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Tuesday roundup: Press set to debut in Utah

Also in today’s roundup, Portland and Washington make a trade, the Spirit’s Audi Field game gets tweaked, Andi Sullivan wins an award, Ali Riley joins Chelsea, and the NWSL injury report is out

Utah Royals head coach Laura Harvey confirmed today that the club has received Christen Press’ international transfer certificate from her former club in Sweden, opening the door for Press to make her debut tomorrow when the Royals host Harvey’s former team, Seattle Reign FC.

Press’ journey to Utah took a convoluted path. The striker was traded to the Houston Dash from the Chicago Red Stars in January but declined to play for team, heading to Sweden instead. Last week, Press’ rights were traded back to Chicago (along with a draft pick) for Sofia Huerta and Taylor Comeau. The Red Stars then flipped her rights, plus Sam Johnson, to Utah for Brooke Elby and a handful of more draft picks. Her Swedish club, Göteborg FC, then had to agree to release her from her contract early and send her ITC.

Press scored 36 goals for the Red Stars during her four years with the team, helping the squad to three successive semifinal appearances. On that front, she should immediately help the Royals (4-3-5), who are in sixth place with the lowest-scoring offense in the league.

Portland, Washington make a trade

The Portland Thorns have sent their first-round draft pick in next year’s NWSL draft to the Washington Spirit in exchange for a 2018 international slot and future considerations. The international slot is expected to be used immediately Caitlin Foord, whose rights were acquired by the Thorns from Sky Blue in the offseason but has not joined the team until now due to an injury. She is listed on today’s injury report as out.

In addition, the Thorns have placed forward Meg Morris on the season-ending injury list. Morris has not appeared for the Thorns this season.

Spirit game at Audi Field gets time change

Kickoff for the Washington Spirit’s debut game at Audi Field, the new home of MLS’ DC United, has been adjusted. The game, which will take place on August 25 and be aired on ESPNews, will now start at 8:00 PM ET instead of 7:30 PM ET. This is likely in part due to logistical challenges at Audi Field, where the sun is said to shine directly into a camera at sunset. DC United has moved a number of their kickoff times back as well.

Andi Sullivan receives Tom Hansen medal

Andi Sullivan passes the ball in a Stanford game. Credit: Stanford Photo

Washington Spirit midfielder Andi Sullivan was named the 2017-18 Stanford recipient of the Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal, alongside men’s soccer player Foster Langdorf. The medal is awarded for “the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.”

This is just the most recent in a long list of honors the 2018 number one NWSL draft pick acquired during her illustrious college career. She was the 2017 MAC Hermann trophy winner, a three-time first team All-American, four-time All-Pacific selection, four-time first team All-PAC-12, a three-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention as well as the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year and the 2014 Pac-12 Freshman of the year. While at Stanford, Sullivan served as a captain for three seasons, helped win the 2017 College Cup, scored 20 career goals, and notched 19 career assists. She led the team in goals in 2016 despite tearing her ACL late in the postseason.

Riley heads to Chelsea

(Photo Copyright Patricia Giobetti for The Equalizer)

New Zealand fullback Ali Riley is leaving Sweden’s FC Rosengård to join Chelsea FC Women of England’s FA WSL. Riley has been with Rosengård since 2012, helping the team reach the Champions League each season. Ironically, Rosengård were knocked out of the most recent Champions League tournament by Chelsea in the round of 16.

A former Stanford Cardinal, where she played alongside Kelley O’Hara, Christen Press, and Rachel (Buehler) Van Hollebeke, Riley was drafted in the first round of the 2010 WPS draft by FC Gold Pride, who won that year’s championship. Riley was named the 2010 Rookie of the Year. In 2011, she joined the Western New York Flash, where she again won the WPS Championship.

Riley has played for the New Zealand national team since 2007, appearing in every Women’s World Cup and Olympic games since.

Chelsea, which recently rebranded from Chelsea Ladies, won the 2017-18 FA WSL title as well as the 2018 FA Women’s Cup.

Injury report is out

The most recent NWSL injury report has been released ahead of tomorrow’s mid-week games and reads as follows:

HOUSTON DASH

OUT: Kristie Mewis (left ACL sprain – SEI)

QUESTIONABLE: Kyah Simon (left ankle sprain)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

ORLANDO PRIDE

OUT: None

QUESTIONABLE: Ali Krieger (right knee sprain)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

PORTLAND THORNS FC

OUT: Caitlin Foord (right lis franc repair), Meg Morris (left hip pain – SEI)

QUESTIONABLE: Midge Purce (right ankle sprain)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

 SEATTLE REIGN FC

OUT: Yael Averbuch (illness), Lauren Barnes (concussion), Kiersten Dallstream (left quad strain), Jess Fishlock (right quad strain), Jaycie Johnson (right knee sprain – D45)

QUESTIONABLE: None

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

SKY BLUE FC

OUT: Jen Hoy (right knee sprain), Katie Johnson (right knee tendinitis), Amandine Pierre-Louis (right ankle sprain), Rebekah Stott (back strain)

QUESTIONABLE: None

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

UTAH ROYALS FC

OUT: Alex Arlitt (left knee strain – SEI), Mandy Laddish (right hip contusion – SEI), Kelley O’Hara (right hamstring strain)

QUESTIONABLE: None

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: None

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