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Monday Roundup: 2017 NWSL match ball revealed

Also in today’s roundup, Crystal Dunn debuts for Chelsea, weather cancels Canada-Mexico friendly and Rae Dower resigns as Canberra United head coach

The 2017 NWSL match ball was on display at Thursday's press conference. (photo courtesy Meg Linehan, Excelle Sports)

The 2017 NWSL match ball was on display at Thursday’s press conference. (photo courtesy Meg Linehan, Excelle Sports)

At Thursday’s joint press conference with NWSL and A+E Networks, most of the attention was on the speakers and major news announcement. But in the excitement of the news surrounding the league’s three-year broadcast deal with Lifetime, one little guest may have been overlooked: the 2017 NWSL match ball.

{ALSO TODAY: Engen out at least for 2017  |  WoSo meets Super Bowl LI}

The 2017 NWSL match ball appears to be a Nike Ordem 4 ball that features sections of brightly colored, lined gradients that fade from orange to white. The ball is segmented by heavy black lines to create the pentagons associated with classic soccer balls. The NWSL logo and year 2017 are also included in the ball’s modern design.

Although there was no announcement about the new match ball at the press conference, there were several on display at the event, including two sitting on the tables in front of the speakers. The match ball has also since been included in the opening shot of a video about the Lifetime deal that NWSL has uploaded to their YouTube channel.

Crystal Dunn debuts for Chelsea in closed-door preseason friendly

Crystal Dunn holds her new Chelsea Ladies shirt. The 2015 NWSL Most Valuable Player is heading to England. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

Crystal Dunn debuted for Chelsea Ladies today in a preseason friendly. (photo: Chelsea Ladies)

Crystal Dunn made her debut with her new club, Chelsea Ladies FC, today in a closed-door preseason friendly against Hyundai Steel Red Angels of South Korea’s WK League. Chelsea won the match, 2-0.

Although Dunn played the full 90, it was another new signing, Norwegian-international Maren Mjelde, who opened up scoring for Chelsea in the second half. Last year’s Player’s Player of the Year Millie Bright added the insurance goal.

“The first 45 minutes, in particular, we were very impressive. We were on the front foot and our pressing game was the highlight as it set the tone and we gave them no time on the ball,” head coach Emma Hayes said. “’It was a thoroughly deserved victory and I’m really pleased with the manner in we defended.”

Chelsea’s next preseason match is on Sunday, February 12 against FC Rosengard.

Canada-Mexico closed-door friendly cancelled due to snow

The Equalizer’s Harjeet Johal reported today that the second of two international friendlies between Canada and Mexico scheduled for Tuesday, February 7 had been cancelled due to heavy snowfall in the Vancouver area. Canada confirmed the reports on Twitter.

The two teams squared off Saturday night during Canada’s Bronze Medal Celebration Match. Canada won the match, 3-2, thanks to a goal by Deanne Rose and a brace by Janine Beckie. Nancy Antonio and Katie Johnson, recently drafted by the Seattle Reign, scored for Mexico.

Rae Dower resigns as Canberra United head coach

Rae Dower, head coach of the W-League’s Canberra United, announced that she was resigning from her position as head coach, citing a desire to spend more time with her family as the reason behind her decision. The news comes just a day after Canberra United closed out their season with a 1-0 loss to reigning champs Melbourne City in the W-League playoffs. According to an article by the Canberra Times, Dower had informed the team of her departure well before their final match.

Dower joined the club as assistant coach ahead of the 2013/2014 season before moving up to serve as head coach for the past two seasons. Under her leadership, Canberra has made two semifinal appearances.

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