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2020-21 News Thread

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Natalie Portman conformed on The Tonight Show last night that the NWSL team in Los Angeles will be called Angel City FC. She’s a co-owner/founding partner.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Angel City also added a boatload of new “owners” including Cobi Jones, former Carolina Panther Ryan Kalil and Lindsey Vonn and PK Subban.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
I've seen Riley dismiss stuff that has ended up actually happening before, but with the rest of 2020's schedule so weird and fractured, moving within the league right now does seem a bit of a stretch.

BTW ... Mewis made her debut with Man City over the weekend. 1 goal and 2 assists in half a game. Yeah ... that league isn't quite up to the standard of NWSL even if a few of the individual teams are quite good.

So it took 3 months, but it happened, just not the right team. The NC Courage traded Crystal Dunn to OL Reign for keeper Casey Murphy and allocation money. Murphy is 24, an American who went to Rutgers. Rather than sign with Sky Blue after college, she went to France and played for Montpellier in the French top division. In 2018, she was named to the Best XI And was named goalkeeper of the year by the French Football Association. She returned to the US in 2019. She has 12 caps for USWNT age group teams but no senior caps yet.

The Courage already have Canadian WNT keeper Stephanie Labbe on the roster. She came to the Courage last year after a season in Sweden.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
There was a second part to the Dunn deal. OL Reign flipper her to Portland for an international,slot, a 2022 1st round pick and $250k in allocation money.

The Courage got $140k in allocation money from OL Reign.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Meh ... it's transition time for the Courage anyway. Murphy looks like the next US franchise keeper while Labbe is good, but no more than that. She's also 34, and I suspect they'll move her on and let Murphy and Katie Rowland handle the job going forward.

In midfield I know the team seem to see Lauren Milliet as their next dynamic play driver, and they like recent draft pick Peyton Perea but they'll need to make a move to shore things up in midfield soon. They didn't do anything to replace the giant hole that Mewis left. Everything ran through Debinha in the recent round robin games, which works ... but not as well as when defenses had to worry about Dunn and Debihna as VERY aggressive double pivots. Dunn just never really got going after the Covid shutdown. She did next to nothing in the tournament games in Utah and then was fairly invisible in the two re-start games I watched. Fairly clear that her heart wasn't in it.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Meh ... it's transition time for the Courage anyway. Murphy looks like the next US franchise keeper while Labbe is good, but no more than that. She's also 34, and I suspect they'll move her on and let Murphy and Katie Rowland handle the job going forward.

In midfield I know the team seem to see Lauren Milliet as their next dynamic play driver, and they like recent draft pick Peyton Perea but they'll need to make a move to shore things up in midfield soon. They didn't do anything to replace the giant hole that Mewis left. Everything ran through Debinha in the recent round robin games, which works ... but not as well as when defenses had to worry about Dunn and Debihna as VERY aggressive double pivots. Dunn just never really got going after the Covid shutdown. She did next to nothing in the tournament games in Utah and then was fairly invisible in the two re-start games I watched. Fairly clear that her heart wasn't in it.

Mewis could be back for post-Olympics next year, she’s only on a 1 year contract with Man City. I can’t see her doing anything between the end of the English season and the Olympics except National Team camp/matches though.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Mewis could be back for post-Olympics next year, she’s only on a 1 year contract with Man City. I can’t see her doing anything between the end of the English season and the Olympics except National Team camp/matches though.
Yeah ... and nobody really knows what the NWSL is going to be able to do in terms of the schedule for next season anyway. One presumes a vaccine will be available at some point, but wide distribution might not be possible by spring/summer. Bottom line, it's a pretty good time to stockpile options and allocation funds instead of players.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
Josep Batomeu and the entire Barcelona board have resigned, rather than face a vote of no confidence on his future at the club. More than 20,000 supporters signed a petition for his removal, which triggered the referendum.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
USMNT got a recruitment boost yesterday when Valencia winger Yunus Musah decided to accept a call-up to the US senior team camp to be held later in November. He's New York born, of Ghanian parents but raised in England. In fact he has represented England in International age group play thus far in his career. He's only 17 and only just now breaking into Valencia's rotation, but if he ends up committing to the US this is a BIG get.
 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
USMNT got a recruitment boost yesterday when Valencia winger Yunus Musah decided to accept a call-up to the US senior team camp to be held later in November. He's New York born, of Ghanian parents but raised in England. In fact he has represented England in International age group play thus far in his career. He's only 17 and only just now breaking into Valencia's rotation, but if he ends up committing to the US this is a BIG get.

The friendlies they’re playing won’t cap tie him. Berhalter needs to get him into a qualifier next year. He’s also eligible to play for Ghana.

Because the matches against Wales and Panama are in Europe, it‘s a very Euro-centric camp, to avoid Covid quarantines. It’s also very young, most of them could well end up on the U-23 squad that will try to qualify for the Olympics. The CONCACAF tournament is still TBD but it will be held in Mexico. Two teams qualify.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
I'm VERY excited for that U-23 squad, by the way. This is probably the first time in this format that the US can go into the Olympics really loaded for bear on the mens side.

Apparently the US' competition for Musah is likely coming from Ghana, despite his history with the English youth sides. Both the US and Ghana present an opportunity for a bigger impact role than England, who don't generally know what to do with speed wingers and wide midfielders.
 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
NWSL teams released their protected player lists yesterday ahead of Racing Louisville's expansion draft on Nov. 12

The NC Courage didn't have to protect Jaelene Daniels, who announced her retirement earlier this week. They also didn't protect Canadian goalkeeper Steph Labbe, having recently acquired US keeper Casey Murphy. They chose to protect the rights to Sam Mewis, who is playing in England at the moment. For the rest of their list, it's about what you'd expect although I'm a bit surprised that they elected to protect all three of their forwards (Jess MacDonald, Lynn Williams and Kristen Hamilton) while exposing both of their promising young attackers (Milliet and Watt). I expected them to expose one of the attackers ... probably Hamilton ... and protect at least one of the two younger players. Maybe they're banking on Watt's knee injury to make her less likely to be lost to Louisville.

Around the league, there was a fair amount of gamesmanship around exposing national team allocated players and internationals since Louisville will have to weigh their ability to actually sign the players they select. Orlando, for example, exposed two core players in Ally Krieger and Ashlyn Harris as well as three other internationals ... probably expecting that they will prove difficult to sign. Likewise, Portland exposed Tobin Heath (rights), Adrianna Franch and Becky Sauerbrunn, and OL Reign exposed Megan Rapinoe, while Sky Blue exposed Carli Lloyd. None of those seem likely to sign for an expansion team which would force Louisville to have to make difficult trades to flip their rights. It's much safer to take players who actually want to be there. Plus, Angel City's expansion draft will be coming in 2022 ... probably.

 

andyt

Canes Moderator
Staff member
The Premier Leauge and EFL are working on an agreement that would see the Prem fund the lower levels with a combination of outright grants and loans. The clubs in the Championship would receive $200 million in interest free loans, which would be offset by reductions in future solidarity payments from the Prem. The clubs in leagues One and Two would receive $50 million, with $20 million in grants and $30 million in loans. But the lower leagues don’t really want to saddle themselves with debt. Then there is the matter of distribution. A club like Sunderland, that averaged 30,000 fans was clearly harmed more by the shutdown than nearly every other club in League One, where only MK Dons and Ipswich Town have stadiums that even have that high a capacity. And the payments to,the Championship are complicated by parachute payments to recently relegated clubs.

 

jeffbear

Mod Squad
Staff member
Following up on the NWSL expansion draft ... Racing Louisville took some calculated risks by drafting a couple of high profile US nationals (Christen Press and Tobin Heath), but mostly played it straight in the draft. Carolina lost Addisyn Merrick and Lauren Milliet. Milliet was their natural replacement for Crystal Dunn, so Carolina's entire midfield is up in the air at the moment. Honestly, I wasn't impressed at all with Merrick in the Utah tournament and the shortened season but she was a big deal in college, so ... yeah. Other notables selected by Louisville are NJ's Jennifer Cudjoe and goalkeeper Michele Betos from Reign ... who now have no goalkeepers. They also took some other Internationals like Kait Foord from Orlando that seem highly unlikely to return to the US to play for an expansion team. Ditto Heath, although I could see Press perhaps joining up since she's been in worse situations in the NWSL and might be OK with being "the" player in a decent organization that treats its players well.

Bottom line ... Louisville took some big swings and some strategic risks while also stocking quality youth. Definitely a mixed bag, and they're leaving themselves a lot of work to do.
 
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