Thursday Roundup: Groom Re-Signs with FCKC

The Equalizer Staff March 2, 2017 23


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.


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.}


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.


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.


  • Som Termanni

    > The defender spent 2013 with FC Kansas City before joining the Houston Dash in their inaugural year.

    Hell of an oversell. Sesselmann’s agent tried to get her out of having to play for Houston, then she tore her ACL and missed all of 2014, then played all of 45 minutes for the Dash in 2015 before getting released.

  • Question?

    Isn’t that a picture of Erika Tymrak, not Shea Groom?

    • guest

      Yep, picture is Tymrak not Groom.
      EQ lack of photo editor demonstrated (once again)

      • guest

        EQ – thanks for posting a corrected photo that now shows Groom.

  • Rdalford

    us soccer site now has article and match report posted for U-23 USA v Japan

    Match: U.S. U-23 Women’s National Team vs. Japan
    Date: March 2, 2017
    Competition: Women’s U-23 La Manga Tournament 2017
    Venue: La Manga, Spain
    Weather: 68 degrees, sunny

    Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
    USA 1 1 2
    JPN 0 0 0
    USA – Savannah McCaskill 18th minute
    USA – Margaret Purce (Ashley Sanchez) 74

    USA: 1-Casey Murphy; 5-Christina Gibbons, 3-Erica Skroski, 25-Mandy Freeman (20-Katie Naughton, 74), 13-Kayla Mills (2-Samantha Witteman, 63), 7-Ashley Sanchez, 6-Tierna Davidson, 10-Celeste Boureille (8-Morgan Andrews, 63), 9-Ashley Hatch (11-Arielle Ship, 81), 4-Margaret Purce (18-Danielle Weatherholt, 81), 24-Savannah McCaskill (capt.) (17-Tyler Lussi, 63)

    Subs not used: 12-Madalyn Schiffel, 14-Makenzy Doniak, 15-Adrienne Jordan, 16-Kristen McNabb, 19-Emily Ogle
    Head Coach: Laura Harvey

    JPN: 1-Mei Hayashizaki, 21-Saki Ishii (2-Anna Yamamori, 78), 15-Mana Mihashi, 3-Hisui Haza, 12-Risa Shimizu, 14-Narumi Miura (4-Manami Sunaga, 46), 6-Rin Sumida, 8-Hikaru Naomoto (capt.) (7-Hina Sugita, 46), 17-Yui Narumiya, 10-Ayaka Michigami, 19-Ayumi Oya (20-Akari Shiraki, 78)

    Subs not used: 11-Miki Ito, 13-Arisa Matsubara, 16-Mizuki Nakamura, 18-Himeka Ishino, 22-Fumina Katsurama
    Head Coach: Futoshi Ikeda

    Stats Summary: USA / JPN
    Shots: 13 / 16
    Shots on Goal: 9 / 13
    Saves: 13 / 7
    Corner Kicks: 3 / 3
    Fouls: 9 / 9
    Offside: 1 / 2

    Misconduct Summary:
    JPN – Hisui Haza (caution) 50th minute

    Referee: Lovisa Johansson (SWE)
    Assistant Referee 1: Josefin Aronsson (SWE)
    Assistant Referee 2: Jilan Taher (SWE)

  • GT

    Is Sydney Leroux in fact returning to FCKC this year?

    • Question?
      • GT

        I assume she will NOT be an allocated player.

        • Steglitz49

          Why not?

          • Gary Diver

            Sydney Leroux is an interesting case. Still only 26 years old, she seems to have peaked 3 years ago. Even more interesting that her last good NWSL year was 4 years ago during NWSL’s first year. There has been a sense that her heart is not in playing club soccer, but how can she have any future with USWNT at this point if she cannot show up for her NWSL team and produce?

          • guest

            Who knows? Maybe she is more mature now that she has a stable life with her husband and kid in KC. Maybe she’ll be back better than ever. And I’m pretty sure she gets a contract for at least half the year because of maternity clause.

          • GT

            I think she has a lot of catching up to do before she gets allocated again.

          • Steglitz49

            Syd will get her maternity benefits but maybe not more.

          • Steglitz49

            Syd has an Olympic gold and a World Championship medal and on top of that, like ARod, avoided bombing in Brasilia.

            Maybe, like Gold-Lena, Syd could call it a day? Magdalena was 24 when she made up her mind and quit just after her 25th birthday.

  • TsovLoj

    Isn’t Santa Clarita the show with the cannibalism?

  • Som Termanni

    FourFourTwo Australia covers the W-League’s struggles to keep players against the better-paying AFLW:

  • Gary Diver

    Any significance in Laura Harvey coaching the U23 team?

    • Rdalford

      U23 coach is the only Uxx level where USSF still uses “part-time” coaches so U23 coach is usually a existing NCAA college coach ( vs other Uxx levels where USSF changed to full time Uxx coaching positions ) or in this case an existing NWSL coach. Somewhat ironically, having part time coaching for U23 probably means the U23 group gets exposure to higher quality coaches.

      Article re Harvey and U23 on Seattle Reign site notes that Harvey was involved in January U23 camp and then was asked by Ellis to coach U23 for this La Manga trip. U23 roster for La Manga tournament has a number of recently NWSL drafted and a few existing NWSL. Seattle article also notes Harvey also has some experience (in England) working with Uxx level.

      the us soccer U23 articles note that while this (current U23) roster features mostly professional players, the rosters for the (U23) events for the remainder of the spring and summer will feature primarily collegiate players as the NWSL season will be in full swing. imo, therefore likely that U23 coach will be a borrowed NCAA college coach for the remaining U23 events

      • john

        For the last few years Swanson was listed as U23 coach, but Rayfield always subbed for him at tournament time.

  • Gary Diver

    Story of the Day: Silence

    It is somewhat surprising that being in the middle of SBC and the U23 La Manga tournament, there has essentially been no posting on any topic today. Nothing on the Mallory Pugh article, nothing on the American playing in England article. Nothing more about the U23 win over Japan. Not even a debate over who should start in USWNT’s match against England tomorrow.

    P.S. It is interesting that USSF changed the schedule a little for 2017 SBC from 2016 SBC. Last year the matches were on Thursday, Sunday, and Wednesday. This year they are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Tuesday. For the second matches held at Nashville on Sunday (March 6), the USWNT match was the first match and most fans stayed for the second match between England and Germany. This year, USWNT plays the second match for all 3 dates. I expect due to the scheduling that few fans will show up “early” to watch France vs Germany and that is sad.

    • Rdalford

      currently watching the U20/U19 USA vs Norway match (livestream on La Manga TV via ) being played in La Manga and/or watching Algarve Cup and/or watching Cyprus Cup. rather watch than comment

      re”few fans will show up “early” to watch France vs Germany and that is sad”
      on Wednesday, 8616 came early to watch England vs France played before USA vs Germany (USA vs Germany attendance was 16318) so still a fairly good crowd (loud enough that they were noticeable on Fox Sports Go stream)

      • Gary Diver

        The first match attendance looks better than last year. That is good news.

        When things settle down, please give us an update on the U20/U19 USA vs Norway match. Thanks in advance:)

    • MrTemecula

      It is an encouraging sign in American women player development that colleges still do a fine job of producing world-beating talent. Canadian coach Herdman can stuff it about Jessie Fleming.