FootyPop: The USWNT Set a Roster Filled with Change for December Friendlies

    While the NWSL is done for the year, the USWNT is gearing up for its friendlies against China next month with a fresh roster that dropped today. NCAA women’s soccer is also barrelling towards a finish, with the Elite Eight set to compete this Friday and Saturday. Let’s catch you up on the past week’s women’s soccer news.


    High of the Weekend 

    Now that the NWSL season is over, it’s time for the chaos of trades to begin. This past week, we saw Bay FC and the Utah Royals sign their first players, Alex Loera and Mikayla Cluff, respectively. 

    The twelve current NWSL teams will try to avoid the expansion draft, where the two new teams can draft players from the twelve teams. Additionally, free agents are now open to signing with teams. 


    Low of the Weekend

    This past week, Gotham apologized for being unprepared to throw an NWSL Championship celebration involving fans to honor the team’s win. On the one hand, other teams have delayed their celebrations before, but on the other hand, an email from the team’s front office eludes to them being taken a bit by surprise by the fact that Gotham won the championship. 


    News of the Weekend 

    The USWNT’s last roster of the year dropped, and there were a handful of big changes from what we’ve seen in the last year. Goalkeeper Jane Campbell is stepping up, and Alyssa Naeher is absent. Abby Dahlkemper makes her return in the defense, 20-year-old PSG midfielder Korbin Albert and NWSL Rookie of the Year Jenna Nighswonger earned their first call-ups, and notably, Alex Morgan is not on the roster, while Mia Fishel and Jaedyn Shaw are returning once again. 

    It’ll be exciting to see what these changes bring to the USWNT against China in early December, and only time will tell if Emma Hayes, the new coach, will prefer these younger players over veterans like Alex Morgan. 


    Goal of the Weekend 

    Stina Blackstenius pulled quite the wind-up on this shot! What a fantastic and somewhat hilarious goal for Arsenal. 


    Coach of the Weekend

    If you haven’t heard already, the USWNT has found its next coach. Chelsea FC coach Emma Hayes will lead the team starting next year. Although she’ll start only a few months before the team competes in the Paris Olympics, US Soccer has secured one of the best coaches in women’s football. 


    Player of the Weekend 

    We have to highlight Ajax’s young star and USWNT prospect, Lily Yohannes. At just 16 years old, she’s already killing it in the midfield in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. We wouldn’t be surprised if she gets a USWNT look in the next few years. 


    What to Look Forward To

    The NCAA Tournament has found its Elite Eight, and the quarterfinals are taking place this coming Friday and Saturday. Here’s the lineup of matches: 

    • November 24: FSU vs. Pitt 
    • November 24: BYU vs. UNC 
    • November 24: Stanford vs. Nebraska 
    • November 25: Penn St. vs. Clemson




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