ALSO IN TODAY’S ROUNDUP, NWSL HIGHLIGHTS W-LEAGUE BEST, IRELAND HAS A NEW COACH, AND MORE
Former USWNT and Seattle Reign goalkeeper Hope Solo has signed a deal with INvelop Entertainment. The deal includes both development and production duties, and her first project will be hosting a new season of “The Cutting Edge”, a series which focuses on the treatment, rehabilitation, and research of sports injuries. Solo appeared on the first season of the show in 2014. She is no stranger to sports injuries, undergoing surgery on her right shoulder in 2010, her left wrist in 2013, and her right shoulder again last fall.
“I am very excited for the opportunity to work with Brant [Pinvidic] and INvelop Entertainment,” Solo said in the press release. “He is an industry leader that shares my passion for unique story-telling and together we look forward to delivering content that will resonate with not just sports fans but all viewers.”
NWSL PLAYERS NAMED AMONG W-LEAGUE BEST
The Professional Footballers Australia announced their inaugural PFA Jetts W-League Team of the Season, featuring eight NWSL players. All nine teams in the Westfield W-League boast NWSL players on their roster, reflecting the ongoing popularity of Australia as an offseason landing spot for NWSL players with nine of the ten NWSL teams currently represented. The Team of the Season was chosen by the players themselves.
Perth Glory will host defending champions Melbourne City in the W-League Grand Final next Saturday. Four of the players named on the Team of the Season will appear.
— The PFA (@thepfa) February 9, 2017
GOALKEEPER: Lydia Williams (Melbourne City/Houston Dash)
DEFENDERS: Steph Catley (Melbourne City/Orlando Pride); Alanna Kennedy (Sydney FC/Orlando Pride); Clare Polkinghorne (Brisbane Roar); Megan Oyster (Newcastle Jets/Boston Breakers)
MIDFIELDERS: Jess Fishlock (Melbourne City/Seattle Reign); Katrina Gorry (Brisbane Roar); Yukari Kinga (Canberra United)
FORWARDS: Sam Kerr (c) (Perth Glory/Sky Blue FC); Natasha Dowie (Melbourne Victory/Boston Breakers); Ashleigh Sykes (Canberra United)
SUBSTITUTES: Jayda Whyman (Western Sydney Wanderers); Kim Carroll (Perth Glory); Christine Nairn (Melbourne Victory/Seattle Reign); Adriana Jones (Adelaide United); Alexandra Chidiac (Adelaide United)
IRELAND APPOINTS NEW HEAD COACH
The Women’s Football Association of Ireland announced yesterday that Colin Bell will take over from Sue Ronan as the head coach of the Republic of Ireland women’s national team. The former Premier League and Bundesliga defender has previously coached several men’s and women’s teams in Germany, leading FFC Frankfurt to the UEFA Women’s Champions League title in 2015, its first since the team won with USWNT and Orlando Pride defender Ali Krieger in 2008. Most recently Bell coached SC Sand, who advanced to the final match of the DFB-Pokal Cup.
The team failed to qualify for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championship but will take part in the Cyprus Cup next month. Recent call-ups include Houston Dash midfielder Denise O’Sullivan, Texas A&M defender Grace Wright, and Florida State midfielder Megan Connolly. Ireland last played the United States in January 2016 in a match which featured both the first senior appearance and first goal for Mallory Pugh.
JAPAN ANNOUNCES SQUAD FOR ALGARVE CUP
2015 Women’s World Cup silver medalists Japan announced their roster for next month’s Algarve Cup in Portugal. The team, which underwent both a roster overhaul and a coaching change after failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, features Seattle Reign defender Rumi Utsugi. Notably missing is her Seattle teammate, midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi, who has 82 caps for the team but hasn’t been called up since last year’s Olympic qualifying tournament. Captain Aya Miyama is also absent from the squad.
GOALKEEPERS: Erina Yamane (Chiba), Ayaka Yamashita (Nippon TV Beleza), Chika Hirao (Urawa)
DEFENDERS: Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe), Saori Ariyoshi (Nippon TV Beleza), Yuri Kawamura (Niigata), Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyon), Kaede Nakamura (Niigata), Hikari Takagi (Nojimasutera Kanagawa Sagamihara), Hikaru Kitagawa (Urawa)
MIDFIELDERS: Mizuho Sakaguchi (Nippon TV Beleza), Rumi Utsugi (Seattle Reign)
Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe), Mayu Sasaki (Sendai), Sonoko Chiba (AS Harima), Yu Nakazato (Nippon TV Beleza), Yui Hasegawa (Nippon TV Beleza)
FORWARDS: Yuika Sugasawa (JEF), Mana Iwabuchi (Bayern Munich/AC Nagano), Kumi Yokoyama (AC Nagano), Tanaka Minami (Nippon TV Beleza), Rika Masuya (INAC Kobe), Yuka Momiki (Nippon TV Beleza)
THE NETHERLANDS ANNOUNCES FRIENDLIES
Gearing up for the 2017 UEFA Women’s Championship, hosts The Netherlands have added two friendlies to their calendar. After facing France on April 7 in a previously scheduled match, they will host Iceland four days later in Doetinchem. France and Iceland have also qualified for the Euros. Then on June 9, just over a month before the tournament begins, the team will play Japan in Breda. Both Breda and Doetinchem will host group stage and knockout round matches in the Euros.
The Netherlands last played the United States in a friendly last September in Atlanta, taking an early lead before falling 3-1.