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Thursday Roundup: Groom Re-Signs with FCKC

Shea Groom (left) will have the luxury of playing with Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux this season (photo copyright EriMac Photo for Equalizer Soccer)

ALSO IN TODAY’S ROUNDUP, BREAKERS RELEASE PRESEASON SCHEDULE, U23S TRIUMPH OVER JAPAN, AND SESSELMAN SIGNS WITH SANTA CLARITA

Shea Groom (left) has drawn the ire of many opponents with her aggressive play.  (photo copyright EriMac Photo for Equalizer Soccer)

Shea Groom (left) re-signed with FCKC for 2017. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for Equalizer Soccer)

FC Kansas City announced today that they have re-signed Shea Groom for the 2017 season. This will be the forward’s third season in the NWSL after being drafted by FCKC in 2015. She appeared in 19 games last season, leading the team with eight goals. This strong play led to her first training camp with the senior USWNT last fall after spending time with the U-23s. Groom was a MAC Hermann Trophy semifinalist while playing for Texas A&M, where she helped lead the Aggies to two SEC championships and their first College Cup appearance in 2014.

FCKC won back-to-back NWSL championships, including Groom’s rookie year, but fell to sixth place last season. This year they will also welcome back Amy Rodriguez and Sydney Leroux. They start preseason in mid-March and host Boston for their home opener on April 16.

BREAKERS ANNOUNCE PRESEASON SCHEDULE

The Boston Breakers won their first match of the 2016 season. (Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

(Photo Copyright Clark Linehan for The Equalizer)

One day after the full 2017 NWSL schedule dropped, the Boston Breakers have announced their preseason schedule. They face Boston College, home of Breakers draftee Hayley Dowd, on March 25 before tackling the New England Futbol Club’s U-15 boys’ team a few days later. The Breakers start April taking on the University of Connecticut and finish preseason on April 4 with a closed-door match at the University of Bridgeport against Sky Blue FC.

NWSL preseason starts on March 13. Boston will travel to Kansas City for the first week of regular season play, with their home opener at Jordan Field on April 23. The regular season will run until September 30 with each team playing 24 matches. The Houston Dash, Portland Thorns and Chicago Red Stars will also play each other in preseason as part of the Thorns Spring Invitational.

{More: 2017 NWSL schedule is here.}

U-23’S DOWN JAPAN

The U-23 USWNT defeated Japan 2-0 today in their first match of the 2017 U-23 La Manga Tournament in Spain. Boston Breakers draftee Margaret Purce and South Carolina’s Savannah McCaskill scored for the U.S. The team, currently led by Seattle Reign head coach Laura Harvey, will face England tomorrow and Norway on Monday.

The U-23 roster currently features 16 NWSL players, 10 of whom are rookies, and seven players who have trained with the senior team. Ashley Hatch is the only player to have been capped by the senior team, making her debut last October against Switzerland. The U-23 team will face three NWSL sides at the end of this month in the Thorns Spring Invitational, part of NWSL preseason.

SESSELMANN JOINS SANTA CLARITA

Lauren Sesselmann returned to the field for Canada on April 9 after a year out due to a torn ACL. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

Lauren Sesselmann will play in the UWS this season. (Photo: Canada Soccer)

Former Canadian international Lauren Sesselmann has signed with the Santa Clarita Blue Heat of the United Women’s Soccer league (UWS). The defender spent 2013 with FC Kansas City before joining the Houston Dash in their inaugural year. She also played for Sky Blue FC and the Atlanta Beat in the WPS. The Purdue graduate won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics with Canada and represented them in the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Formerly of the USL W-League, Santa Clarita is the reigning UWS champion. Sesselmann will join Costa Rican international Melissa Herrera and former Seattle Reign and Sky Blue forward Mele French on the roster, as well as Venezuelan international, Florida State Seminole and all-time leading U17 Women’s World Cup goalscorer Deyna Castellanos.

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