Also in today’s roundup, Alyssa Naeher voted Player of the Week and Stephanie Ochs officially announces her retirement.
New Zealand Football and the New Zealand Professional Footballers Association (NZPFA) announced on Tuesday that they had negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) that put the women’s team on more equal footing with the men’s team.
The new CBA, which runs for the next three years, offers four key factors for players of both New Zealand’s men’s and women’s national teams: pay parity, equal prize money, equal rights for image use, and parity across travel while representing the country.
“We are pleased to have the Collective Bargaining Agreement confirmed and with parity for both the All Whites and the Football Ferns,” New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andy Martin said, referencing the nicknames for the men’s and women’s national teams, respectively.
“Today’s announcement signifies that we as an organisation are committed to parity for the men’s and women’s game and to continuing the growth in all areas of our sport.”
The conditions of New Zealand’s women’s national team came under scrutiny when captain Abby Erceg announced her retirement from the team in February 2017, citing poor treatment and low pay from the federation. Erceg rejoined the team in March following Andreas Heraf’s move from New Zealand Football technical director to head coach of New Zealand.
Alyssa Naeher named NWSL Week 6 Player of the Week
Chicago Red Stars goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher was named the NWSL Player of the Week for Week 6 of the 2018 season. Members of the NWSL Media Association, comprised of select members of the media, vote for each week’s winner.
Naeher’s win comes off an impressive performance between the pipes during the Red Stars’ 1-1 road draw against the top-ranked North Carolina Courage. During that match, Naeher faced a total of 42 shots, 14 of which were on target, and was forced to make 12 saves.
Her performance in goal, combined with Sam Kerr’s first goal in a Red Stars kit, earned Chicago a point while maintaining their unbeaten streak against the Courage.
Stephanie Ochs officially announces retirement
NWSL veteran Stephanie Ochs, who played for three clubs over five seasons in the league, officially announced her retirement from professional soccer on Tuesday. In a statement posted to her Twitter account, the defender stated she had returned to her hometown of San Diego to pursue her Master’s Degree.
“I have known for some time now that I was not going to continue playing, but I think I needed to let it digest before even saying it aloud to myself,” she wrote in the statement. “For the longest time I could not stand the notion of being a quitter and walking away from a game I have given my whole heart to.”
The 27-year old was drafted by the Boston Breakers ahead of the 2012 Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) season but never took the field for the Breakers, as the WPS folded just two weeks later. Instead, she played for the Western New York Flash in the WPSL Elite before being taken by the Washington Spirit as the first overall pick in the 2013 NWSL Supplemental Draft.
She made 22 appearances for the Spirit before being traded to the Houston Dash ahead of the 2014 season. Ochs remained with the Dash for three seasons, one of which was marred by an ACL tear, before being waived in April 2017. However, she was signed by the North Carolina Courage in June 2017, with whom she won the 2017 NWSL Shield. She was not rostered with the Courage or any other NWSL club for the 2018 season.