Monday marked the opening of preseason for all 10 NWSL clubs all of whom announced their preseason rosters. Only two teams–Sky Blue FC and the Washington Spirit–have 32 women in camp, which is the maximum allowed by league rules. There are two cut-down days ahead of opening weekend. Camp rosters must be down to 25 players by March 28 and 18-20 on April 10. The league’s fifth season opens Saturday, April 15.
Pride announce roster, preseason schedule
The Pride announced their preseason roster plus a slate of five preseason matches to prepare for the club’s second season. Tom Sermanni’s side will play its first match of 2017 on March 18 against Stetson. After that is a previously-announced match against the University of South Florida. A midweek match follows on March 29 against the University of Florida. The final two matches are against Florida State (April 1) and the U-23 national team (April 7). The U-23 tilt is during a FIFA window meaning Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger are unlikely to be with the Pride.
The spacing of matches should provide the Pride with a smooth transition into their season opener on April 15 in Portland.
All five matches will be played behind closed doors.
The Pride also announced a preseason roster of 30 players, two short of the maximum allowed. The list includes players who have yet to or are not planning to report to camp which leaves the Pride further below the league-mandated limit.
Goalkeepers (4): Aubrey Bledsoe, Ashlyn Harris1, Amanda Kopale3, Hannah Seabert3
Defenders (10): Laura Alleway, McKenzie Berryhill, Steph Catley4, Monica Hickmann Alves, Alanna Kennedy4, Ali Krieger1, Cami Levin, Camila Martins Pereira, Toni Pressley, Lorina White3
Midfielders (5): Jocelyn Blankenship3, Nickolette Driesse2, Kristen Edmonds, Maddy Evans, Dani Weatherholt
Forwards (11): Christina Burkenroad, Danica Evans2, Jamia Fields, Sarah Hagen, Rachel Hill3/4, Alex Morgan1/4, Kim Reynolds3, Carol Rodrigues3/4, Jasmyne Spencer, Tabitha Tindell3, Chioma Ubogagu
1 – Federation player
2 – 2017 NWSL College Draft Pick
3 – Trialist
4 – Not in camp
Reign start midfield rebuild
Laura Harvey has nine midfielders in camp as she goes about the task of retooling things in the center of the park following the retirement of Keelin Winters and the departure of Kim Little. The 10th midfielder, Diana Matheson, has a torn ACL and will miss the entire season.
Goalkeepers (4): Haley Kopmeyer, Madalyn Schiffel, Brianna Smallridge (NRI), Hanna deHaan (NRI)
Defenders (10): Elli Reed, Merritt Mathias, Lauren Barnes, Rachel Corsie, Carson Pickett, Anjel Brown (NRI), Maddie Bauer (Draft Pick), Kristen McNabb (Draft Pick), Rumi Utsugi, Rebekah Stott (NYR)
Midfielders (10): Veronica Perez (NRI), Christine Nairn, Jordan Jesolva (NRI), Haley Rosen (NRI), Annie Alvarado (NRI), Mimi Rangel (NRI), Lindsay Elston, Paige Nielsen (NRI), Jessica Fishlock (NYR), Diana Matheson (NYR)
Forwards (8): Beverly Yanez, Kiersten Dallstream, Megan Rapinoe, Nahomi Kawasumi, Katie Johnson (Draft Pick), Addison Steiner (NRI), Sydney Arnold (NRI), Larissa Crummer (NYR)
Non-Roster Invitee (NRI)
Not Yet Reported to Camp (NYR)
Full Sky Blue roster doesn’t include Grubka
Christy Holly will go to camp with a full compliment of 32 players, but Kristin Grubka is not among the 32. The Equalizer reported last month that Grubka could be traded. No deal has taken place yet, but the defender’s time at Sky Blue appears to be over after two seasons, mostly as a center back.
“We are very optimistic as we head into our first week of the preseason,” Holly, Sky Blue FC head coach, said. “We have a great array of new talent coming into camp. With so many skillful players taking part in the preseason, it creates a very competitive environment that will challenge everybody to be at their best.”
Goalkeepers (4): Caroline Casey (William and Mary), Tori Corsaro (Le Moyne), Kristyn Shea (Providence), Kailen Sheridan (Clemson, FP-CAN)
Defenders (7): Cassidy Benintente (Rutgers), Kayla Mills (Southern California), Mandy Freeman (Southern California), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford, FP-USA), Erica Skroski (Rutgers), Christie Rampone (Monmouth), Erin Simon (Syracuse)
Midfielders (9): Catrina Atanda (Clemson), Jackie Bruno (Massachusetts), Kelly Conheeney (Virginia Tech), Daphne Corboz (Georgetown), Sarah Killion (UCLA), Taylor Lytle (Texas Tech), Domi Richardson (Missouri), Raquel Rodriguez (Penn State, INT’L-CRC), Nikki Stanton (Fairfield)
Forwards (12): Rachel Breton (Rutgers), Kim DeCesare (Duke), Leah Galton (Hofstra, INT’L-ENG), Maya Hayes (Penn State), Tasha Kai (Hawaii), Sam Kerr (INT’L-AUS), Alexis McTamney (Monmouth), McKenzie Meehan (Boston College), Erica Murphy (Rutgers), Danielle Schulmann (Connecticut), Madison Tiernan (Rutgers), Catherine Zimmerman (Providence)
FP – Federation Player
Six players on the roster were invited after taking part of the club’s open tryout process. The team released the following video to give fans an inside look at how the tryout process works.
Full roster for Spirit
An offseason of turnover will begin to crystallize into a new squad in Washington, but Jim Gabarra will open camp with a full roster. Absent from the list are Cali Faruharson and Kelsey Wys, both of whom tore their ACLs in the last six months. Caprice Dydasco, who suffered the same injury during the NWSL Championship, is on the official 32-woman camp roster.
Stephanie Labbe is listed as having yet to report, which is in line with other Canadians who were part of the Algarve Cup team. Labbe was in the news over the winter for some bad feelings between her and the club after she did not play again after returning from the Olympics last summer. Reports of a truce were thrown into question when, in the lead-up to Canada’s friendly against Mexico last month, she refused to answer any questions about NWSL. She is a subsidized player by the Canadian Soccer Association for this season.
Goalkeepers (4): Stephanie Labbé (NYR), DiDi Haracic, Lindsey Harris*, Kori Butterfield*
Defenders (8): Whitney Church, Estelle Johnson, Shelina Zadorsky (NYR), Kassey Kallman, Alyssa Kleiner, Caprice Dydasco, Tessa Gavilsky*, Molly Menchel*
Midfielders (11): Line Sigvardsen Jensen, Kristie Mewis, Joanna Lohman, Tori Huster, Havana Solaun, Meggie Dougherty Howard (draft pick), Cameron Castleberry* (draft pick), Lauren Lazo*, Sharon Wojcik*, Fran Garzelloni*, Marion Crowder*
Forwards (9): Cheyna Williams, Francisca Ordega, Katie Stengel, Lindsay Agnew (draft pick), Arielle Ship* (draft pick), Ninfa Ramirez*, Clare Pleuler*, Crystal Thomas*, Gloria Douglas*
* – trialist
No surprises in Chicago
The Red Stars announced 31 players for the club’s 5th preseason, and there were no surprises. The Red Stars got their curveball a few weeks ago when rookie Michelle Vasconselos announced that she is pregnant and will sit out 2017. Rory Dames is not averse to waiting on players though. Summer Green and Ashleigh Ellenwood, both 2016 draftees who were carrying injuries, are in camp and ready to compete for a place on the jam-packed Red Stars roster.
Goalkeepers (2): Michele Dalton, Alyssa Naeher
Defenders (7): Arin Gilliland, Sarah Gorden, Samantha Johnson, Julie Johnston, Katie Naughton, Emily Richardson, Casey Short
Midfielders (13): Jackie Altschuld, Danielle Colaprico, Taylor Comeau, Vanessa DiBernardo, Ashley Gogolin, Lauren Kaskie, Kourtney Kutscher, Morgan Proffitt, Courtney Raetzman, Sofia Huerta, Alyssa Mautz, Mary Luba, Brittany Ratcliffe
Forwards (8): Ashleigh Ellenwood, Janelle Flaws, Summer Green, Jennifer Hoy, Simone Kolander, Stephanie McCaffrey, Christen Press, Cara Walls
Dash bring all three keepers
The Dash have invited 24 players into preseason and have also named Carli Lloyd, who will not join the club until her stint at Manchester City ends. The position under the microscope will be goalkeeper. The Dash used Lydia Williams as their primary keeper in 2016 with Bianca Henninger as a capable backup. But the team surprised many on draft day by taking Jane Campbell in the 2nd round. Campbell is clearly in the mix with the national team and was on the SheBelieves Cup roster although she did not play. Dash coach Randy Waldrum has hinted he could carry all three keepers into the regular season but with roster limits at 20, it makes little sense to go with a third contracted keeper.
Goalkeepers (3): Jane Campbell*, Bianca Henninger, Lydia Williams
Defenders (10): Bruna Benites, Megan Crosson**, Claire Falknor, Jaylyn Odermann**, Stephanie Ochs, Cami Privett, Poliana, Cari Roccaro, Erin Smith *, Janine Van Wyk
Midfielders (6): Andressa, Morgan Brian***, Amber Brooks, Anna Maria Gilbertson, Caity Heap, Carli Lloyd****, Denise O’Sullivan
Forwards (6): Janine Beckie***, Rachel Daly, Melissa Henderson, Amber Munnerlyn **, Kealia Ohai, Nichelle Prince ***
*2017 NWSL College Draft pick
*** Federation player
****Not in preseason camp
Thorns keeping things tight
The Thorns made few changes to their roster a year after winning the NWSL Shield. To that end, Mark Parsons has 23 players in preseason to compete for 20 roster spots.
FOX Sports’ Caitlin Murray reported from training on Monday that Parsons plans to use Allie Long in the midfield despite Jill Ellis’s recent experiment using her as the center most back in the national team’s 3-5-2. That likely leaves the Emilys—Menges and Sonnett—to return as the Thorns’ center back pairing.
— Caitlin Murray (@caitlinmurr) March 13, 2017
Goalkeepers (3): Emily Armstrong*, Britt Eckerstrom, Adrianna Franch
Defenders (9): Ellie Boon*, Meghan Cox*, Caroline Flynn#, Kelli Hubly*, Kendall Johnson, Meghan Klingenberg, Emily Menges, Katherine Reynolds, Emily Sonnett
Midfielders (7): Celeste Boureille, Dagny Brynjarsdottir, Amandine Henry, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long, Mana Shim, Mallory Weber
Forwards (6): Tobin Heath, Ashley Herndon*, Nadia Nadim, Christine Sinclair, Meg Morris, Hayley Raso
# 2017 NWSL College Draft pick
Courage ready to debut, defend
The North Carolina Courage will both debut and defend this season. This will be the first year on the field after being purchased from the Western New York Flash owners, but it will be a close facsimile of the team that won the 2016 NWSL Championship. Sixteen players in camp were part of last year’s championship side in Western New York.
Goalkeepers (3): Katelyn Rowland, Sabrina D’Angelo, Bryane Heaberlin
Defenders (10): Jaelene Hinkle, Courtney Niemiec, Meredith Speck, Taylor Smith, Abby Dahlkemper, Abby Erceg, Elizabeth Eddy, Claire Wagner, Yuri Kawamura (invitee), Tina Iordanou
Midfielders (9): Michaela Hahn, Sam Mewis, McCall Zerboni, Samantha Witteman, Rosana, Debinha, Carly Gould, Maria Lubrano-Lavadera, Megan Lindsay
Forwards (8): Makenzy Doniak, Lynn Williams, Jessica McDonald, Kristen Hamilton, Ashley Hatch, Darian Jenkins, Jaycie Johnson, Ashley Clark
New look Breakers ready to roll
The Breakers made major overhauls to their roster over the winter, and Matt Beard has already done a bunch of narrowing down with only 22 players in preseason. One of them is goalkeeper Libby Stout, who has a sprained ankle and is expected to miss a majority of the lead up to the April 16 season opener.
“As a coaching staff, there has been a lot of preparation going into this preseason. We are looking to hit the ground running so we can set ourselves up for a successful season,” Beard said. “There are many changes to this year’s roster, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Beard has four 1st round picks in camp. Rose Lavelle (1st), Morgan Andrews (3rd), Ifeoma Onumonu (8th) and Margaret Purce (9th) were all drafted by the Breakers in January.
Goalkeepers (3): Sammy Jo Prudhomme, Abby Smith, Libby Stout
Defenders (7): Allysha Chapman, Brooke Elby, Amanda Frisbie, Julie King, Megan Oyster, Kylie Strom, Christen Westphal
Midfielders (6): Morgan Andrews, Amanda Da Costa, Rose Lavelle, Angela Salem, Tiffany Weimer, Rosie White
Forwards (6): Hayley Dowd, Natasha Dowie, Emilie Haavi, Adriana Leon, Ifeoma Onumonu, Margaret Purce
Leroux returns for FC Kansas City
Sydney Leroux, who has not played since the 2015 World Cup, was at training with FC Kansas City on Monday, more than a year after the Blues acquired her from the Flash in a three-way trade. Leroux underwent ankle surgery after the World Cup and sat out 2016 to have a baby.
Amy Rodriguez, who also missed 2016 for maternity leave, is on the roster but not yet in camp.
“You know I’m glad we got the first day in under our belt. Obviously, the weather didn’t want to cooperate with us,” head coach Vlatko Andonovski said of a day when temperatures struggled to get out of the freezing zone. “We did what we had to do and had a pretty good first day. I’m happy with the girls, pretty excited about it and from now on we’re just going to build on what we started today.”
FC Kansas City are without two draft picks. Toni Payne elected to sign in the Netherlands, and Stephanie Ribeiro recently tore her ACL.
Goalkeepers (4): Nicole Barnhart, Kaela Little3, Cat Parkhill, Danielle Rice3
Defenders (10): Alex Arlitt, Yael Averbuch, Rashida Beal2, Katie Bowen, Rachel Leonard3, Becca Moros, Toriana Patterson3, Brianne Reed, Becky Sauerbrunn14, Brittany Taylor
Midfielders (10): Christina Gibbons2, Lo’eau LaBonta, Mandy Laddish, Sydney Miramontez3, Alexa Newfield, Desiree Scott14, Alexa Shaffer2, Josie Steiver3, Meghan Toohey3, Erika Tymrak
Forwards (4): Shea Groom, Jenna Hellstrom3, Sydney Leroux1, Amy Rodriguez14
22017 NWSL College Draft Pick
4Not in camp