Also in today’s roundup, Michelle French says goodbye USWNT, hello Portland Pilots.
Denmark names new coach, roster ahead of U.S. friendlies
The Dansk Boldspil-Union (DBU), the Danish football federation, announced on Monday that Lars Søndergaard had been named head coach of Denmark’s national team, filling the vacancy left earlier this year following Nils Nielsen’s departure.
Søndergaard has an extensive coaching history spanning two decades and at different levels, including the youth and professional levels. He has most recently coached at the youth level with Red Bull Salzburg and at the club level with Viborg FF, SønderjyskE, and Aalborg BK (AaB) of the Danish Superliga. The Denmark coaching position marks his first in women’s football.
Denmark also released its 20-player roster for the 2017 European Championship runners-up’s friendly against the USWNT scheduled for January 21. Included on the roster are former NWSL players Nadia Nadim, who won the NWSL Shield (2016) and Championship (2017) with the Portland Thorns before signing with Manchester City, and Katrine Veje, who played for the Seattle Reign in 2015. Pernille Harder, one of 10 nominees for The Best FIFA Player of 2017, was also named to the roster.
FULL DENMARK ROSTER BY POSITION
Goalkeepers (2): Line Geltzer Johansen, Stina Lykke Petersen
Defenders (6): Cecilie Sandvej, Janni Arnth Jensen, Mie Leth Jans, Simone Boye Sørensen, Stine Ballisager Pedersen, Theresa Nielsen
Midfielders (7): Katrine Veje, Maja Kildemoes, Nanna Christiansen, Nicole Sørensen, Sanne Troelsgaard, Sarah Dyrehauge Hansen, Sofie Junge Pedersen
Forwards (5): Frederikke Skjødt Thøgersen, Nadia Nadim, Pernille Harder, Signe Bruun, Stine Larsen
Michelle French leaves USWNT for University of Portland
The University of Portland announced Friday night that alumna Michelle French has been named head coach of the collegiate program.
The move comes less than a year after French was promoted to a full-time assistant coaching position for the senior U.S. women’s national team. Prior to that promotion, she served as a part-time assistant coach during the 2015 World Cup and 2016 Olympics while serving as the first head coach of the U.S. U-20 team.
French is no stranger to Portland’s collegiate program, having helped lead the Pilots to three NCAA Final Four appearances during her tenure there. The former Portland and USWNT defender was named a finalist for the national player of the year following her senior campaign in 1998.
“I’m thrilled to return to the University of Portland,” French said in a team statement. “This University has been such an integral part of my journey and the opportunity to return in this capacity is a dream come true….To follow in the immediate footsteps of Garrett Smith, and the legendary coach Clive Charles, a man that was an incredible friend and mentor, is hard to articulate. I’m overwhelmed and honored to now represent this great institution and the storied history of the women’s soccer program.”