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Tuesday Roundup: Ireland WNT Fires Shots at FAI

ALSO IN TODAY’S ROUNDUP, COURAGE SIGN A DEFENDER, HAAVI OUT WITH INJURY, AND LONG WINS COMPETITION

Denise O'Sullivan has signed with the Houston Dash as an international player. (photo: Football Association of Ireland)

The Ireland WNT may be going on strike. (photo: Football Association of Ireland)

Members of the Irish Women’s National Team held a press conference today threatening to miss next week’s friendly against Slovakia unless the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) meets their requests for improved conditions. Among their complaints are being forced to change in airport bathrooms, sharing track suits with youth teams, lack of match bonuses and no loss of earnings compensation for those players who hold jobs outside of soccer. Longtime goalkeeper and captain Emma Byrne has already spoken out against unfair conditions.

Stuart Gilhooly, legal representation for the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland, said that publicly speaking out is a last resort because the FAI won’t engage in a meaningful way, allegations that the FAI emphatically denied in a statement also released today. Gilhooly also claimed that the FAI stated further demands would damage the careers of the players.

Check back in with The Equalizer for updates on this situation as it unfolds.

COURAGE SIGN KAWAMURA

North Carolina announced today they have signed Japanese international Yuri Kawamura for the upcoming season, pending receipt of her P-1 visa and ITC. She previously spent time with Japanese club Vegalta Sendai Ladies, home of former Sky Blue players Brittany Cameron and Caitlin Foord. The defender has 32 caps and two goals with the Japanese WNT and was part of the 2015 Women’s World Cup silver medalist squad.

“Yuri is an intelligent, technical professional with a very pure understanding of the game,” said head coach Paul Riley. “She is terrific in her position, and her experience at the top level is invaluable to our young core group. I love her composure on the ball, and I think she will adjust very well to the speed of play in the NWSL. She has a fabulous work ethic and will fit in seamlessly into our culture at the club.”

HAAVI OUT WITH BROKEN JAW

Emilie Haavi "couldn't say no" to the Breakers and Matt Beard, the coach she turned down twice at Liverpool.

Emilie Haavi will miss the beginning of the NWSL season.

Breakers forward Emilie Haavi will be out four to six weeks and miss the start of her first NWSL season after suffering a broken jaw in practice. Recently named to the Norwegian national team roster for upcoming friendlies, she will miss those games as well. She has returned to Norway to recuperate.

“It’s a blow to lose Emilie especially as she was just settling in, getting fitter and stronger,” head coach Matt Beard said. “I’m sure once she’s back, fit, she’ll be a great player for us.”

{Read more: Boston is taking it day by day | Harvey: This is my club}

LONG WINS ESPN BRACKET CONTEST

USWNT and Portland midfielder Allie Long won the celebrity group in the ESPN NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Challenge, beating out former teammate Heather O’Reilly. Both Tar Heel alums had reason to celebrate as UNC won the men’s championship, but it was Long who eked out the double victory.

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