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Thursday Roundup: Marta named UN Women Goodwill Ambassador

Also in today’s roundup, W-League announces start date and 2018 draftees Schuyler DeBree and Ashton Miller are headed to Prague.

Marta has been appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. (photo copyright Lewis Gettier)

UN Women announced on Thursday that Brazil and Orlando Pride forward Marta had been appointed a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador.

“It is an honour to become a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for women and girls in sport,” Marta said in the Pride’s official statement. “I am fully committed to work with UN Women to ensure that women and girls around the world have the same opportunities that men and boys have to fulfill their potential and I know, from my life experience, that sport is a fantastic tool for empowerment.”

UN Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent figures in the world of sports, science, entertainment, the arts, and other fields of public life who have expressed a commitment to UN Women’s mandate and to working towards gender equality and the empowerment of women. 

“Marta Vieira da Silva is an exceptional role model for women and girls across the world. Her own life experience tells a powerful story of what can be achieved with determination, talent and grit,” UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said. “We look forward to working closely with Marta to bring the transforming power of sport to more women and girls, and to rapidly building equality.”

Australian W-League season to start on October 26

Melbourne City, home of several NWSL players during the American league’s offseason, will be entering the 2018/2019 season as the three-time reigning champions. (photo courtesy Melbourne City)

Australia’s W-League has announced its 2018/2019 season will officially kick off on Friday, October 26 and will run through February 2019.

While the NWSL is a popular league for Australian internationals to play in because of how its schedule coordinates with the W-League’s, the W-League has become just as popular with non-Australian NWSL players for the same reason. The training and competition afforded by the W-League helps to keep players in shape during the NWSL offseason.

Last season alone more than 30 total NWSL players were loaned to W-League clubs. Eight of those players—Lauren Barnes, Steph Catley, Larissa Crummer, Jess Fishlock, Ashley Hatch, Alanna Kennedy, Rebekah Stott, and Lydia Williams—won the league’s Grand Final with Melbourne City.

Schuyler DeBree, Ashton Miller sign with AC Sparta Praha

Duke University products and 2018 NWSL draftees Schuyler DeBree and Ashton Miller are headed to Prague after signing with AC Sparta Praha of the Czech First Division, the club announced on Thursday.

After a highly successful senior season at Duke where the team went undefeated in conference action to be crowned ACC regular season champions, the pair entered the 2018 NWSL draft. DeBree was selected by the Washington Spirit as the No. 11 overall pick, while Miller was selected by the Boston Breakers with the No. 22 overall pick. After the Breakers folded, Miller was taken by the Chicago Red Stars in the second round.

Although neither made their team’s full roster for the 2018 season, both did play with the side’s respective reserves teams. DeBree started on defense in 10 matches for the Spirit Reserves, helping them to win the 2018 W-League Championship.

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