The world of women’s soccer has been busy of late. Major news is coming for the NWSL, and that’s after the minimum salary was raised. Meanwhile, the Washington Spirit re-signed Caprice Dydasco, the North Carolina Courage locked in a coach, the Portland Thorns will be missing a big name until mid-summer, and Australian national team regular Caitlin Foord announced where she’d be playing in 2017.
NWSL expected to unveil TV deal this Thursday
The NWSL and A+E Networks are expected to unveil a landmark television deal this Thursday. The NWSL announced a press conference will be held at 10am tomorrow to deliver a “major announcement”. Per league pres release, NWSL commissioner Jeff Plush, USSF president Sunil Gulati, and seven NWSL players will be in attendance.
A+E is primarily an entertainment network. The company is a joint venture of Disney and Hearst. It operates Lifetime and the History Channel, in addition to eight other channels. According to its website, it’s found in 8 out of 10 American homes.
At the NWSL draft in January, Plush told reporters to expect a “significantly more robust” television deal than previous deals.
NWSL to double minimum salary
The minimum salary for an NWSL player will be around $15,000 for the 2017 season. This change was first reported by the Houston Chronicle’s Corey Roepken. This is over double the 2015 minimum salary of $7,200 a season and is a strong step forward for the league. While NWSL salaries pale in comparison to other leagues, the change will help retain talented rookies, who often leave or retire prematurely.
Spirit re-sign Dydasco
The Washington Spirit re-signed defender Caprice Dydasco, the club announced Friday. The 23-year-old defender started 14 games for the Spirit in 2016. Dydasco tore her left ACL during the NWSL final. It’s unlikely Dydasco will be fully healthy at the start of pre-season but she is is expected to return for a significant part of the 2017 season.
Amandine Henry on loan
Portland Thorns and French midfielder Amandine Henry will join Paris Saint-Germain on a short-term loan. She is expected to return to Portland on June 30. Henry joined the Thorns during the 2016 season. Before joining the Thorns, Henry played nine seasons with Olympique Lyonnais.
Canada WNT roster announced
Canada women’s national team head coach John Herdman announced his roster for the team’s training camp ahead of its two friendlies against Mexico. Recent Spirit draftee Lindsay Agnew received her second national team call-up. The February 4 game against Mexico will be Canada’s first home game since winning a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. It is also the final match for retiring veterans Melissa Tancredi, Rhian Wilkinson, and Marie-Eve Nault.
Canadian Allocations released
Last Wednesday, Canada Soccer and NWSL announced the 10 Canadian subsidized players for the 2017 NWSL season. Spirit goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe and defender Shelina Zadorsky will return to Washington but Diana Matheson will not return. Matheson was traded to Seattle Reign FC in exchange for Arielle Ship and a draft pick. Kailen Sheridan and Nichelle Prince are the two new allocated players and Kaylyn Kyle and Josee Belanger were not subsidized. Sheridan will join Sky Blue FC and Prince will play for the Houston Dash.
North Carolina Courage names Paul Riley as head coach
North Carolina Courage officially named Paul Riley as head coach. It was widely assumed that Riley would remain with the club after it switched ownership and relocated from upstate New York to North Carolina. Riley coached the WNY Flash to its first NWSL title and previously coached the Portland Thorns. The Flash were sold to Stephen Malik - who also owns the NASL’s North Carolina FC - during the offseason.
Breakers sign Adriana Leon
The Boston Breakers signed Canadian forward Adriana Leon, who played for the club in 2013. Since playing for the Breakers in 2013, Leon played for the Chicago Red Stars, WNY Flash, and most recently Swiss side FC Zurich Frauen. It is unlikely Leon will play a major role for Boston, but she could function as an impact sub.
Reign sign Larissa Crummer
Seattle Reign FC signed Australian forward Larissa Crummer. Crummer suffered a broken foot on January 14 while playing for Melbourne City FC. Fellow Reign players Beverly Yanez, Jess Fishlock, and Lauren Barnes all spent this W-League season on loan at that very same club.
Breakers waive Steph Verdoia
Boston waived Stephanie Verdoia, the club announced last Friday. Verdoia started five games for the Breakers in 2016 but head coach Matt Beard drafted a trio of talented midfielders this January. The Breakers signed Verdoia to a new contract in October but since then the club acquired Rose Lavelle, Morgan Andrews, Margaret Purce, and Rosie White in order to overhaul their midfield.
Caitlin Foord signs with Japanese club
Former Sky Blue FC defender Caitlin Foord signed with Japanese side Vegalta Sendai. The Australian international played with Sky Blue from 2013 through 2015 but didn’t return for the 2016 season. Foord mentioned signing overseas in a Facebook live video earlier this winter.
Liz Bogus named University of Utah assistant coach
University of Utah named former FC Kansas City attacker Liz Bogus to an assistant coaching position. Bogus is a Provo, Utah native. Bogus played for Arizona State and later won two NWSL titles and a USL W-League title as well. Utah’s press release said that Bogus is joining the program while assistant coach Gabe Smart is out on maternity leave.