After four years the NWSL has finally landed a television agreement that promises to put the league on the air every week of the 2017 season.
There’s only one teensy little catch; the network that will show the matches has no real sports experience, no existing broadcast sports division, and no soccer broadcasting background at all.
Portland’s #2 pick from this year’s draft, Savannah Jordan, has signed with Glasgow City FC of the Scottish Women’s Premiere League instead of the rumored move to Montpelier in the D1F.
After the draft I had hopes that the relatively short winter-spring French league season might allow PTFC to get Savannah on the pitch in 2017, a useful possibility given the anticipated loss of Nadim, Dagny, and Henry to their respective national teams for the UEFA championships in July (or possibly as early as late June, depending on when their respective national teams open their Euro camps).
However, looking at the GCFC and SWPL schedule it’s obvious that Jordan will not be available this season.
Less than a week after drafting her, Thorns FC has traded UConn forward Rachel Hill to the Orlando Pride for two 2018 draft picks.
I suspect this may well have been in the works since Draft Day. It would certainly go a long ways towards explaining Coach Parsons’ otherwise-somewhat-inexplicable-pursuit of forwards at the time. What happened? My theory is below the fold…
So…here! are! your! new! Portland Thorns!
Round 2, Pick 4 (#14): Rachel Hill (F, UConn)
Round 2, Pick 8 (#18): Savannah Jordan (F, Florida – traded pick from Carolina for Rd 2/#10 (#20) and Rd 3/#7 (#27) picks)
Round 3, Pick 1 (#21): Tyler Lussi (F, Princeton) – traded for #21 pick from CRS for 2018 picks)
Round 4, Pick 10 (#40): Caroline Flynn (MF , Nebraska)
The 2017 NWSL Draft started with the least-surprising pick in draft day history; Rose Lavelle to Boston.
Sorry, had to get that out of my system.
Interestingly, in her draft day interview Lavelle said that Beard wants her as a BTB midfielder rather than her preferred ACM position. I’d call that a waste of her skills, but that wasn’t the most shocking Beard thing that happened today, and we’ll talk about that, and much more, below the fold.
When the rumors began that the reigning NWSL champion Western New York Flash would be moved from Rochester and rebranded in a new city, a fair number of us assumed the team would land on the west coast, perhaps in Los Angeles or Vancouver.
It was a bitter pill to swallow for so many reasons. The Western New York club had survived three iterations of women’s professional soccer but, by many accounts, were losing money even as they gained a championship in NWSL’s fourth season. The Flash had sold both season and single-game tickets until just days ago and had signed a player the day before the story of the team’s potential move broke late last week. But the deal is done and the franchise will now move to Cary, North Carolina, joining the recently rebranded former-Railhawks in what many consider a hotbed of soccer player development.
But the elephant in the room is a pretty substantial elephant even insofar as elephants go.
The 2017 draft is now eight days away.
What does Thorns FC need, and who should they be targeting?
I hope you come back and visit here in about three weeks, when I’ll be discussing the January 2017 NWSL draft. Not that Thorns FC looks set to make news there: first pick fourth in the second round and 14th overall. No first round picks, one more second rounder (19th), one third (27th) and dead last (40th).
Given the wild dealing last season? Who knows? Merritt and Gavin may have devised a cunning plan to snare some quality that is more cunning than a cunning fox appointed Dean of Cunning at Cunning University..!
It is deep in the Black Months now. The rain – and the snow, and ice – has arrived. The trees are bare, the wind blows cold, and, perhaps the worst of all, the pitch down at the old barn on SW 18th and Morrison is empty and silent.
And the damn Sounders are in the Cup Final.
Let’s not forget that it was only just over a year ago that we all were raised to topgallant delight by our Timbers’, and Cascadia’s, first MLS Championship. I don’t think any of us who lived through that mad run up to the Final, and that epic Final match, will forget that season and the joy that came with it.
From Chara’s “Assassin’s Creed” header in LA to the madness of the play-in match and 22 rounds of PKs.
From the cold calculation of the scoreless draw here to the clinical beatdown in Vancouver.
From the wild ride on the FC Dallas bull to the 95th minute Melano dagger to the heart of the beast.
From Diego Valeri’s ridiculously improbable 27-second goal to the final whistle that crowned the Timbers the 2015 MLS Champions.
What a long, strange trip it was.
And now, just as we await the end of the 2016 season and begin to think and wonder about 2017 comes a reminder that it was a stranger, more magical, and less probable trip even than it seemed at the time.