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Monday Roundup: Pride loan Monica to Spanish contender Atletico Madrid

Also in today’s roundup, Jade Moore, Jessica Samuelsson and Nikki Stanton all sidelined with injuries, and UCLA-USC sets new NCAA attendance record. 

Monica is going on loan to Atletico Madrid. (photo: Orlando Pride)

The Orlando Pride have loaned Monica to Atletico Madrid. The 30-year old was a key cog in the club’s surge up the table that ended with a trip to the playoffs. In Madrid, Monica will be thrust in the heat of the title race.

“This is a great chance for Monica to bring her veteran leadership and international experience to a new club and continue developing as a player,” Pride coach Tom Sermanni said. “Being in a new culture and playing in a new system makes it an exciting opportunity for her to add to her skill set.”

Monica played 1,284 minutes in 19 regular season appearances for the Pride in 2017 where she ultimately became Ali Krieger’s partner in central defense. She joins Pride teammates Steph Catley, Rachel Hill, Alanna Kennedy, and Toni Pressley on loan. The others four are all in Australia.

Atletico have won 7 times with a draw against Barcelona who they currently trail on goal difference for first place in Spain. She is unlikely to be around for the March 10 showdown in Barcelona since her loan is expected to expire in time for NWSL preseason. Atletico and Barcelona played a 1-1 draw in Madrid on October 29.

Jade Moore sidelined for up to four months

Reading FC announced Saturday that midfielder Jade Moore would miss up to four months of action after damaging her peroneal retinaculum, a band of tissue which binds down the peroneal tendons.  The 27-year-old will have surgery next week and will be rehabilitation soon thereafter.

The England international, who was recently nominated for England player of the year, started all four of the club’s games so far this season with two goals to her credit.  Moore who a member of England’s 2017 Euro squad and appeared in England’s 0-1 loss to France last month.

In other injury news, Arsenal will be without the services of Swedish-international Jessica Samuelsson, who suffered ligament damage in her foot while on national team duty. According to her FA WSL club, the defender will undergo surgery to repair the damage, followed by a rehabilitation period. A timeline for her return was not provided.

Sky Blue FC midfielder Nikki Stanton, currently on loan for her third season with the W-League’s Perth Glory, has also been sidelined with an injury. Stanton broke her right arm during Perth’s 4-1 win over Brisbane Roar on Saturday, November 4. No timeline on Stanton’s recovery or return has been released.

UCLA-USC regular season finale breaks NCAA record

UCLA defeated USC, 3-2, in front of an NCAA record-breaking crowd. (photo courtesy of UCLA Instagram)

The regular season finale between Pac-12 foes UCLA Bruins and reigning national champions Southern California at Los Angeles’ Drake Stadium drew a record 11,925 fans, breaking the NCAA attendance record for a regular season match. The previous record of 10,128 was set by UCLA and USC in 2014. Friday night’s attendance is also the third-highest attendance for any Division 1 women’s soccer match, including NCAA tournament matches, and is the highest since 1999.

The record-break crowd witnessed a stellar game that UCLA won, 3-2, in overtime. U.S. youth national team standout Ashley Sanchez scored the golden goal for the Bruins in the second minute of overtime following a back-and-forth exchange of goals between the two sides. Kaiya McCullough and Anika Rodriguez also contributed goals for UCLA, while Nicole Molen finished the match with a brace for the Trojans.

The win tied UCLA with USC for the second spot in Pac-12 standings, behind only Stanford, who locked in their third straight Pac-12 title on October 29 with their 3-1 win over USC.

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