Wednesday Roundup: HAO debuts for Arsenal in first preseason match

The Equalizer Staff February 1, 2017 32

Also in today’s roundup, Julie Foudy set to launch new leadership series with espnW, Amy Rodriguez is dedicated to a strong NWSL return and Sofia Jakobsson is sidelined for 2017 with an ACL tear

New Arsenal Ladies signing Heather O'Reilly with coach Pedro Martinez Losa.

New Arsenal Ladies signing Heather O’Reilly with coach Pedro Martinez Losa.

Heather O’Reilly saw her first start in an Arsenal shirt today in the team’s first preseason match up of the 2017 season, a 3-1 loss to FC Bayern Munich in Sevilla. This was O’Reilly’s first appearance for the Gunners since the announcement of her signing two weeks ago.

HAO headed out to London for a stint in the FAWSL that was originally thought to be short-term, but the length still remains unclear. Although there is a possibility she will return to FC Kansas City of the NWSL this summer, Arsenal does hold her contract, so that remains to be seen.

Kim Little also saw a start in today’s match for Arsenal that marked her official return to the club after her three-year spell in the NWSL playing for the Seattle Reign. The 26-year old Scottish midfielder was named the league’s MVP in 2014, her first season in Seattle, and helped the Reign won the NWSL Shield that year. In the following year, she earned a spot on the Best XI for the second consecutive year as the Reign repeated as NWSL Shield winners. Most recently, she was named to the Second XI during her last campaign with the Reign in 2016. Laura Harvey stated that Little was presented with “an unbelievable offer by Arsenal,” so due to their mutual respect, she felt it was right to let her return home to follow this opportunity.

Today’s friendly also proved to be the return for defender Jemma Rose to the pitch after six months of inaction due to injury. This will be Rose’s third season with the Gunners. Prior to Arsenal, she spent four seasons with Bristol Academy. The 24-year old made her debut for the England women’s national team in 2015 during a 2017 UEFA EURO qualifier.

Arsenal kicks off their 2017 campaign on February 19 with Kelly Smith’s farewell match.

Foudy to launch new leadership series with espnW in March


Beginning in March, Julie Foudy will launch a “Sock Talk” series with espnW that focuses on leadership, in all shapes and sizes, through a variety of interviews with some of sport’s and entertainment’s most prominent women. In the teaser that was released yesterday, she interviews USWNT star Alex Morgan, soccer legend Mia Hamm, TV personality Robin Roberts, ESPN baseball analyst Jessica Mendoza and more.

Later this year, Foudy is set to release her book titled Choose to Matter: Your Guide to Being Courageously You that focuses in on similar themes, hoping to empower women through leadership. In a first-person piece written for espnW, Foudy explains “the hardest part is just summoning the courage to choose to lead, to raise your hand. To own that awesome. It is not question of IF you will be a leader, but HOW.” Her book will be released on May 2.

Amy Rodriguez committed to strong return to the field in 2017

Amy Rodriguez set to return to the NWSL this season after missing the 2016 season due to the birth of her second son, Luke (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

Amy Rodriguez set to return to the NWSL this season after missing the 2016 season due to the birth of her second son, Luke (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

USWNT and FC Kansas City forward Amy Rodriguez spoke to The Blue Testament of SBNation about her dedication and drive to get back to the field for this upcoming NWSL season. She will be returning to preseason with FCKC this March after missing the full season in 2016 while pregnant with her second son, Luke, who was born this past summer.

Over the last few years, Rodriguez has been a mainstay in the FCKC offensive line, specifically in 2014 when she helped them win their first NWSL Championship. She scored three of the four goals for the squad during their playoff run. In 2015, the now 29-year old became a World Cup champion before helping FCKC repeat as NWSL Champions for the second year running. In typical Amy Rodriguez scoring fashion, she scored three of the four total goals scored by the team during their postseason play.

Rodriguez told SB Nation that the road to getting back in shape has been tough, but nonetheless, she’s putting everything into it. “It’s been a grueling process, especially while raising two kids, but I’ve been dedicated to getting back on the field since day one, and I’m not giving up.”

While there was no mention of her USWNT future, it seems as though she’s working her hardest to get back to NWSL form as well as continue her USWNT momentum from being in January camp.


Sofia Jakobsson sidelined for 2017 with ACL tear

Earlier today, Pia Sundhage confirmed to SVT that forward Sofia Jakobsson will be out for up to a year due to an ACL tear. The Swedish striker has been in great form as of late in her club play with Montpellier as she leads Division 1 Feminine in scoring with 14 goals to date. Montpellier is currently sitting at third behind PSG and OL on league table. The loss of Jakobsson will be felt not only by Montpellier, but also by the Sweden women’s national who is five months out from the start of this summer’s UEFA EURO Championships.

  • wosofan

    A Rod was a fringe player before she got pregnant and now there are so many new strikers coming along. Good luck to her but I don’t see her making the USWNT for any major tourney, but I’m sure she will get a look from the great Jill Ellis,

    • Steglitz49

      As a mother of two kids, it would be good PR for WoSo if ARod got not just “a good look” as you type but also a fair one. The same goes for Syd.

      Suffering ACL-tears, like Sofia Jakobsson, are sad news for WoSo. Young ladies having babies and playing themselves back into club and even NT form, are positive messages.

      Women in sport have become freer about discussing issues like impact of periods on performance and some have even made adverts for brands of tampons, not just sports bras and bikinis.

      Last year the Swedish X-country skier Maria Rydqvist published a book in Swedish the title of which translated is “Women, sport and male leaders” which makes fascinating reading. I doubt it will be translated into a bigger language like English, French or German, but who knows?

      • wosofan


        • Steglitz49

          Thank you.

          If you penetrate 4% of 95% of the market, it is still more than grabbing 70% of 5% of the market.

          • rkmid71

            It will be interesting to see how they market the NWSL players and teams on A&E/Lifetime. I”m not sure what to expect. They should do interesting investigative reports on best practice on ACL preventative measures. development of better women’s soccer referees, youth soccer politics and talent id and impact of new GDA, pros and cons of changing NCAA college rules (eg. subs, schedule, etc), the CBA impact on NWSL players getting looks with the USWNT, prevalence of the Harvard rating system. We can create a prioritized list of topics on EQ Some enterprising smart college kids on internship would probably do a great job (with some oversight and fact checking!). The features could be before or after the NWSL games.

          • Steglitz49

            Show some women’s MMA in the intervals. That will bring in the punters.

          • Som Termanni

            > They should do interesting investigative reports

            This is what you can expect from Lifetime:

          • rkmid71

            I’m beginning to wonder whether investigative journalism even exists anymore/ Even 60 Minutes was lame when they interviewed the USWNT players about the CBA. I guess it’s too much to expect from Lifetime.

  • Som Termanni

    With TV talk going on, World Soccer Talk got around to breaking down 2016 MLS TV viewership by club. The top 5 markets on cable were three NWSL markets (Houston #1; Seattle #4, Portland #5).

    Other NWSL markets:

    Sporting KC 9th
    DC United 10th
    NY Red Bulls (New Jersey) 11th
    NE Revolution 14th
    OCFC 15th
    Chicago 16th

    Proposed and rumored expansion/relocation markets:

    Vancouver 2nd
    NYC FC 3rd
    LA Galaxy 7th

    At the bottom of the table was Real Salt Lake at 95,500/match, or about 7k/match more than the NWSL averaged on FS1 in 2016.

    • Steglitz49

      I vote for Salt Lake but they must drop the Real bit if they get a WoSo side.

  • Som Termanni

    The Pride didn’t tell Kyle she’d be cut. She found out via media. Expects to play elsewhere this season, and to have her green card within a month, which would negate the international roster spot issue:

    > Kyle said no one else from the club called her to talk about the decision after that initial contact, and she had hoped for better communication and transparency throughout the process. Finding out two months before the NWSL season typically begins left her with few options, she said.

    • disqus_risYMRx7iD

      sounds like she should be more mad at the cwnt (they gave her no notice) based on the pride exit interview

      can she go back to ORL next month with green card in hand?

      • Som Termanni

        > sounds like she should be more mad at the cwnt (they gave her no notice) based on the pride exit interview

        Them too, but it’s not exclusive. She seemed to know this was a possibility, but nobody from the OC front office, including Sermanni, broke the news about the Pride releasing her. She heard from a team media rep, not a team official, minutes before the public release. That’s raw, especially if everyone involved knew it was a possibility.

        > can she go back to ORL next month with green card in hand?

        Not as far as I understand the distribution draft process. Pride couldn’t hold on to her rights without cutting another international, and cutting her after deallocation means her rights are effectively owned by the league, not any team.

        The only way Orlando can get her back for “free” is the 8 teams ahead of them in the distribution draft order pass on her. Otherwise, they’ll have to deal with whichever team picks her up if they want her back.

  • Steglitz49

    One’s heart goes out to Sofia. She was this seasons leading goal scorer in France up to now. She has had her career knocked about before landing in Montpellier in 2014, where she has thrived like an orchid in a hothouse. She will miss the European Championship and there is no guarantee of a perfect recovery.

  • Steglitz49

    The big news, though strictly speaking not WoSo, is that Lars Lagerbäck has agreed to be the next head coach of the Norwegian MNT. Earlier Martin Sjögren, the Swede who was so successful with Linköping, had been appointed head coach of the Norwegian WNT.

    Thus both soccer NTs in Norway are in the hands of Swedes. Norwegian rednecks are already rattling their motorcycle chains.

  • Steglitz49

    To add to Sweden’s woes, Fridolina Rolfö had to be replaced in the 12th minute of Bayern Munich’s training match against Arsenal. No details were given but one assumes it was some injury.

    • Lodovico Settembrini

      It was said that it was due to an injury.
      However, nothing about the nature of the injury was announced yet.
      Let’s hope it is nothing serious

      • Lodovico Settembrini

        First indication: fractured metatarsal (again)

        • Steglitz49

          Thank you. Fridolina is injury-prone. I think she missed WC-15 because of an injury and in OG-16 came off against the USA early after an injury — which brought Stina Blackstenius on!

          I am surprised that Bayern did not sign Stina and Fridolina went to Montpellier!

  • Tom F

    I wish fans would be more interested in the women’s game outside their own special interest(in the EQ +,NWSL & USWNT).In this case Bayern Munich won an convincing victory over Arsenal who had the NWSL’s most celebrated player ever in their disposal(Kim Little). Last year, Seattle only managed a tie with Arsenal on their home turf(and that;s with Little on their side). So heads up to BM & the Bundesliga, and hopefully we;ll see the NWSL try to challenge BUND teams rather than it’s(NWSL) fans proclaim itself as the best woso league in the world without ever trying to prove it.

    • Steglitz49

      The editors of the EQ could help their readers by compiling a list of any American and Canadian lasses playing abroad. We could throw in any assorted Australians seeing that they speak English of a sort. As for Mexicans?

    • Andy

      The article listed 3 players that played for Arsenal in this game. All three were brand new to the team. You’re trying to draw conclusions from this kind of preseason match? You must have been knocked into a coma after the Reign didn’t win NWSL this last year, I mean, they won preseason didn’t they?

    • Vacation time

      A preseason game in Spain.

      • Steglitz49

        Pre whose season?

    • mockmook

      Or, the BUND could fund a NWSL team to come to GER for a game to settle who is the better league. What is the BUND afraid of?

      • Steglitz49

        Arsenal and Chelsea have shown willing to let their ladies travel and far, even to Japan, not just the US. Maybe the NWSL team could have done likewise and that International Ladies Club Championship might still be running.

  • AlexH

    Wow. So the gals in Europe get free trips to Sevilla as well. Remind me once again why promising American women would want to waste their time in the NWSL?

    • Steglitz49

      Bayern Munich is the 4th richest soccer club in the world and Arsenal the 5th. When Wolfsburg could not compete in the ladies international club championship in Japan, one year Arsenal and the other Chelsea stepped up to the plate.

      “Money, money, money”, sang ABBA. “Money makes the world go round”, was in Cabaret.

  • Som Termanni
    • Steglitz49

      What did she think of his nominee for the Supreme Court?

    • mockmook

      NEWSFLASH: She’s as deluded as everyone else

      • captainfate

        Thinking that a wall is a solution to illegal immigration is a bigger delusion, to me.