Thursday Roundup: Sophie Schmidt sidelined with facial fracture

The Equalizer Staff March 9, 2017 49

Also in today’s roundup, Melanie Leupolz ruled out of Champion’s League quarterfinals with knee injury, Caroline Kastor retires, FC Kansas City announces preseason schedule and the U.S. U-20s leave La Manga on a high note.

Sophie Schmidt suffered a facial fracture during the Algarve Cup, sidelining her for the next four weeks. (Getty Images)

Sophie Schmidt suffered a facial fracture during the Algarve Cup, sidelining her for the next four weeks. (Getty Images)

Canada women’s national team midfielder Sophie Schmidt will miss four weeks with 1. FFC Frankfurt of the Bundesliga after suffering a malar fraction during the Algarve Cup. Schmidt was injured during Canada’s group stage match against Russia, which the team won 2-1. Schmidt opened up the scoring in that match, beating Russia’s goalkeeper to a loose ball in the goal box and volleying it into the back of the net in just the 10th minute.

A collision with a Russian player in the 77th minute sent trainers onto the field to treat both players, and Gabrielle Carle was subbed in for Schmidt a moment later. Schmidt reportedly suffered a fracture near her cheekbone and eye socket. Because of the swelling near the fracture, she is unable to wear a protective face mask during competition and therefore must sit out until she is cleared to play.

Schmidt only recently returned to competition after fracturing her left arm during an exhibition match in Germany with her club team. The match against Russia was her second appearance for Canada since her wrist was healed enough to return to competition.

Melanie Leupolz out for four weeks with knee injury

Melanie Leupolz, midfielder for Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga, will miss about a month’s worth of action after suffering a knee injury during training with the team. According to a statement from the team, Leupolz suffered a partial ligament rupture and other injury to her right knee. As a result, the German midfielder will now be unavailable for her club’s Champions League quarterfinal matches against Paris Saint-Germain on March 23 and 29.

{MORE: The Lowdown: My weekend with NWSL referees | Julie Foudy kicks up her feet with Mia and Alex}

Leupolz was also one of three players unavailable for the German women’s national team for the SheBelieves Cup. As a result, the reigning Olympic champions struggled a bit offensively, losing to the U.S. 1-0 in their tournament opener and battling to a scoreless draw with France in the second match. However, the Germans still finished second in the tournament after defeating England, 1-0.

FC Kansas City forward Caroline Kastor retires

Through much struggle and much torment, I have decided to hang up my cleats. It has been frustrating yet passionate, restrictive though liberating, and belittling while empowering. I would not trade that experience for anything! I am so proud of the women who have contributed to the growth of the game and it has been an absolute honor to have been among those women. I owe so many thank yous to those who have supported me through everything, stayed in my corner, believed in me and gave me the opportunity. To those who made what was already difficult even more difficult, thank you! You've taught me an important lesson that I will never forget. I cannot wait to see the future of the game and the young players who will keep pushing every year to reach a dream, whatever that may be. Cheers to you, ladies!

A post shared by Caroline Kastor (@carolinekastor) on

After two years with FC Kansas City, forward Caroline Kastor has decided to retire from professional soccer. She made the announcement via social media Wednesday night around 11:30 p.m. ET. Kastor did not provide a reason for her decision in her statement to fans, nor was one given in a statement released by the team Thursday afternoon.

“Through much struggle and much torment, I have decided to hang up my cleats,” Kastor wrote. “It has been frustrating yet passionate, restrictive though liberating, and belittling while empowering. I would not trade that experience for anything!”

The Wichita, Kan. native came to FCKC in 2014 after graduating from Kansas University in 2013, but did not make her first appearance for the team until 2015. She made eight appearances for the Blues, helping the team in the run to win their second consecutive NWSL Championship. Last season, Kastor started in 3 of 15 appearances.

Caroline was a big part of the team in the last two years,” said head coach Vlatko Andonovski. “She is a player that always brought different dynamics to our game. Replacing her and finding a player of her caliber will be something we are going to start to look for immediately. We want to wish Caroline all the best in her next stage in life.”

At Kansas University, the forward scored 26 goals and recorded 14 assists in 80 games played.

FC Kansas City announce 2017 preseason schedule

FC Kansas City will take on three collegiate teams during its 2017 preseason schedule. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

FC Kansas City will take on three collegiate teams during its 2017 preseason schedule. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Just days ahead of the NWSL preseason, which kicks off on Monday, March 13, FC Kansas City released its preseason schedule. The team will play three preseason matches against D1 collegiate teams.

Vlatko Andonovski’s squad will first take on the University of Missouri on Sunday, March 19 in Columbia, Mo. Two weeks later the team will travel to Lincoln, Neb. to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers on April 1. The Blues close out their preseason with a match against Kansas University on April 10. All three matches are open to the public.

Kansas City’s preseason opponents may be collegiate teams, but each of the three teams received bids to the 2016 NCAA tournament. Kansas defeated Missouri in the first round, but fell to UNC–who advanced to the College Cup–in the second. Nebraska also advanced to the second round of the tournament, where they lost to UCLA.

FCKC’s regular season kicks off on April 16 against the Boston Breakers at home at Swope Soccer village. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. CT.
***
In other NWSL news, the details of the trade sending Britt Eckerstrom to the Portland Thorns FC were announced on Wednesday. In return for the backup goalkeeper, North Carolina Courage received two 4th round picks in the 2018 NWSL College Draft.

U.S. U-2os close out La Manga series with win

The United States U-2o women’s national team finished out a three game series in La Manga, Spain on Tuesday, March 7 with a 2-0 win over France’s U-19 team.

Forward Sophia Smith, who just came off an impressive run with the U-18 team in England, continued her scoring streak as she scored the game winner in the 21st minute. The goal was her 9th in her last six international matches and her third for the La Manga series. Smith also tallied an assist in the contest, sending a pass to Kelsey Turnbow just outside the penalty area. Turnbow turned, dribbled around the goalkeeper who came off her line to try to deny her space and shot the ball into a wide open goal.

The win is the U-20s second of the trip, having previously beaten Norway, 8-2, on March 3. The two wins bookend a 2-1 loss to Germany on March 5.

The La Manga series is the start of a new cycle for the U-20 team as they embark on the quest to qualify for the 2018 FIFA U-2o World Cup in France.

  • Bruce

    No coincidence that the three teams with the worst 2016 attendance were (by far) the last three to release preseason schedules. #NoPlansNoFans

    • Getting bored

      When do preseason camps open?

      • Bruce

        Should already be open for most teams. Tryouts were mid/late Feb. The first preseason games start this week.

      • tonysocref

        Officially the camps open Monday March 13th.

        • Bruce

          Taking the case of CRS…

          Open tryouts were held on the third week of February. Veterans arrived in town this week and are doing “stuff” (admin, marketing and I’d assume unofficial workouts). First preseason match is next Thursday vs. UW in Madison.

    • KC has never been very good about promoting their pre-season games.

      If anyone on here is near Kansas City, I would highly recommend attending the pre-season match vs KU. They have a fantastic soccer facility in Lawrence and the field acoustics there make for a cool experience. At the pre-season matchup last year I could hear all the communication on the field. It was neat listening to Barnie directing traffic and talking to her team during the entire game. You usually don’t hear much communication during a match, but small crowds and fishbowl acoustics let you hear a lot at that stadium.

  • Bruce

    No report of the (unconfirmed) transfer of Marta to the Pride that has blown-up the Twitterverse today. From a journalistic point of view, that’s probably the right call by the EQ.

    I’m going to put my money on this deal falling through. Rosengård signed Marta to a three-year extension in late 2014, and I can’t see how Orlando can pony-up any type of transfer fee without breaking salary cap rules.

    The only way I can see this happening if the NWSL adopts a luxury tax and/or designated player rule like the MLS has.

    • Som Termanni

      There are a number of things the rumors could refer to, including a short-term loan deal during or around the Damallsvenskan midseason break similar to what Lloyd is doing with Man City. And as what happened in that deal, some leaky sources on one or both ends are jumping the gun in an effort to drum up some media attention.

      • Bruce

        The sole source of information, womenssoccerweekly.com, is based in ORL and has strong links to the Pride. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pride themselves are the ones jumping the gun.

        • Som Termanni

          That brings up a point that’s been bugging me: There are so many soccer- or woso-specific outlets that are heavily defined by one or two peoples’ very cozy relationships with specific clubs and affiliated businesses.

          EQ has Dan, who’s worked for Sky Blue. SoccerWire is owned and published by Spirit president Chris Hummer. Keeper Notes/NWSL Almanac/Mixxed Zone/WoSoCo/NWSL Draft are Jen Cooper, who works for the Dash and licensed apparel retailer Soccer 4 All. And as you note, WSW is heavily linked to Orlando.

          It’s often a bit weird when news comes from or is (or in this case, explicitly isn’t) vetted by some of these sources. It’s not like other woso journalists working beats for broader publications or outlets but otherwise maintaining some distances. There’s an incestuousness to the relationship, and even when it’s slight, it’s still striking.

          • Bruce

            That is one of the things that keeps me coming back here for analysis. Despite the obvious distractions of the comments board, the EQ community provides more intelligent intelligent of Woso than any of the rah-rah sites.

            I happened to be listening to the Mixxed Zone podcast (Jen Cooper) today, and her co-host Richard Farley from FourFourTwo totally mailed it in with party-line and just ignorant/bad commentary. He then when on a five minute rant about the EQ comment boards, and essentially shamed Cooper out of bringing up an opinion she had read here.

          • Som Termanni

            Speaking of Dan, he’s now tweeting (without sources) confirmation that a deal is in the works. https://twitter.com/TheDanLauletta/status/840268446063562752

          • guest

            what did he say about the EQ comment board?

          • Som Termanni

            Podcast here: https://twitter.com/MixxedZone/status/839204015728623617

            Specifically, 36:30 re: the USSF anthem policy.

            > JC: I saw one comment on Equalizer in response to this discussion–

            > RF: Why did you read the comments on Equalizer? Holy hell. Holy hell, Jennifer Cooper, let’s stop everything now! This is the biggest story that’s coming out of this podcast. You’re going below the line on Equalizer.com. Like, please just tell me you didn’t just read when Dan forwarded you something. Like I can understand Dan having to read the comments, but what the hell are you doing with your life if you’re going to Equalizer comment sections?

            > JC: Sometimes it’s funny?

            > RF: Explain yourself!

            > JC: Sometimes it’s funny!

            > RF: Oh, I don’t know about that. Back in the day when I was still, well no, still coming up, I was actually kind of up at that point, but I was still doing some things for Equalizer at that point because I’ve got a lot of respect for Jeff and Dan and Meg, Meg Linehan. And even back then there were discussions about, man, there’s this one guy in the comments who’s just out of control. What do we do about him? And I still think to this day whenever that guy’s name comes up on Twitter or something like that as being just like, the worst thing on Equalizer.

            > I just think to myself, this is what you get for going in the comment sections! Like, that guy is on every site! There’s always one guy like that. I kind of wish I remember his name because he’s kind of like an Equalizer soccer legend or something like that? But again, I stopped reading comments a long time ago.

            > JC: And this is what I get for referencing Equalizer comments, is a public shaming.

            > RF: Ahaha! You deserve it! You deserve it! You deserve it! Don’t bring that into my life. It’s like when somebody includes me in a tweet in a pro–promotion/relegation discussion on Twitter, it’s just like, what are you doing, man? I didn’t ask for this? I didn’t ask to be talking about Equalizer soccer comments.

            How bad is this hell pit of a comment section that I can’t narrow down who Farley is talking about?

            Anyway, Farley blames the players’ union for allowing the policy change, but assumes there are union members on the USSF board’s athlete representatives–which there aren’t–so his point isn’t worth much. Both of them go back and forth about when or how it was ratified, but it was a policy that didn’t require a broad vote and was confirmed by voice, as reported by mainstream journalists covering the meeting.

      • Bruce

        Man City has $ that it can spend. Orlando City does not due to cap limitations.

        Wouldn’t be surprised if this announcement forces the NWSL’s hand on upcoming, important changes to roster rules and cap issues. The league office is always behind the curve when it comes to PR, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was another case where leaks force them to react.

        • Som Termanni

          I’m aware that the NWSL has a salary cap, but have you heard what the caps are this year? I haven’t seen the league mention anything about caps since Plush announced the $15k minimum, and it’d be nuts if the caps aren’t going up due to that, much less anything actually related to the Lifetime deal.

          • Bruce

            No new roster rules or cap information have been announced AFAIK. I would hope that teams are operating with advanced knowledge of what will eventually be announced. As is, the minimum salary for an average roster of 19 players would more or less consume the current published cap of $278K.

  • Gary Diver

    Is it Sophia Schmidt or Sophia Smith for U20?

    Why do German soccer players seem to have more than their share of serious injuries?

    • guest

      going pro too young?

      • Steglitz49

        There is a fair number of ACL-tears and other injuries when playing college soccer.

  • GT

    Off topic – Will anyone pick up DeVanna? Maybe the Spirit? With all the bad news this off-season they may feel they have to do something “outside the box”?

    • john

      Once was enough for this Spirit fan. Bringing her back would be worse that any of the Spirit’s alleged misdeeds so far.

      • Steglitz49

        Hear hear. She has a reputation for moving on — before she is moved on.

  • guest123

    Off-Topic: Hannah Wilkinson (NZ international) signs with Swedish Club Vittsjo.

    https://twitter.com/applessquabble/status/839979036147351553

    • Steglitz49

      Vittsjö is the hamlet in Sweden’s southern-most province where more people attend matches than live in the place. This season they were forced to make some ludicrous upgrade to their stadium.

  • guest123

    Off-Topic: Facebook will be streaming 22 games in a deal with MLS & Univision. https://twitter.com/shalini/status/840065489204207616

    Also this,

    https://twitter.com/DCAbloob/status/840224781920325632

  • guest123

    Off-Topic: Becca Moros traded to FCKC for a 2018 3rd round pick. So who’s their LB??? Moros & Chapman no longer there.

    As Tom Hanks says in Apollo 13, “Houston, we have a problem”.

    https://twitter.com/RipSports/status/840228290069704704

    • Steglitz49

      Moros and Bev were a pair in Japan. Verily they have made the most of their WoSo. Bev got married but Becca is still available.

      • guest123

        Becca is also married to her partner, Mandy Laddish who is also with FCKC.

        • Steglitz49

          Thanks for keeping me right.

    • mockmook

      KC doesn’t need a 31yo LB

      Houston will be fine, likely will have Ochs, Henderson, E.Smith, and Falknor competing for that job.

      • Pinkman

        But everyone seems to think that bringing in a 31yo Brazilian from Sweden is the rescue of the NWSL

        • mockmook

          Well that is THE 31yo

          Not a rescue, but it would probably give a little bump to ticket sales.

  • What an oddly-worded goodbye from Kastor. I want to know more about this story. She talks about “people who made it more difficult” and uses the words “frustrating,” “restrictive,” and “belittling.” That’s so negative. Yet she also says it was “passionate,” “liberating,” and “empowering.”

    I would love to know what parts of this journey were positive and what parts were negative – especially if the negative aspects are all coming from one source.

    • Steglitz49

      Hear hear!

      Could well be a gagging order in place.

    • Doriscdaniels

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      !du372c:
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  • Bruce
    • Steglitz49

      Seeing that PSG face Bayern Munich they might have valued Amandine playing for them.

      • Rose City

        The Thorns might have thought it would be fairer without Henry since Munich will miss Leupolz, Laudehr, Iwabuchi and Schnaderbeck. The Thorns like close UWCL matches.

        • Steglitz49

          Bayern still have Miedema, Rolfö, Evans and Rolser, plus Däbritz and Buerki, but no doubt they are weaker for the loss of the 4 you mention.

        • mockmook

          “The Thorns like close UWCL matches.”

          Is this sarcasm?

          • Steglitz49

            Bayern Munich just signed the attacker Jovana Damnjanović from Sand and earlier this year they bought the defender Kristin Demann from Hoffenheim.

            Nice to have money to spend when your top players (all 4 Rose City mention are internationals) go down injured.

          • Fool on the hill

            Nonsense. Bot players will start playing for Munich in the beginning of next season. Both are not bought. Their current contracts will run out this summer.

      • Constant Weeder

        Who wouldn’t value her services? The Thorns have tried having a key player come in late, and didn’t like the results. They want her in Portland for the preseason.

  • Som Termanni

    The NCAA has released its report and punishments for Seattle Pacific, whose women’s soccer head coach apparently mishandled funds and played an ineligible player without sufficient supervision from the school: http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/seattle-pacific-did-not-monitor-former-head-women-s-soccer-coach

    • guest

      other NCAA news (rule change)

      “The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Monday approved a modification to the double jeopardy portion of the penalty for denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity.

      The panel, which met via conference call, supported the new rule that gives the referee discretion to issue a yellow card (caution) when a defender makes a legitimate attempt to play the ball when denying an obvious goal-scoring opportunity and commits a direct free kick offense in the penalty area. The awarding of a penalty kick remains a part of the rule.

      Previously, when a defender committed a foul while denying an obvious scoring opportunity, a penalty kick was awarded and the official issued a red card to immediately eject the player who committed the foul.”

      • Steglitz49

        How does that fit with FIFA directives?

  • Bruce

    The source of the Marta to Orlando story, womenssoccerweekly.com might be walking back the story. The new home page title of the article is now “Marta to Orlando?”.

    https://www.womenssoccerweekly.com/

  • Som Termanni

    It’s from Canisius College’s newspaper, but here’s maybe the only post-Courage journalism, including interviews, about what’s left of the Flash, the Flash Academy: https://canisiusgriffin.wordpress.com/2017/03/10/soccers-presence-high-despite-wny-flash-leaving/.