Also in today’s roundup, France coach Olivier Echouafni’s contract reportedly to be extended, Kylie Strom and Simone Kolander are headed to the Champions League, the Dash bring in Jade Bell on trial, and Megan Crosson inks deal with Spanish league club.
Camille Abily retires from international soccer
After France’s disappointing 1-0 loss to England, Les Bleues players walked the field, eyes downcast, some with tears, as they lamented once again falling in a major tournament’s quarterfinals. Camille Abily, who had subbed out late in the second half, returned to the field with her daughter, clad in an oversized Abily 10 jersey, where she accepted the hugs and well wishes of her friends and teammates as tears streamed down her cheeks. For Abily, it was more than saying goodbye to yet another major tournament. She was saying goodbye to her international soccer career as well.
Abily was first capped with the French national team in 2001, when she was just 16, during a friendly against the Netherlands. In her 17 years with the team, she has made 183 appearances and scored 37 goals. She has been on rosters for three Women’s European Championships, two World Cups, and two Olympic Games.
“How hard it is to find the words!!!” Abily wrote in a statement she posted on her Twitter account Monday morning. “I have a lot of feelings right now, a great pride, a feeling of unfinished business, disappointment, frustration, but also only good moments spent in this 16 years; crying of course, but a lot of happiness and memories forever in my heart!!!”
— Camille Abily (@cam10abily23) July 31, 2017
The 32-year old announced last December that she would be hanging up her boots for good following EURO 2017. That included club play as well as international, but the veteran midfielder changed her mind and decided to continue playing at the club level, signing a one-year contract extension with Olympique Lyonnais at the end of May.
“The Les Bleues page is turning but the book is not closing,” she reconfirmed in her statement. “I hope to write a happy end with my club.”
In regards to France manager Olivier Echouafni, the team’s disappointing finish at the EUROs has not affected the status of his job coaching Les Bleues. Instead, it has been reported by L’Equipe that his contract, which currently runs through 2018, will likely be extended through the 2019 World Cup.
French Football Federation president Noёl Le Graёt seems satisfied with the performance of the team since Echouafni took over in September 2016, telling the publication, “Olivier works well, he took this team a small year ago, he has guided them carefully, [and] he is smart enough to analyze how we can progress.”
English translation of Abily’s statement was posted by Charlotte (@Charl0tteFF) on Twitter
Kylie Strom, Simone Kolander headed to Champions League
Former Boston Breakers defender Kylie Strom and Minnesota alum Simone Kolander have both signed with AC Sparta Praha in Prague, the most dominant team in the Czech Republic’s national league. As last year’s league runners-up, the team received an automatic spot into the Round of 32 of the 2017-2018 Champions League.
Strom was recently waived by the Boston Breakers in order to make room for Katie Stengel, who the team claimed off waivers from the Washingston Spirit. Strom was in her second season with the Breakers after officially joining the team in August 2016. She went on to play in seven matches during her first season with the team, but did not make any appearances this season. Previously she had been a part of their reserves and academy teams after
Kolander made the announcement yesterday on her Instagram page. The forward declared for the 2017 NWSL College Draft but went undrafted. She was invited into preseason camp with the Chicago Red Stars but, despite surviving the initial preseason roster cut, she did not make the final 20-player roster.
In her four years at Minnesota, Kolander scored 28 goals and tallied 19 assists over 87 games for the Golden Gophers. She was named the Big Ten Forward of the Year during both her junior and senior years and was an All-Big Ten First Team her senior year. During her junior campaign, she led the league and was ranked ninth in the nation in game-winning goals (6).
Dash bring Jade Bell on as trialist
On Monday, Corey Roepken of the Houston Chronicle reported that Houston Dash had taken forward Jade Bell on trial. The Dash are currently at only 18 active roster spots after Kealia Ohai suffered a torn ACL and midfielder Denise O’Sullivan was waived.
Bell is likely being considered a replacement for Ohai. The Ramsey, England native has been playing for FC Dallas Women in its first two seasons (2016-2017) in the WPSL. Prior to playing in Dallas, Bell played DII collegiate soccer at Texas A&M-Commerce from 2011-2015. She broke her ankle just two games into her sophomore season, resulting in a medical redshirt. The forward returned to play three more seasons after recovering from that injury, scoring 30 goals and 20 assists for 80 points over 83 games in her collegiate career.
✍️ FICHAJES| Megan Crosson completa la plantilla del Granadilla Egatesa.https://t.co/ZpMtC5Rr96
— UDG Tenerife (@UDGTenerife) July 31, 2017
The news of Bell’s trial with the Dash comes on the heels of an announcement that Megan Crosson had inked a deal with UD Granadilla Tenerife Sur, a Spanish premier league team based in the Canary Islands. Crosson made four appearances for the Dash last season as an amateur player and, after a brief stint in Japan, returned to Houston to participate in the team’s 2017 preseason camp. Despite not making the final 20-player roster, Crosson has been training with the team ever since. She has played mostly at outside back for the Dash, but she played as a midfielder at Santa Clara University, where she totaled nine assists in 61 appearances for the Broncos.