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The Week in Women's Football: W-League final recap; US and Canada name NWSL assigned players; Algarve Cup rosters announced;

This week we examine the 2018 Federation Allocated Players for the National Women's Soccer League assigned by the U.S. and Canadian Soccer Associations, look at the Westfield W-League Grand Final in Australia, as well as the 2018 Algarve Cup Rosters for Canada, Iceland and Finland.


U.S. and Canada Assign Federation Allocated Players to NWSL for 2018

Thirty four players have been assigned as Federation Allocated Players to NWSL for the 2018 season—23 American and 11 Canadians. These 34 selected players have their NWSL salaries paid for by their respective federations, as part of an annual contract to allow the players to train as professionals on a year-round basis. There are six newly assigned national team players for 2018, including U.S. internationals Jane Campbell (Houston Dash), Abby Dahlkemper (North Carolina Courage), Crystal Dunn (North Carolina Courage) and Taylor Smith (Washington Spirit) as well as Canadian internationals Adriana Leon (Sky Blue FC) and Rebecca Quinn (Washington Spirit). Four 2017 allocated players were not renewed: Sydney Leroux (Orlando Pride), Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride) and Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), though they will still play with their clubs but are no longer designated as allocated players, while the NWSL rights of Morgan Brian, who signed with French club Olympique Lyonnais recently on a long-term contract, remains with the Chicago Red Stars.

Peter Montopoli, the General Secretary of Canada Soccer commented on his federation's six year as a partner in the league: "The partnership between Canada Soccer, U.S. Soccer and the NWSL is an unique and valuable relationship that is contributing to the growth of the women's game in North America, both in the professional realm, but also off the pitch for the many young fans who look up to their NWSL heroes."

All nine NWSL clubs have at least one allocated U.S. player, while five clubs have three or more on their team; the North Carolina Courage lead the way with four allocated American players and two Canadians for a total of six allocated players for 2018, followed by the Utah Royals (5) and Portland, Washington and Sky Blue FC (4 each). Seven of the nine clubs in the league have a player allocated by Canada Soccer, with the three allocated Canadian players on Sky Blue FC the most of any team in the NWSL.

The allocated players for 2018 by club are:

Chicago Red Stars

Julie Ertz (USA)

Alyssa Naeher (USA)

Casey Short (USA)

Houston Dash

Jane Campbell (USA)*

Christen Press (USA)

Nichelle Prince (CAN)

North Carolina Courage

Allysha Chapman (CAN)

Sabrina D'Angelo (CAN)

Abby Dahlkemper (USA)*

Crystal Dunn (USA)*

Samantha Mewis (USA)

Lynn Williams (USA)

Orlando Pride

Ashlyn Harris (USA)

Alex Morgan (USA)

Shelina Zadorksy (CAN)

Portland Thorns FC

Tobin Heath (USA)

Lindsey Horan (USA)

Christine Sinclair (CAN)

Emily Sonnett (USA)

Seattle Reign FC

Allie Long (USA)

Megan Rapinoe (USA)

Sky Blue FC

Janine Beckie (CAN)

Adriana Leon (CAN)*

Carli Lloyd (USA)

Kailen Sheridan (CAN)

Utah Royals FC

Diana Matheson (CAN)

Kelley O'Hara (USA)

Amy Rodriguez (USA)

Becky Sauerbrunn (USA)

Desiree Scott (CAN)

Washington Spirit

Rose Lavelle (USA)

Mallory Pugh (USA)

Rebecca Quinn (CAN)*

Taylor Smith (USA)*

* = New Federation Player in 2018



Canada 2018 Algarve Cup Roster

Canada Women's National Team will compete in the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal from February 28 to March 7, for the third consecutive year. The tournament will be the Canadian debut of recently appointed Women's National Team Head Coach Kenneth Heiner-Møller; he will look to build on recent Canadian success in the tournament, winning the 12-team tournament in 2016 and finishing second in 2017.

Drawn into Group B, Canada will face Sweden in its opening match on February 28 at Bela Vista Municipal Stadium, followed by Russia on March 2 at Estádio Algarve and Korea Republic on March 5 on Marchat Lagos Municipal Stadium. All teams will play a fourth match on March 7 to determine the tournament standings.

Canada's 23-person squad for the Algarve Cup includes 15 players who won Bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, including Diana Matheson, who is returning to the squad after a 2017 injury which kept her out of the entire NWSL season. Veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod has also returned after recovering from an injury sustained in Sweden that sidelined her for the 2016 Olympic Games. Twelve of the squad are tied to NWSL clubs for 2018, 3 are based in Germany, 2 in France and 1 in Sweden, with 2 playing amateur ball in Canada and 2 in U.S. Colleges; Stephanie Labbe is currently unattached, clearing waivers recently from the Washington Spirit and is now a free agent

Canada Women's National Soccer Team 2018 Algarve Cup Roster"

Goalkeepers:

Stephanie Labbe, age 31, from Stony Plain, AB—(Unattached)
Erin McLeod, age 34, from St. Albert, AB/ FF USV Jena (Frauen-Bundesliga)
Kailen Sheridan, age 22, from Whitby, ON/Sky Blue FC (NWSL)

Defenders:

Lindsay Agnew, age 22, from Kingston, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Allysha Chapman, age 29, from Courtice, ON/ North Carolina Courage (NWSL)
Ashley Lawrence, age 22, from Caledon, ON/Paris Saint German (Division 1 Féminine France)
Shannon Woeller, age 28, from Vancouver, BC/ FF USV Jena (Frauen-Bundesliga)
Shelina Zadorsky, age 25, from London, ON/ Orlando Pride (NWSL)
Kadeisha Buchanan, age 22, from Brampton, ON/ Olympique Lyonnais (Division 1 Féminine France)

Midfielders:

Rebecca Quinn, age 22, from Toronto, ON/ Washington Spirit (NWSL)
Maegan Kelly, age 25, from Kansas City, MO & Toronto, ON/ FC Kansas City (NWSL)
Desiree Scott, age 30, from Winnipeg, MB/ Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
Sophie Schmidt, age 29, from Abbotsford, BC/ FFC Frankfurt (Frauen-Bundesliga)
Jessie Fleming, age 19, from London, ON/UCLA (NCAA)
Diana Matheson, age 33, from Oakville, ON/Utah Royals FC (NWSL)
Julia Grosso, age 17, from Vancouver, BC / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)

Forwards:

Christine Sinclair, age 34, from Burnaby, BC/ Portland Thorns (NWSL)
Deanne Rose, age 18, from Alliston, ON/ University of Florida Gators (NCAA)
Janine Beckie, age 23, from Highlands Ranch, CO/ Sky Blue FC (NWSL)
Adriana Leon, age 25, from King City, ON/ Sky Blue FC (NWSL)
Nichelle Prince, age 22, from Ajax, ON/ Houston Dash (NWSL)
Jordyn Huitema, age 16, from Chilliwack, BC/ Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite/ Canada Soccer Regional EXCEL Super Centre (British Columbia)
Jenna Hellstrom, age 22, from Sudbury, ON/ FC Rosengård (Damallsvenskan)

Head Coach:

Kenneth Heiner-Møller



Australia Westfield W-League Semifinals and Grand Final Recap for 2017/18

In the tenth season of the Westfield W-League in Australia which was completed last week, it is fitting that a side has won the Grand Final for a record setting third time. Entering the season, four clubs sat on 2 titles—Brisbane Roar, Canberra United, Melbourne City and Sydney FC—but it was the youngest side of the group, three-year-old Melbourne City who triumphed 2-0 on January 18 at Sydney's Allianz Stadium, in front of a stand-alone crowd of 6,026—a Grand Final record which surpassed last season's 4,591 in Perth to see the hometown Glory fall to City 2-0, with the previous high of 4,544 set in Brisbane during the league's first season in 2008/09. Melbourne City's sequential three peat—they have never lost a playoff game in three years, though in year one they needed penalties to get past Brisbane after a scoreless tie following 120 minutes in the semifinals—was powered by three Seattle Reign players. English international Jodie Taylor, who scored the second goal midway through the second half, Australian international goalkeeper Lydia Williams—who earned the shutout in goal—and the magnificent play of Wales international midfielder Jess Fishlock, who scored a first half goal and launched a ball of the woodwork in the second half that Taylor tucked away for the clincher. Fishlock led City with 7 goals on the season, 2 coming in the playoffs while Taylor—a mid-season acquisition from Arsenal who will play with the Reign in 2018—finished with two goals.

Melbourne City's entire starting lineup for the Grand Final and throughout most of the season was composed of international players and/or NWSL loanee players including: U.S. U-20 and U-23 international defender Lauren Barnes, goalkeeper Lydia Williams (Australian international), forward Jodie Taylor (English international), winger Steph Catley (Australian international) and Welsh midfielder Jess Fishlock (all Seattle Reign for 2018), defender Alanna Kennedy (Australian international and Orlando Pride), defender Rebekah Stott (New Zealand international who was traded from Seattle to Sky Blue FC for 2018), U.S. international forward Ashley Hatch (Washington Spirit for 2018), Australian international forward Kyah Simon—who formerly played for the Boston Breakers in the NWSL with the Houston Dash selecting her rights in the dispersal draft recently—former Australian international midfielder Aivi Luik (ex-Notts County and Valerenga in Norway last season) and Japanese international midfielder Yukari Kinga, who played at Arsenal in 2014 and won the Women's World Cup in 2011 in Germany. Australian international Larissa Crummer (who was just released by the Seattle Reign this week as the NWSL squads began Preseason Training) also was on the roster and scored 3 goals during the regular season.

Kyah Simon subbed out after an hour of the Grand Final with her hamstring bothering her and will miss the Matilda's trip to Portugal for the Algarve Cup, where they will face China, Norway and the hosts in Group A, but officials are hopeful she will be fit for a friendly versus Asian Cup finalist Thailand in Perth on March 26.

Luik won her fifth Grand Final in six Grand Final appearances, with City and Brisbane Roar in seasons 2-4 years of the league.



Iceland names 23 player roster for the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal

Iceland's head coach Freyr Alexandersson named a 23 player roster for the 2018 Algarve Cup in Portugal beginning next week. Iceland has 5 players from Sweden, and 1 each from France, Germany, Italy, Norway and the United States, with the remaining 13 based at home. Iceland, which surprisingly defeated reigning Olympic Gold medalists Germany away last year in a World Cup qualifier, will play in a very difficult Group C, with 2017 UEFA Championship winners the Netherlands and runners up Denmark, along with 2015 Women's World Cup runners-up Japan. The squad is comprised of:

Goalkeepers:

Guðbjörg Gunnarsdóttir – Djurgarden (Sweden)
Sandra Sigurðardóttir – Valur
Sonný Lára Þráinsdóttir – Breiðablik

Defenders:

Anna Björk Kristjánsdóttir—LB07 (Sweden)
Sif Atladóttir—Kristianstad (Sweden)
Glódís Perla Viggósdóttir—FC Rosengard (Sweden)
Ingibjörg Sigurðardóttir—Djurgarden (Sweden)
Hallbera Guðný Gísladóttir—Valur
Selma Sól Magnúsdóttir—Breiðablik
Anna Rakel Pétursdóttir—Þór/KA
Guðný Árnadóttir—FH

Midfielders:

Rakel Hönnudóttir—LB07
Gunnhildur Yrsa Jónsdóttir—Utah Royals (USA)
Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir—Wolfsburg (Germany)
Andrea Mist Pálsdóttir—Þór/KA
Sandra María Jessen—Þór/KA
Andrea Rán Hauksdóttir—Breiðablik

Forwards:

Katrín Ásbjörnsdóttir—Stjarnan
Sigrún Ella Einarsdóttir—Fiorentina (Italy)
Hlín Eiríksdóttir—Valur
Fanndís Friðriksdóttir—Marseille (France)
Agla María Albertsdóttir—Stjarnan
Svava Rós Guðmundsdóttir—Röa (Norway)




Finland squad announced to compete at the Cyprus Women's Cup 2018

Finland Women's National Team head coach Anna Signeul, for 12 years the head coach of Scotland who heightened the competitiveness of their women's program, has announced a 22 woman squad to participate in the 2018 Cyprus Cup.Finland are placed in Group A along with Wales, Switzerland and Italy. The tournament will run from February 28th to March 7th. The vast majority of Finland's team is playing club ball outside the country, with 7 in Sweden—a traditional destination for Finnish players—3 in Italy, 2 in Denmark, 2 in Norway, 1 in the Czech Republic and 1 in College in the U.S., with the remaining 6 playing at home. The players are:

Tinja-Riikka Korpela—Vålerenga IF (Norway)
Minna Meriluoto—HJK
Kreeta-Liisa Yli—Säntti LB 07 (Sweden)
Anna Auvinen—FC Honka
Tuija Hyyrynen—Juventus FC (Italy)
Emma Koivisto—Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC (Sweden)
Natalia Kuikka—Florida State University (USA)
Katarina Naumanen—HJK
Anna Westerlund—Lillestrøm SK (Norway)
Tiia Peltonen—PK-35 Vantaa
Olga Ahtinen—Brøndby IF (Denmark)
Emmi Alanen—Vittsjö GIK (Sweden)
Adelina Engman—Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC (Sweden)
Sanni Franssi—Juventus FC (Italy)
Nora Heroum—Brescia Calcio Femminile (Italy)
Tia Hälinen—AC Sparta Praha (Czech Republic)
Julia Tunturi—Eskilstuna United (Sweden)
Ria Öling—Brøndby IF (Denmark)
Vilma Hakala—HJK
Kaisa Collin—PK-35 Vantaa
Juliette Kemppi—Lillestrøm SK (Sweden)
Linda Sällström—Vittsjö GIK (Sweden)



Tim Grainey is a contributor to Tribal Football. His latest book Beyond Bend it Like Beckham on the global game of women's football. Get your copy today.

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

Tim Grainey
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Tim Grainey

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