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Thursday Roundup: U-17s one win from World Cup

Also in today’s Roundup, Matt Beard lands at West Ham United, the Dash sign Clare Polkinghorne, and Mallory Pugh is out again due to knee swelling

The United States U-17s resumed their Concacaf Championship with a 10-1 rout of Bermuda. The win officially booked the U.S. into the semifinals, and the semifinal winners will qualify for the U-17 World Cup later this year. Friday’s Group B finale against Canada will be to determine final finishing position and determine semifinal opponents.

Mia Fishel opened the scoring for the U.S. in the 6th minute but Bermuda equalized through Leilanni Nesbeth at 17 minutes. But the U.S. scored four times in the last 20 minutes of the first half and twice more in the first three minutes of the second to make it a blowout. Maya Doms and Sunshine Fontes scored braces—Fontes’s coming inside the final five minutes—while single goals were scored by Diana Ordonez, Reilyn Turner, Samantha Kroeger, Makenna Morris, and Astrid Wheeler.

The match was played in Bradenton, Florida seven weeks after group play opened in Nicaragua. Concacaf officials decided to pack up and send the teams home after three days due to civil unrest in the capital city of Managua.

Matt Beard to coach West Ham United

Matt Beard is the new coach at West Ham United (photo credit: ISI Photos)

Matt Beard has landed a head coaching job back in England, taking over the managing role at West Ham United. The former Breakers coach will have a daunting task at West Ham who will jump to the FA WSL after being granted a Tier I license in the new pyramid structure in England.

Beard is no stranger to rebuilding projects. He took over a foundering Liverpool squad in 2012 and promptly won two league titles. He faced a similar situation in Boston but through two seasons was unable to lift the Breakers into contention. He lost his job there earlier this year when the club ceased operations. Beard has also coached at Chelsea.

Dash sign Clare Polkinghorne

Clare Polkinghorne during her brief stint with the Thorns. (Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

The Houston Dash have announced the signing of Australian defender Clare Polkinghorne. At 29, Polkinghorne is already one of the most decorated players in Australia. At the club level she was the first W-League player to make 100 appearances and this past season helped Brisbane win the Premiership as the team with the best regular season record. She also shared the Julie Dolan Medal with Sam Kerr, an honor bestowed on the league’s top player.

Internationally, Polkinghorne is three caps short of 100 and has represented the Matildas in the last three World Cups—the first in 2007 as an 18-year old. She did not feature in the 2015 tournament despite being on the roster.

Polkinghorne has brief NWSL experience with the Thorns in 2015. Her arrival in the Dash team is pending her International Transfer Certificate and P-1 visa.

Mal Pugh still out for Spirit

Only two NWSL teams play this weekend but the injury report is loaded and again includes Mallory Pugh who continues to be out with knee swelling. Pugh injured her knee near the end of a match in Houston on May 27 and as a result was left off Jill Ellis’s United States roster.

(Photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

The Spirit are in New Jersey to face Sky Blue FC and the New Jersey side has signed defender Cassidy Benintente as a National Team Replacement Player. The 23-year old spent time as a contract player with Sky Blue in 2017. She played her college soccer at Rutgers on the same Yurcak Field pitch where Sky Blue will host the Spirit on Friday.

“Cassidy is a versatile player who is capable of contributing in a variety of ways,” said Denise Reddy, Sky Blue FC head coach. “She understands the way that we want to play as a team, and she will be a welcome addition to our roster this weekend.”

The full NWSL injury report for Week 11 is as follows:

SKY BLUE FC
OUT: Jen Hoy (right knee sprain)
QUESTIONABLE: Amanda Frisbie (neck strain), Raquel Rodriguez (back spasms), Erica Skroski (right hamstring strain)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Janine Beckie (CAN), Adriana Leon (CAN), Carli Lloyd (USA), Savannah McCaskill (USA), Thaisa Moreno (BRA), Rebekah Stott (NZL)

WASHINGTON SPIRIT
OUT: Cali Farquharson (left tibial stress injury -D45), Cheyna Matthews (pregnancy), Mallory Pugh (right knee swelling), Arielle Ship (right ACL recovery –D45), Havana Solaun (left knee chondral avulsion)
QUESTIONABLE: Ashley Hatch (left hip flexor soreness), Tori Huster (right groin soreness), Kelsey Wys (right knee swelling)
INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Yanara Aedo (CHI), Rose Lavelle (USA), Francisca Ordega (NGA), Rebecca Quinn (CAN)

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