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Thursday Roundup: NWSL Disciplinary Committee suspends Mathias

Also in today’s roundup, England announces its final pre-EURO friendly, Henninger joins WPSL team’s coaching staff, Shannon MacMillan joins MLS investment group and U.S. U-17 camp roster announced.

Merritt Mathias was handed a three-game suspension and fined by the NWSL Disciplinary Committee. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Merritt Mathias was handed a three-game suspension and fined by the NWSL Disciplinary Committee. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

NWSL suspends, fines Merritt Mathias

The NWSL Disciplinary Committee announced Thursday evening that Seattle Reign FC defender Merritt Mathias has been suspended three matches and fined an undisclosed amount for violent conduct determined to be major game misconduct.

The incident in question came in the 68th minute of the Reign’s 2-2 draw with the Portland Thorns last weekend. While both Mathias and Thorns defender Emily Sonnett were competing for the ball, Mathias appeared to pull Sonnett’s ponytail as the ball rolled out of bounds, causing Sonnett to briefly square up with Mathias before alerting the referee of Mathias’ actions. No card was awarded for the incident, although the referee did talk to the Reign defender afterwards.

Merritt Mathias fouls Emily Sonnett during the Reign's 2-2 draw with the Thorns.

Merritt Mathias fouls Emily Sonnett during the Reign’s 2-2 draw with the Thorns.

That incident was the second in as many games, as Mathias was awarded a yellow card during the Reign’s 3-0 loss on the road in Boston. Mathias and Breakers defender Allysha Chapman were competing for the ball and, once again, Mathias pulled Chapman’s ponytail.

This is also the second season that Mathias has faced punishment from the league’s disciplinary committee. Last year she was suspended one game after an incident with FC Kansas City’s Shea Groom. Although the referee missed the on-field incident, the disciplinary committee investigated the incident, initially declining to punish Mathias for the incident. However, after new evidence–most likely a video of the incident shot by a fan in the stands behind the goal–surfaced, the committee reversed its decision and suspended Mathias for “major game misconduct and unsportsmanlike conduct detrimental to the league.”

England announces final pre-EURO friendly

England will take on Denmark in its final match before the 2017 EUROs. (photo: England FA)

England will take on Denmark in its final match before the 2017 EUROs. (photo: England FA)

England’s national team announced today that it will close out its preparation for the European Championship with a friendly match against Denmark on July 1. The two teams will meet at Gladsaxe Stadium in Copenhagen.

“Demark are a team who will have genuine ambitions of going a long way in the summer, so it will be a good challenge for us leading into the Euros,” Mark Sampson, who made waves when he announced his Euro-squad back on April 3, said in a statement. “It will be our last game before the tournament, so we will prepare well for the match and look to get a win as we head into the final phase of our Euros preparation.”

{BARCELONA: We’ll have a team in NWSL for 2018}

Before traveling to Denmark, the Lionesses will face Switzerland in Biel on June 10. Their first group stage match of the EUROs is on Wednesday, July 17 against Scotland, followed by matches against Algarve Cup champions Spain on July 23 and Portugal on July 27.

Bianca Henninger joins WSPL team’s coaching staff

Bianca Henninger has joined the WPSL's TTi as a player and assistant coach. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

Bianca Henninger has joined the WPSL’s TTi as a player and assistant coach. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

The Technical Institute (TTi) announced the hiring of current Mexico women’s national team and former Houston Dash goalkeeper Bianca Henninger to its WPSL team coaching staff. Henninger will serve a dual role for the team, serving as an assistant coach while playing for the club. Henninger is joining former Dash teammates Haley Carter, Stephanie Ochs and Jordan Jackson at TTi. 

{THURSDAY Q&A: Breakers forward Midge Purce}

Henninger was recently waived by the Houston Dash after Head Coach Randy Waldrum selected USWNT goalkeeper Jane Campbell in the 2017 NWSL College Draft and Campbell won out Henninger’s spot on the roster. Henninger had been with the Dash since its inaugural season, serving as backup to Canadian-international keeper Erin McLeod and Australian-international keeper Lydia Williams. In 2015 Henninger won Player of the Week for Week 7 after recording 8 saves in a 1-0 win over the Portland Thorns.

U.S. U-17 WNT to hold 40-player training camp

In the wake of its Torneo Femminile Delle Nazioni win last month, the U.S. U-17 women’s national team will be holding a week-long training camp from May 14-21 in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The camp will be a way for U-17 head coach Mark Carr to evaluate players at the start of a new cycle and, therefore, boasts a large, 40-player roster as Carr continues to prepare for the 2018 U-17 World Cup.

Sixteen players from the Torneo delle Nazioni roster were once again invited into camp, and those players account for 10 of the 13 goals scored in that tournament. Lia Godfrey, who scored the other three, is unavailable for the camp because of injury. Three of those players–forward Jordan Canniff and defenders Kennedy Wesley and Katie Weisner–are starting their second cycle with the U-17 WNT and were all members of the U.S. squad that competed in the 2016 U-17 World Cup.

The U-17 camp will include a scrimmage against the WPSL’s Tampa Bay United Hellenic on May 20. 

U.S. U-17 WNT Roster by Position

GOALKEEPERS (6): Angelina Anderson (Mustang SC; Danville, Calif.), Rachael Black (SC Del Sol; Phoenix, Ariz.), Ryan Campbell (So Cal Blues; Dana Point, Calif.), Marzia Josephson (CASL; Apex, N.C.), Lindsey Romig (Richmond United; Midlothian, Va.), Cayla White (McLean; Arlington, Va.)

DEFENDERS (10): Michela Agresti (FC Stars of Mass.; Swampscott, Mass.), Kamryn Farro (Livermore Fusion; Livermore, Calif.), D’awncey Jones-Black (Honolulu Bulls SC; Ewa Beach, Hawaii), Julianna Leskaukas (PDA; Brielle, N.J.), Makenna Morris (Bethesda SC; Germantown, Md.), Natalia Staude (Tophat SC; Atlanta, Ga.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.), Astrid Wheeler (Tophat SC; Atlanta, Ga.), Harper White (TSC; Franklin, Tenn.), Kate Wiesner (Slammers FC; Monrovia, Calif.)

MIDFIELDERS (14): Ainsley Ahmadian (Eclipse Select SC; Naperville, Ill.), Hannah Bebar (Eclipse Select SC; Naperville, Ill.), Croix Bethune (Concord Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Talia DellaPeruta (Tophat SC; Cumming, Ga.), Maya Doms (Davis Legacy; Davis, Calif.), Mia Fishel (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Ellie Glenn (Tophat SC; Avondale Estates, Ga.), Sophie Jones (De Anza Force; Menlo Park, Calif.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Maggie Pierce (CASL; Cary, N.C.), Leah Scarpelli (PDA; Brick, N.J.), Jadyn Shinn (De Anza Force, Manteca, Calif.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), MacKenzee Vance (Jacksonville Armada; Bluffton, S.C.)

FORWARDS (10): Jordan Canniff (Richmond United; California, Md.), Laney Carroll (Redlands, Calif.; Legends FC), Sunshine Fontes (Honolulu Bulls SC; Wahiawa, Hawaii), Savianna Gomez (Torrance, Calif.; Beach FC), Payton Linnehan (FC Stars of Mass.; Douglas, Mass.), Brecken Mozingo (Celtic Storm; Sandy, Utah), Diana Ordonez (FC Dallas; Prosper, Texas), Gabrielle Robinson (BRYC Elite Academy; Springfield, Va.;), Kalyssa Van Zanten (Eclipse Select SC; Buffalo Grove, Ill.), Hannah White (Tophat SC; Atlanta, Ga.)

Shannon MacMillan joins San Diego MLS investment group

Shannon MacMillan has joined the San Diego MLS investment group.

Shannon MacMillan has joined the San Diego MLS investment group.

Eleven investment groups are currently jostling to win out on a Major League Soccer expansion bid, and one group just brought some USWNT star power to its group. Former USWNT forward, 1999 World Cup Champion, and National Soccer Hall of Famer Shannon MacMillan was recently added to the San Diego group as both an investor and an adviser, according to Sports Illustrated. Although she was born in New York, MacMillan grew up in Escondido, Calif., a city about 30 miles north of San Diego. She also played for WUSA side San Diego Spirit from 2001-2003.


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