ALSO IN TODAY’S ROUNDUP MARTA HEADS TO ORLANDO, UWCL SEMIFINAL SELLS OUT, AND SPIRIT PLAYERS LAUNCH BLOG
Newly-allocated Rose Lavelle has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with New Balance, becoming the first female soccer player to sign with the shoe company. The 2017 number one draft pick will wear New Balance boots on the field and feature in a variety of ads.
“I am so excited to be joining New Balance as the first female soccer player for Team NB,” Lavelle said. “It’s especially meaningful that I’m now playing for a Boston team and wearing boots made by a Boston-based brand. I’m really looking forward to working with New Balance to help grow the brand and the game of soccer both domestically and internationally.”
Lavelle wowed critics and crowds alike after making her first appearance for the USWNT in the 2017 SheBelieves Cup, going on to start four straight matches for the National Team. The midfielder scored her first international goal against Russia in Houston. She also made her NWSL debut last week in the Breakers season opener, a 2-0 loss at Kansas City.
MARTA IS ON HER WAY
— Alicia Rose DelGallo (@OSAliciaD) April 20, 2017
Orlando’s blockbuster signing Marta is finally on her way to join the team. Pride supporter’s group The Crown is organizing a welcome party to meet her upon arrival at Orlando International Airport after crossing the Atlantic from Stockholm, Sweden, via Reyjkavik, Iceland. The Brazilian forward will appear in a press conference tomorrow before joining the team in training ahead of Saturday’s home opener against the Washington Spirit.
Pride head coach Tom Sermanni had initially planned for Marta to be available on Saturday, but it is unknown if her late arrival will affect his plans. The Pride have featured her in their #FilltheBowl marketing campaign, advertising heavily in an attempt to break the NWSL attendance record, set in Orlando’s very first game last year. Orlando looks to bounce back after dropping three points last week against the Portland Thorns.
UWCL SEMIS REACH NEW AUDIENCES
The first leg of the UEFA Women’s Champions League between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Barcelona Femeni has sold out ahead of Saturday’s fixture. UEFA reported this morning that all 12,945 tickets have been sold for the match at Mini Estadi in Barcelona.
While international broadcasting has not been announced for that match, Americans will be able to watch both legs of the other semifinal between Carli Lloyd’s Manchester City and Alex Morgan’s Olympique Lyon (defending champions). Manchester will host the first leg this Saturday before traveling to Lyon the following Saturday. Both matches will be available for viewing in the US via ESPN3.
Lloyd scored the only goal in Manchester City’s first leg of the quarterfinal against Fortuna Hjørring. Morgan has not yet scored in Champions League play but has notched five goals in Division 1 Féminine matches.
Lloyd has lauded Manchester City for allocating equal resources on and off the pitch for both the men’s and women’s teams, telling BBC Sport recently that there are standards and other things learned she can take back from her time in the FAWSL to help make the NWSL better.
SPIRIT PLAYERS LAUNCH BLOG
Several Washington Spirit players announced today that they are launching a new blog, titled Beyond Our Boots, after midfielder Tori Huster teased the announcement on her Twitter account yesterday. The site, self-described as “unofficially official”, does not appear to be limited to any select team members. Instead, it is only attributed to “2017 Washington Spirit Players.” They will feature weekly news six days a week, with each weekday highlighting a different theme such as Train-Worthy Tuesdays and Foodie Fridays, before culminating in a game day post.
Beyond Our Boots is the latest in a rising trend of WoSo players launching internet ventures or finding other ways to have an online voice. Kristie and Sam Mewis formed Sporting Chic with Stephanie McCaffrey, while Emilie Haavi and Tiffany Weimer (founder of Our Game Magazine) are contributing regular columns to websites covering women’s soccer.
— Beyond Our Boots (@beyondourboots) April 20, 2017