Also in today’s roundup, Canada to honor five retirees and a Hall of Famer on Sunday, the W-League’s Sydney FC gets a new head coach and the U.S. U-23s win Nordic Tournament opener.
Caprice Dydasco cleared to return playing
Washington Spirit defender Caprice Dydasco has been medically cleared to return to playing, according to multiple posts on social media. Dydasco returned to the Spirit earlier this season and was cleared to resume training with the team last month.
— Caprice Dydasco (@CapriceDydasco) June 7, 2017
Dydasco tore her left ACL and meniscus in just the 16th minute of the 2016 NWSL Final and returned to her native Hawaii to undergo reconstructive surgery during the offseason. The tear prevented her from rejoining the Newcastle Jets, whom she had played on loan with during its 2015/2016 W-League season.
She was the second Spirit player to suffer an ACL tear last year—Cali Farquharson tore her ACL during the September 7 contest against the Seattle Reign—but not the last, as goalkeeper Kelsey Wys tore hers while playing for the Newcastle Jets in the Westfield W-League. The string of Spirit ACL tears continued into 2017 when midfielder Joanna Lohman suffered a left ACL tear in the Spirit’s 2017 season opener against the North Carolina Courage.
Dydasco joined the Spirit via the 2015 NWSL College Draft when then-head coach Mark Parsons selected her as the 19th overall draft pick. She made 6 appearances for the team in her rookie season, totalling 196 minutes played. Last season, she started in all 14 matches she played in, including both postseason matches, and tallied a goal and two assists for the Spirit.
Before joining the Spirit, Dydasco was a part of the NCAA Championship-winning UCLA Bruins.
Canada to honor five retirees, one Hall of Famer on Sunday
Canada announced today that it will be honoring five retirees at its June 11 friendly against Costa Rica. Kaylyn Kyle and Josée Bélanger, both of whom previously announced their retirements from international competition, are joined in retirement by Jonelle Filigno, Robyn Gayle, and Lauren Sesselmann.
The five retirees have a combined 356 appearances, 223 starts, 26 goals and 62 assists for Canada among them. Only Kyle has over 100 caps for Canada (101); her 100th appearance for the team came during the 2015 World Cup Round of 16 match against Switzerland.
All five players have won Olympic bronze medals with Canada: Bélanger won bronze in Rio last summer, and the other four women won bronze in London in 2012.
All five also played in the NWSL for at least one season. Bélanger was a member of the inaugural Orlando Pride roster, where she played alongside Kyle in 2016. Before Kyle was traded to Orlando, one of the first three players signed by the Pride, she had also played for Seattle Reign, Boston Breakers, Houston Dash and Portland Thorns. Filigno was allocated to Sky Blue FC for two seasons (2014-2015), while Gayle played for the Washington Spirit during its first two NWSL seasons. Sesselmann made 19 appearances for FC Kansas City in 2013 before being selected in the Houston Dash’s expansion draft and playing 45 minutes for them. None of the five are currently playing in the NWSL, but Sesselmann is playing with Santa Clara Blue Heat of the United Women’s Soccer League (UWS) this season.
Besides the five retirees, Canada will also be honoring Amy Walsh before Sunday’s friendly. Walsh, who made her international debut 19 years ago, is being inducted a player in the Canada Soccer Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017. The midfielder made 102 appearances, including appearances in two World Cups, for her home country. She also made a record 43 consecutive starts from 1998 to 2001 and wore the captain’s armband for more than 25 matches.
Canada returns to the field tomorrow, June 8, when they take on Costa Rica in Winnipeg. They will then travel to Toronto, where they will close out the pair of friendlies against the Central American team on Sunday, June 11.
Sydney FC announce new head coach
The Westfield W-League’s Sydney FC announced the hiring of Ante Juric as its head coach for the 2017/2018 season. A former member of the Socceroos, the Australian men’s national team, Juric comes in with youth international coaching experience, having previously coached the U-17 and U-19 women’s national teams.
“I want to build on what has already been achieved here and continue the Sky Blue legacy of success in the W-League,” Juric said in a statement released by the team. “My main goal is to win the Championship and also to secure the Premiership. Nothing less is acceptable by the standards expected by Sydney FC in my opinion.”
Last season Sydney FC—which included current and former NWSL players Caitlin Foord, Kyah Simon, Francisca Ordega and Alanna Kennedy—suffered a devastating 5-1 loss to Perth Glory to be denied another trip to the Grand Final. In its history, the club has won three Premiers and has hoisted the trophy as Grand Final Champions three times as well.
U.S. U-23s defeat Norway in Nordic tournament opener
The U.S. U-23 team defeated Norway, 3-0, in their opening match of the 2017 Nordic Tournament in Sweden. Seven players on the U-23 are from the NWSL, and at least the Orlando Pride’s Dani Weatherholt was in the starting lineup against Norway.
Goals were scored by Sophia Smith, who also scored for the U-23s against Portland in their Thorns Spring Invitational preseason tournament, Jaelin Howell and Kaleigh Riehl. Both Smith and Howell were included on the senior USWNT’s roster for its April friendlies against Russia.
The U-23s return to action on Friday, June 9 when they face England before closing out the tournament on Monday, June 12 against the host nation, Sweden.