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Tuesday Roundup: Seattle Reign sign Jodie Taylor

Also in today’s Roundup, Sam Kerr is named finalist for AFC Player of the Year and Kim DeCesare suffers broken leg. 

Jodie Taylor, winner of the Golden Boot at the EUROs, has signed with the Reign. (photo courtesy UEFA)

Seattle Reign FC announced the signing of English striker Jodie Taylor. The 31-year old is currently with Arsenal and is expected to spend the first part of 2018 as a guest player at Melbourne City in Australia before joining the Reign for the start of the NWSL season.

“Jodie is a world-class player who will add experience and quality to our attack,” Reign coach Vlatko Andonovski said. “Throughout her career Taylor has been a consistent goal scorer for club and country, and she has demonstrated she can be a threat that demands a reaction from the competition. We’re excited to add her to the squad.”

Taylor owns 15 international goals in only 30 appearances for England. She found the back of the net five times during this summer’s European Championships, earning Golden Boot honors. It will be her second stint in NWSL. The Reign originally held her discovery rights following the 2013 season but traded them to the Washington Spirit. That was the deal that allowed the Reign to acquire and sign Kim Little who went on to be 2014 Most Valuable Player.

In 2014, Taylor became the first Spirit player to reach double digits in goals when she led the club with 11, helping them to the semifinals a year after finishing last. She was traded to the Thorns on draft day 2015 and added 3 more goals while appearing in only seven games, mostly due to the World Cup.

Sam Kerr nominated for AFC Women’s Player of the Year

Sam Kerr celebrating one of her league record 17 goals during her 2017 MVP season (photo copyright Katie Cahalin for The Equalizer)

On Saturday, Nov. 18, the Westfield Matildas announced that star striker Sam Kerr had been nominated for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Football Player of the Year. The award recognizes the top player for the year in all of Asia. Japanese defender Saki Kumagai and DPR Korea U-20 World Champion-winning striker Sung Hyang Sim are the other two finalists for the award.

Kerr had a breakthrough year at both the club and international levels in 2017, captaining W-League side Perth Glory to the 2016/2017 Grand Final, where they ultimately fell to two-time defending champions Melbourne City FC. For her performance over the season, she was awarded the Julie Dolan Medal for W-League Player of the Year.

She then rejoined Sky Blue FC in the NWSL, breaking record after record on her way to earning league Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player honors for the season, as well as collecting multiple Player of the Week, Player of the Month, and Team of the Month honors along the way.

At the international level, she led Australia to their best year in recent history, including winning the inaugural U.S.-hosted Tournament of Nations this summer. During that friendly tournament, Australia recorded their first ever win over the USWNT. Later in the tournament, Kerr tallied her first international hat trick, leading Australia to a 4-2 win over AFC foes Japan.

All in all, Kerr has netted 31 goals for club and country in 2017.

The winner of the AFC Women’s Player of the Year will be announced at the AFC’s Annual Awards gala on Wednesday, Nov. 29 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Kim DeCesare suffers broken leg in PSV loss

Kim DeCesare playing for PSV Eindhoven

Dutch club PSV announced on Sunday that former Sky Blue FC forward Kim DeCesare suffered a fractured tibia during the club’s match against Ajax on Sunday, Nov. 19. The injury happened during the match’s second half while the score was tied at one goal apiece. Ajax would go on to win the match, 2-1.

DeCesare is currently in a plaster cast and is currently out of rotation for PSV. No timeline for her recovery was provided at the time of the announcement.

DeCesare signed with PSV after originally signing with Glasgow City FC, but visa issues prevented the American attacker from ever making an appearance for the Scottish club. Before her most recent stint overseas, DeCesare was a member of Sky Blue FC’s roster for three seasons, making seven starts in 15 appearances for the club. She had previously played in the NWSL in Boston, having been taken as the No. 34 overall draft pick by the Breakers in 2014. She only made one appearance for the Breakers before leaving for her first stint abroad, signing with Eskilstuna United DFF of Sweden’s premier Damallsvenskan league.

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