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Wednesday Roundup: Seven former USWNT players on Hall of Fame ballot

Also in today’s roundup, U.S. soccer hires first Development Academy Technical Advisors, the U.S. U-20 WNT falls to Japan and former Brisbane Roar coach Wilson to lead Guam WNT.

Leslie Osborne is one of seven women nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

Leslie Osborne is one of seven women nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame. (Photo copyright Meg Linehan for The Equalizer.)

2017 National Soccer Hall of Fame nominees announced

U.S. Soccer announced the 33 players eligible for induction in the National Soccer Hall of Fame this year. Of those players, seven are women: Tina Frimpong Ellerston, Kate Sobrero Markgraf, Tiffeny Millbrett, Heather Mitts, Leslie Osborne, Briana Scurry and Aly Wagner. Ellerston and Osborne are in their first year of eligibility, while each of the other players have appeared on previous years’ ballots.

To be eligible for election into the Hall of Fame, a player must be retired for at least three full calendar years but no more than 10. They must have played in at least 20 full international matches for the USWNT. There are other requirements for the male candidates that do not apply to the women because of the lack of stable, lasting professional leagues and All-Star teams in the U.S. during many eligible players’ professional careers, although other factors may be taken into consideration.

Nominees will be voted on by all past and present full U.S. national team coaches (men’s and women’s), all active MLS and NWSL coaches with at least four years of head coaching experience “at the highest level in the United States,” MLS and NWSL management representatives and the MLS and NWSL Commissioners/Executive Director. U.S. Soccer CEO/Secretary General Dan Flynn and President Sunil Gulati also get a vote, as do all Hall of Fame members and designated members of the media. Each voter will be able to select up to 10 nominees, with each nominee who receives at least 66.7% of the vote being inducted into the 2017 Hall of Fame class. 

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There are also five women on the veteran’s ballot, including Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Cindy Parlow, Tiffany Roberts and Tisha Venturini-Hoch. The requirements to be a veteran nominee are the same as a player nominee, with the exception that veterans must be retired for at least 10 full calendar years. They will also only be voted on by current Hall of Famers after being screened by a selection committee. Only one veteran nominee will be voted into the 2017 Hall of Fame class.

Brandi Chastain was inducted into the Hall of Fame’s 2016 player class in just her first year of eligibility, while Shannon MacMillan was inducted as the veteran player. The induction ceremony was held on March 24, 2017.

Results of this year’s election will be announced at a later date. 

In other National Soccer Hall of Fame news, USSF also announced an updated timeline for the completion of the Hall of Fame, which is under construction at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas, the home of MLS’s FC Dallas. The concourse-level Hall of Fame Club and Museum will tentatively be completed winter 2018.  

U.S. Soccer appoints first Girls’ Development Academy technical advisors

USGDA

U.S. Soccer announced today that it hired the first group of Technical Advisors for its Girls’ Development Academy, filling five of its eight TA positions. Each TA holds either USSF or UEFA Class “A” coaching licenses. They will work with the DA clubs in their regions, helping to provide feedback and identify players who deserve consideration for the youth national teams.

The five TAs, all of whom are women, are Morgan Church (Southeast Division), Katie Cole (Frontier Division), Diane Drake (Atlantic Division), Marieke Laurens-van Tienhoven (Southwest Division) and Zahra Lechak (Northwest Division).

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“This is the next step in creating a better pathway for girls to navigate the club environment in this country,” Girls’ Development Academy director Miriam Hickey said in a statement released by USSF. “We were able to acquire the most passionate and qualified individuals to fill these roles. These new Technical Advisors bring outstanding knowledge of the game in the U.S. and internationally. With a deep understanding of the standards required at the club, collegiate and professional level, the TAs will provide invaluable insight into preparing our elite young athletes for the highest levels.”

The USGDA’s inaugural season kicks off this fall.

U.S. U-20 WNT falls to Japan, 2-1, on late goal

Just five days after the U.S. U-19 women’s national team lost to Japan’s U-20 WNT by one goal, the U.S. U-20 WNT suffered the same fate, falling to Asian nation, 1-2.

As they did in last week’s match, Japan struck early, with Fuka Kono scoring in just the 12th minute. Kono fired off a shot from the top of the 18 and into the lower right corner as U.S. goalkeeper Brooke Heinsohn attempt to make a diving save, but she was unable to keep Kono off the scoresheet.

Kono’s goal went unanswered for almost all of regulation time, but the U.S. were able to level the score in the 88th minute. Midfielder Jaelin Howell, the 17-year old who was called into the senior USWNT camp in April after Lindsey Horan was ruled out to injury, played a long ball over the Japanese defense to Civana Kuhlmann, who was making a run for the ball. Kuhlmann controlled the ball before finishing from about 12 yards out to put the U.S. on the board.

The game was far from over, as three minutes of stoppage time was added. That would be more than enough for Japan, whose Riko Ushijima sent in what appeared to be a harmless ball into the penalty area. As the shot continued sailing towards the net, Heinsohn attempted to make a stop, but she mishandled it, the result of which was a Japan goal. Seconds later, the final whistle blew, and Japan once again walked away victorious.

The two teams will meet again today, Wednesday, May 24, also at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California.

Belinda Wilson appointed as Guam WNT head coach

Former Westfield W-League head coach Belinda Wilson has been appointed as technical director and head coach of Guam’s national team, the nation’s football association announced today. The news comes a little more than a week after Wilson arrived in Guam after signing a two-year contract with the federation with an option to renew.

Wilson has an impressive coaching pedigree. Most recently, the Australia native has coached the W-League’s Brisbane Roar, leading them to win the premiership in her first year at the helm. The following year the Roar was the runner-up in the championship series. Last September it was announced that Wilson would be leaving her role as head coach, but it was thought then she would stay on with the club in some capacity. She was replaced by Melissa Andreatta, who recently signed a new contract with the club.

Wilson also has youth international coaching experience as well, having served as head coach of the U-17 Matildas from 2013-2014.

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