For many people, today is their first day back in the office after a long holiday break. Clearly that was the case for NWSL teams, who have spent Monday morning making headlines faster than a line cook can bang out fried eggs.
Here’s a quick roundup of everything that’s gone down so far. Keep in mind that it’s only lunchtime on the East Coast at press time, so more details on each story are likely to emerge, along with possibly more news as the day progresses. Check back here periodically throughout the day for updates.
Laura Harvey Bids Farewell To The Royals
As initially reported late last week, the former Reign FC and Arsenal manager has resigned as head coach of Utah Royals FC to take over as the new coach for the U20 US Women’s National Team.
This will technically be Harvey’s second stint with US Soccer, having temporarily served as U23 WNT head coach in 2017. She was not retained in a permanent role, and after being linked to the head coach vacancy with England she ultimately chose to accept the job offer from Utah.
With a number of key youth head coach vacancies still to be filled, US Soccer has hopefully solved part of a big ongoing problem in their academy system. Utah, meanwhile, are now without a head coach just ten days before the NWSL College Draft.
A Looming Trade Between Portland And Orlando
Did we mention that the draft is a week and a half away?
In exchange for the #1 overall pick, Orlando will reportedly get either Emily Sonnett, Midge Purce, or both.
Nothing official has been announced yet, but we suspect we won’t have to wait too long. Watch this space.
Chicago’s Keeping Busy
This one’s a two-parter.
They then flipped their #18 pick, plus defender Katie Naughton, to the Houston Dash. In exchange, they’re getting a new addition to their forward line: Kealia Ohai.
Utah midfielder Erika Tymrak announced earlier today that she was retiring from the sport.
7 years. 2 NWSL Championships. 1 WLeague Championship. Countless setbacks. Even more victories. Memories I will keep in my heart forever. The beautiful game has blessed me greatly. But it’s time to start the next chapter in life. THANKYOU to my parents, coaches, teammates & fans. pic.twitter.com/Z8zoNnTwK0— Erika Tymrak (@eTYMrak) January 6, 2020
Tymrak spent most of her career at FC Kansas City, where she won back-to-back championships in 2014 and 2015. At 28 years old, the 2013 NWSL Rookie Of The Year is leaving the game at a relatively young age.
Utah GM Stephanie Lee expressed gratitude for their departing midfielder in the official press release.
“For seven years she has given her all for her clubs, Utah Royals FC included, and we want to thank her for the time she spent with us and wish her luck in her next chapter.”
Amanda Duffy...to Orlando???
Multiple reporters confirmed this evening that NWSL president Amanda Duffy will be joining the Orlando Pride front office. There was some speculation that with Louisville joining the league for the 2021 season, that Duffy might head back to her old stomping grounds, especially considering the perceived hemming and hawing from owners over her actually becoming league commissioner. It seems Orlando has beaten them to the theoretical punch.
NWSL championship in November
Meg Linehan also tweeted out that the 2020 NWSL championship will be played in November. Some of that push back from being played in October instead is likely to account for the Olympic break, but even in 2019 with the World Cup, the final was in late October. Perhaps given the venue (Utah would be an educated guess), the date makes more sense based on local scheduling. Perhaps the longer season is giving teams more of a break from midweek games.
Phew! You get all that? Better take a minute to catch your breath— there might be more big news on the way.
What do you think of the day’s news so far? Any predictions for what else is coming down the pike? Let us know in the comments!