retake.

“I find it an honor and a privilege to represent my country at the highest level in the sport I love, in a position that I love. And I would do almost anything to play at that level once again.”

Solo’s contract with the USWNT was terminated in August and she is currently serving a six-month suspension after calling Sweden “cowards” following the USWNT’s loss to them in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Olympic games. It is currently unclear whether Solo will return to the Reign or the USWNT once her suspension is over, but her latest social media post show’s that she’s well on the path of recovery.

Two NWSL assistant coaches take on new teams, new roles

Orlando Pride announced today that they have hired Lloyd Yaxley to serve as their newest goalkeeper coach. Yaxley has spent the past four years serving in the same role with the Washington Spirit, where he coached USWNT and Orlando Pride goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris.

“With Lloyd we are bringing on board one of the most respected goalkeeping coaches in the country. After a very successful spell with the Washington Spirit, he whas been heavily involved in the USWNT at both the senior and U’23s levels and will bring a wealth of women’s soccer to our team,” head coach Tom Sermanni said.

Although the Spirit lost a member of their coaching staff with Yaxley’s departure, it keeps another as 1st Assistant Coach Denise Reddy has returned to the team for the upcoming 2017 season. In addition to her role with the Spirit, Reddy has also been named the Technical Director for the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for the state of Maryland.

“I am looking forward to working again with Jim and of course our great group of passionate and determined players. We have some unfinished business to take care of,” Reddy said, referring to the Spirit’s failure to capture a league title despite three consecutive visits to the playoffs. “With the addition of the Development Academy, I hope to help build a place where development, of both coaches and players, is the number one priority.”

As technical director for the state’s DA programs, Reddy will run the Spirit’s DA program, consisting of U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams in the top youth league in the nation. The DA program is meant to serve as a direct path to both the youth national system and the NWSL.

  • Som Termanni
    • mockmook

      Is it Kyle to NC?

      • Som Termanni

        If it is, I’m more curious about what Orlando gets in exchange. They’re running out of midfielders.

        • mockmook

          As THE “Guest” pointed out in another thread, they do have some “hidden” Mids. These are players that have played at least some midfield:

          True Mids:









          So, I think they are covered:


          • Breakers fan

            Probably a better team than I was thinking now that I see the lineup. Any reason you have Hill, a righty, on the left and Ubogagu, a lefty, on the right? Not that that isn’t done, it’s just not the traditional norm.

          • Ethan

            If either of them or both like to receive the ball on the flank and then cut in and shoot/pass off the ball for a shot on goal, it would make some sense.

          • Breakers fan

            That’s what I was thinking that maybe he was picturing. Last time I saw Messi play – for Argentina – they had him on the right for, I presume, that reason.

          • DNG

            Messi typically plays in the center of the field even if he lines up outside at the start. He sometimes gets outside to provide and outlet for fast breaks.

          • Breakers fan

            Thanks, good to know. I presume they want him in the middle so he gets the ball more often and to give him a maximum amount of room in which to operate?

          • DNG

            Messi has the freedom to go where he wants in the attack. He just tends to stay central if you look at his heat maps because he is at his most dangerous creating in the hole and shooting from central locations.

          • DNG

            I see very few players in WoSo who do that consistently so I’ll have to wait to see on that. Most don’t have the leg speed to generate the power in that cut inside shot running across the box. I remember Ubogagu playing more in the center for the Dash but I could be misremembering.

          • mockmook

            “Any reason you have Hill, a righty, on the left and Ubogagu, a lefty, on the right?”

            I’ll put them wherever I want and They Will Like It (or else)!!!! 😉

            (Incompetent player management? It’s conceivable)

          • Breakers fan


            Just tell ’em

            “go wherever the heck ya feel like it at any particular time, If you wanna switch, do it. You know better than I do. I’m just getting you on the field. You take it from there.I trust ya!”

            That actually may be a smart way to coach with some (a lot of?) players.

          • mockmook
          • Breakers fan

            Thank you! They may switch around though after the permission we (I?) gave ’em to do so, so they may be back on your original sides next time you look, and then back on mine – scoring goals from each and every, makin’ opponents’ defenders heads spin

          • Bruce

            Every highlight reel I’ve seen for Driesse shows her making plays with absolutely no defensive pressure around. I’ve got absolutely zero feel how her game will match up in the NWSL.

          • Som Termanni

            That’s fair, but wasn’t part of their problem last year the disarray from a lack of quality depth? If they have to lean on “mid-ish”, much less “mid-capable” players, who backfills them in defense? The same players who were awful off the bench/starting for injured players last year, namely Pressley?

          • mockmook

            Almost every NWSL team has a depth problem — I don’t think Orlando is much below the norm.

          • Som Termanni

            Take Belanger out, she’s not playing in the NWSL in 2017 after being deallocated.

          • Guest

            Berryhill over Monica???

          • mockmook

            “Berryhill over Monica”

            Watched back a portion of a couple of ORL v HOU games before making the formation — was very underwhelmed by Monica. Thought I’d take a flyer on Berryhill.

          • Guest

            Also what about De Vanna???

          • mockmook

            “De Vanna”

            Lots of rumors that she won’t be back, so just left her off as a precaution.

        • Katie Curtiss

          They traded with the courage for Alanna Kennedy, she is a defensive middy, she has good distributing and range on free kicks

      • Som Termanni

        Per the league, it seems that Kyle will move in the distribution draft rather than as a trade. IIRC Washington has that infamous top pick.

        • mockmook

          Thanks — disregard my question on this on the other thread

    • wosofan

      The champs are getting stronger.

    • Bruce

      Back to Rochester?

    • Som Termanni

      So far, they’ve announced boys’ and girls’ academies and that their twitter account was verified. The only other thing they’ve already teased is their team store and merchandise unveiling, due “mid-week”.

  • Som Termanni
    • boromict cumbordor

      Sentinel says her boyfriend was transferred from OCFC to Atlanta United this offseason

  • Som Termanni
  • smallchief

    Will the last player to leave the Spirit turn out the lights?

    • Steglitz49

      Classic “The Sun” headline — probably during the election of 1992.

  • Som Termanni

    Delphine Cascarino of the France WNT/Olympique Lyon tore her ACL at NT training camp for their upcoming international friendly. Out for a minimum of 6 months: http://www.olweb.fr/fr/article/communique-rupture-du-liagament-croise-pour-delphine-cascarino-73121.html


    • Rdalford

      unfortunate (as all injuries are) injury to a good young player.
      wish her successful recovery/rehab

    • Steglitz49

      The ACL, the Achilles heel of WoSo and a bane of many a player.

      Let’s hope they can develop a test that can predict if you are likely to be at increased risk of tearing your ACL.

  • wosofan

    Classy from Matheson

    • Rdalford

      appreciate her thanks to the fans and the Maryland Soccerplex grounds crew

  • JLC25

    Is it true that Carolyn Baldwin is skipping her senior year? Or did she graduate early and is forgoing her last year of eligibility? I do believe there is a pretty big difference and I’m not sure one can tell that by her tweets.

    • guest

      U of Tenn announcement labels Carolyn Baldwin as a junior who is choosing to go pro and forgo senior year.
      My assumption is UofTenn would have said graduated early (vs junior) if she had in fact graduated early.

  • Reality

    Now that the USWNT January camp is over, I can’t wait for EQ to have a revealing article where Jill Ellis will give us a complete report on the results.

  • guest

    Solo is coming back. You heard it here.

    • guest

      hope solo…40 year old starting goalie for the uswnt in the 2020 japan olympics.

      • Zaff

        Probably still the best option

  • newsouth

    why is she going to the reign instead of press? and don’t give me “a franchise in Cali soon”.

    • Som Termanni

      Not sure why it’s an either/or transaction, but I’m pretty sure if she couldn’t be close to home in Toronto, she’d rather be close to training camp in Vancouver. I doubt much else factored into it; it was her decision to leave, and she handed over a list of destinations. It was almost all on her terms, as some allocated player moves tend to be.

  • Som Termanni
    • mockmook

      Yeah, Payne seems to be a direct replacement for McCarty

      • Guest

        Could probably end up being much more of a contributor than McCarty, since she really only had a few sporadic moments. KC will probably be pretty stacked at the FW position next year with Leroux, Rodriguez, Groom, Payne, Tymrak, Ribiero, and O’Reilly when she returns.

        • Steglitz49

          Tiffany gets to try out life north of the Arctic Circle, the Midnight sun and continuous darkness and all that.

          The town, where she will play, is spread around some islands. The scenery is spectacular and they claim to have the oldest northernmost medieval church in the world though the Swedes may challenge that.

          Tiffany shows great spirit and love of the unusual. Let’s trust she has a whale of a time. Maybe she will find love in the arms of a Norwegian?

        • mockmook

          “O’Reilly when she returns”

          I see u have turned into a comedian 🙂

  • Som Termanni


    Sheridan and Price newly allocated by Canada.

  • john

    Love to have someone from this group who knows Baldwin chime in about this move.

  • Som Termanni
    • Nicole C.

      Wow, that’s a huge increase. Good news for the player, but where will the extra money come from?

      • Som Termanni

        I guess we’ll find out just how big that rumored TV deal will be.

      • tonysocref

        “Where is the money coming from?” That’s the million dollar question at this point.
        General estimate is 15 players per team being paid by the league/team. That’s a $225,000 minimum hit against the team payroll and we all know that there are several players making at least double the $15,000 already.
        Wonder how large the team cap is jumping and what the league player max will be for 2017 if this is actually true.

        • Nicole C.

          Plush says the main goal is to “raise the bottom end”- that might include leveling out the top for some teams. Can’t help but think this might have been a factor in Orlando releasing Kyle…

          • mockmook

            It appears that the lack of an International spot spelled doom for her. Though they might have been better off not signing Camila.

  • xanthophobe

    re:Baldwin–I know injuries have been a factor but it’s a pretty sharp decline to have an OL offer in 2014 to where she is now. Not anywhere near the NT picture, played on a struggling NCAA team (not entirely her fault) and wasn’t named to an all-SEC team in 2015 or 2016 (she was on the all Freshman team in 2014). She might have a good pro career ahead of her but the decline over the past few years is interesting.

    • Steglitz49

      There must be more to this than meets the eye. Is there a love interest or a family connection?

      On the surface it seems even more bizarre than Savannah Jordan going to Glasgow City but on closer contemplation it is much more enterprising and daring.

      Bern in Switzerland is not the most obvious place to start your adult WoSo career even if Bern Young Boys ladies team has been successful over the years. The ladies club was started in 1970 though it has only been part of the Young Boys for about 10 years.

      The club seems to be almost exclusively Swiss lasses and the language of the locker-room presumably Switzerdeutsch.

      Bern is the capital of Switzerland but what that means is an interesting question seeing that its institutions are spread around the country (the Supreme Court is in Lausanne, for example) and the two wealthiest cities are probably Basel and Zurich, followed by Geneva and Lausanne.

  • Steglitz49

    This picture of Diana is not flattering. The one used in the other piece about her “Spirit trade Diana Matheson to Seattle Reign” is more like her and caputres the charm of the player.

    In most photos, Diana does not look her age, more like 15 years less. Vow! What an asset.

  • FlyingSquirrel42

    Next Spirit transaction: Tori Huster and Joanna Lohman to the Red Stars for some Cubs tickets and a box of paper clips.