It is not all about Hope Solo in women’s soccer, even if it sometimes feels that way. With that in mind let’s get to this week’s NWSL Roundup.
For a while Carli Lloyd’s delayed return to the league was the biggest post-Olympic NWSL story, then along came Hope.
While Ali Krieger was the first Olympic returnee, from any country, contributing to the Washington Spirits 2-1 road win over Lloyd’s Houston Dash on August 18, the rest of the league’s Olympic brigade returned to action last weekend.
Minus Solo and Lloyd, with Lloyd also absent when the Dash drew 2-2 last Saturday with the Western New York Flash. The reigning Women’s Player of the Year cited “personal reasons” for her absence.
The U.S. WNT co-captain wasn’t inclined to discuss those reasons saying “that really is none of anyone’s business.” The Dash seemed to be ok with its marquee stars extended absence and all appeared to be well when Lloyd returned to practice and given Lloyd’s record of dependability for the national team for so many years the benefit of the doubt is with Lloyd.
Still, with Houston battling to maintain its faint playoff hopes, Lloyd’s delayed return leaves Dash fans justified in wondering exactly where the Dash rank in Lloyd’s priorities.
O’Hara Down – and Out?
U.S. Olympian Kelley O’Hara may be wishing she had followed Lloyd’s example and taken an extra day or two off after she left Yurcak Field on crutches following Saturday’s 3-1 home loss to Chicago.
O’Hara came on at halftime for Christy Holly’s playoff chasers only to be injured on a tackle moments before the final whistle. No official word yet on the severity of O’Hara’s injury or the timeline for her return but with just four regular season games remaining the clock is ticking on Sky Blue FC.
Here was O’Hara’s post-game message to Sky Blue supporters.
Orlando Sign Aussie Star De Vanna
It is a reunion in Florida for coach Tom Sermanni and Matilda’s attacker Lisa De Vanna, who played for the Orlando coach for the entirety of his tenure at the helm of Australia’s national team from 2005-2012.
With just four games left in the 2016 season, Orlando’s front office will have to get moving on De Vanna’s visa, etc. Nine points separate the Pride from a playoff berth, so Orlando needs De Vanna, who has scored 40 times in 117 national team appearances, sooner rather than later.
Either way both player and coach seem delighted to be back together. Here is what the pair told NWSLsoccer.com
“We’re delighted to sign a player of Lisa’s quality to add to the depth of the team and our attacking presence,” Pride Head Coach Tom Sermanni said. “Lisa is a world-class player, a game-changer and I’m looking forward to coaching her again.”
“I am incredibly happy to be joining the Orlando Pride and keen to be working with Tommy again,” De Vanna said of her signing. “I’m looking forward to joining the team. It’s exciting to be a part of a new team and will do my best to help the squad for the rest of the season.”
Recent Results (home team first):
August 18 – Houston Dash 1-2 vs. Washington Spirit
August 26 – Orlando Pride 1-2 vs. Washington Spirit
August 27 – Seattle Reign 3-1 vs. Portland Thorns
Western New York Flash 2-2 vs. Houston Dash
Sky Blue 1-3 vs. Chicago Red Stars
August 28 – FC Kansas City 0-2 vs. Boston Breakers
Upcoming: August 31 – Boston Breakers vs. Houston Dash