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Thursday roundup: Rapinoe, Kerr win ESPYs

Also in today’s roundup, Utah and North Carolina make roster moves, and the injury report is out

Megan Rapinoe scored the lone tally to lift the Seattle Reign FC over Sky Blue, 1-0. (photo copyright Nicole Rossi for The Equalizer)

The 2018 ESPY Awards took place in Los Angeles, California last night, with two NWSL players bringing home trophies. Megan Rapinoe beat out Adrianna Franch, Sam Mewis, and Sam Kerr for Best NWSL Player. Rapinoe has been mentioned in the mix for 2018 MVP for her strong form with Seattle, leading them to second place. With seven goals and four assists, she is tied for third in the Golden Boot race and tied for fourth in assists league-wide. She leads the Reign in both categories.

Kerr went home with Best International Women’s Soccer Player, winning over fellow NWSL representative Jodie Taylor as well as Pernille Harder and Lieke Martens, the reigning Best FIFA Women’s Player. Kerr is the all-time leading NWSL scorer and is currently tied at the top of the Golden Boot race with Lindsey Horan, each with nine goals and two assists. She was the 2017 NWSL MVP and Golden Boot winner. In the 2017-18 W-League season in her native Australia, she won the Golden Boot award with 13 goals in nine games. Her tally included two hat tricks on the season. She was a dual winner of the Julie Dolan Medal, the W-League’s equivalent of MVP, with Clare Polkinghorne.

Kerr and Rapinoe,each named to their national team’s preliminary roster, will likely face each other in the upcoming Tournament of Nations.

Newfield leaves Royals

Alexa Newfield dropped to her knees after scoring the game-winning goal against the Spirit. (photo copyright EriMac Photo for The Equalizer)

Midfielder Alexa Newfield has been waived by the Utah Royals. She joined the club along with the bulk of the former FC Kansas City roster, where she made 25 appearances and scored two goals in two seasons. Newfield did not make any appearances for the Royals after signing in February. She was drafted in the third round of the 2016 NWSL draft by FC Kansas City after scoring 38 goals for the University of Georgia and the University of North Carolina.

North Carolina, Utah sign replacement players

The North Carolina Courage announced today that they have signed four players as National Team replacements. Defenders Carlin Hudson, Morgan Reid and Ryan Williams and midfielder Sarah Teegarden have all joined the squad ahead of this weekend’s match. Reid, Teegarden, and Williams have all joined the team on replacement contracts earlier this year, with Williams making one appearance. The Courage will be without Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Merritt Mathias, Samantha Mewis, Jaelene Hinkle, and McCall Zerboni for the duration of the Tournament of Nations, which begins on July 26. USWNT players are joining camp on July 20, while the Brazilian, Australian, and Japanese players in the NWSL who have been named to their national team rosters are expected to be available for selection this weekend and join their teams following this weekend’s games.

Utah Royals FC announced the signing of forward Colette Smith and goalkeeper Becca Ritchie. Both are members of Real Salt Lake Women which plays in the United Women’s Soccer league. Christen Press, Amy Rodriguez, and Becky Sauerbrunn will join USWNT camp on July 20 ahead of the Tournament of Nations. Starting goalkeeper Abby Smith did not get called up but is out with a concussion, creating the necessity for a goalkeeper replacement.

North Carolina and Utah will play the final match of their three-game series in Utah on Friday.

Smith, Kurtz added to injury report

The NWSL injury report is out ahead of Friday’s match where Utah will host North Carolina, and each side has a notable addition. Abby Smith is listed as out for the Royals after suffering a concussion during last week’s match against Orlando. In a collision with Alanna Kennedy and Rachel Corsie, Smith landed upside down and had to be subbed off for Nicole Barnhart. The concussion also ruled Smith out of consideration for the USWNT’s Tournament of Nations roster.

Kaleigh Kurtz is listed as questionable with an illness for the Courage. Three out of four of North Carolina’s preferred starting defenders – Hinkle, Dahlkemper, and Mathias – will all miss the match due to USWNT camp. Kurtz is the only defender besides captain Abby Erceg to see significant minutes for the Courage this season, filling in at both fullback and centerback as needed.

The full injury report can be found below.

North Carolina Courage

OUT: Liz Eddy (left quadriceps strain – D45), Julie King (left ankle repair)

QUESTIONABLE: Kaleigh Kurtz (illness)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Abby Dahlkemper (USA), Crystal Dunn (USA), Jaelene Hinkle (USA), Merritt Mathias (USA), Samantha Mewis (USA), McCall Zerboni (USA)

Utah Royals FC

OUT: Alex Arlitt (left knee strain – SEI), Makenzy Doniak (left knee ACL tear – SEI), Mandy Laddish (right hip contusion – SEI), Kelley O’Hara (right hamstring strain), Abby Smith (concussion)

QUESTIONABLE: Elise Thorsnes (left hamstring strain)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY: Christen Press (USA), Amy Rodriguez (USA), Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)


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