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The Week in Women's Football: NWSL ins/outs as Houston welcome coach Alonso from Celtic

This week, we have more NWSL team news, including player movement, as the NWSL regular season starts this month, including a top class international from Sweden. We also have the result of the CONCACAF W Gold Cup Final between the U.S. and CONMEBOL guest side Brazil. And we have details on the new CONCACAF Annual Regional Club Tournament which will start in August 2024, involving clubs from seven national associations in North America, Central America and the Caribbean.

NWSL Team News ahead of the 2024 Regular Season Launch

We continue with updates from individual teams as the 2024 NWSL regular season starts this month, including player and coaching moves, focusing this week on Angel City FC, expansion side Bay FC, Chicago Red Stars, Gotham FC, Houston Dash, Kansas City Current, North Carolina Courage, Orlando Pride and the Portland Thorns, with Racing Louisville, Seattle Reign, expansion team Utah Royals and Washington Spirit featured next week: See our previous reviews this off-season: The Week in Women's Football: NWSL preview as clubs go on mega spending spree - Tribal Football and The Week in Women's Football: NWSL preseason review - Alonso leaves Celtic for Houston - Tribal Football).

Angel City FC

Angel City, which made the playoffs in 2023 for the first time in their two years in the league with a tremendous second half of the season run—losing only once in their 14 regular season games (with eight wins and five ties) since now permanent head coach and U.K. native Becki Tweed took over as interim coach last summer—signed U.S. U-17 Women's National Team midfielder Kennedy Fuller through 2026, with an option through 2027, via the NWSL's U-18 Entry Mechanism. Fuller, who turned 17 on March 9, is the second youngest player to sign a contract in ACFC history, behind only Korean Republic international Casey Phair, who is three months and 20 days younger than Fuller.

ACFC General Manager Angela Hucles Mangano explained the rationale behind signing Fuller: "Kennedy embodies the boundless excitement of youth reflective of the new direction of our sport at the professional level. She already possesses a tactical level of understanding beyond her years of experience, and that, combined with her clean technique, is a fantastic addition to our team."

Prior to Fuller's trial period with ACFC, she trained with several NWSL clubs, including North Carolina Courage, Kansas City Current, and San Diego Wave FC. At the end of 2023, she also spent three weeks training with Chelsea FC women, under newly appointed USWNT Head Coach Emma Hayes. The 2023 Gatorade National Girls Soccer Player of the Year has served as captain of the U.S. U-17 Women's National Team, earning eight goals in only five matches, leading the squad to the 2024 CONCACAF Women's U-17 Championship title in Mexico, while also qualifying for the 2024 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Finals tournament in Dominican Republic. She had committed to play collegiately at the University of North Carolina.

Unfortunately, Angel City's Japanese international forward Jun Endo (23) suffered an ACL injury during pre-season camp last month in Florida and was placed on the season-ending injury list. She has appeared in 47 matches in Angel City's two previous years in the NWSL, scoring four goals and providing six assists. She has over 40 caps for Japan but was a late cut from the 2023 WWC Finals side.

Bay FC

There is unfortunate news concerning Bay FC's record signing Racheal Kundananji, who suffered a knee injury while on international duty for Zambia during their Olympic Games Finals qualifying. In Zambia's third round second leg tie against Ghana (3-3), she left the match on the hour mark and had to be helped off the field. She had scored the only goal in the 1-0 first leg win in Accra on February 23. At press time, we were still waiting for a medical assessment and timeline of when Kundananji should return.

Bay FC added American defender Jordan Brewster to the roster in March for the 2024 season. She played last season with Kristianstads in Sweden, starting 16 of the 17 games she appeared in, for the side that finished the 2023 season in sixth place in the second year of the expanded 14-team league (up from 12 teams in 2021 and in previous seasons), with a 13-9-4 (W-D-L record) and 48 points, only one point behind fifth place Vittsjo and four behind fourth place Pitea. She played collegiately at West Virginia University where she was a three-time All-American and the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021-22 season.

Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton, who previously was the General Manager at MLS team D.C. United and had analyst positions with Atlanta United and with Reading FC in her native England, said: "Jordan is a player we have been following and have watched develop during her time in Sweden. As well as being an athletic defender with great pace, she has the technical ability and range of pass to help us play out from the back and control games in possession. Her time in Sweden has given her exposure to a style of football that aligns with ours and we are delighted to be able to add her to the roster where she will continue her development and help us establish our football identity."

Chicago Red Stars

The Chicago Red Stars signed Jamaican international goalkeeper Sydney Schneider to a one-year contract with a one-year option for an undisclosed transfer fee with Sparta Praha of the Czech Women's First League. Schneider joined Sparta in 2022 and has played 15 matches for the club across all competitions, including two in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Women's Champions League. Prior to joining the Czech side, Schneider was a member of the Kansas City Current, where she signed after spending the 2021 season with the Washington Spirit. The New Jersey native was drafted by the Spirit in the third round of the 2021 National Women's Soccer League Draft from UNC-Wilmington. She has been a member of the last two Reggae Girlz WWC Finals sides, in 2019 and 2023. She will be playing for her former national team coach in Chicago, Lorne Donaldson, who was an assistant on the 2019 WWC Finals side and Jamaica's head coach last summer.

The Red Stars signed another international with strong American links in Portuguese international forward Nádia Gomes to a one-year contract with a one-year option. Gomes played last season with the semi-professional USL W League club San Francisco Glens SC, where she scored 17 goals in 15 appearances and was named USL W League National Player of the Year in 2023. Prior to the Glens, Gomes was a national team replacement player for the NWSL's Orlando Pride in 2018. Gomes was originally drafted by the Pride as the 23rd overall pick in 2018 NWSL College Draft out of Brigham Young University. At BYU, Gomes tallied 23 goals and 23 assists over 83 career appearances, earning a spot on the NCAA All-American Third Team and was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2016.

Gomes has represented Portugal on the international stage since 2013 at the under-19 youth level, making 8 appearances as a defender before being joining the senior team in 2018. She had retired from the game at the end of 2018 and was gone from the game for five years, before returning to play for the Glens, and was called back in by Portugal for UEFA Nations League games last fall.

The Chicago Red Stars recalled goalkeeper Mackenzie Wood from her loan to Stade de Reims Féminines of the French D1 Féminine league for preseason training at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Wood first joined Chicago as a non-roster invitee during the 2023 NWSL preseason. Wood was previously signed to temporary injury replacement contracts in March and July 2023 before the Red Stars signed her to a full contract and loaned her to on August 23, 2023.

The club released midfielder Sam Fisher on March 9—she was the club's 19th overall draft pick in the 2022 draft and made 23 appearances with nine starts for the club in two seasons, scoring one goal and adding one assist. Internationally, Fisher plays for El Salvador's Women's National Team. In just her second call up to the Salvadorian side, Fisher made three appearances and starts during the recent CONCACAF W Gold Cup Finals and scored one goal, against Paraguay, in the team's final match of the group stage. She played collegiately at Notre Dame University in Indiana.

The Red Stars also released Puerto Rican international Jill Aguilera after two seasons with the club, who made 36 appearances across all competitions, after playing at the University of Arizona. In April of 2022, Aguilera received her first call-up to the Puerto Rican Women's National Team and scored in her debut against Suriname. Aguilera has made 11 starts with nine starts for Puerto Rico and scored four goals, including, most recently, a successful penalty attempt against Haiti for a 1-0 victory in a playoff match that moved the El Huracán Azul past Haiti and into the group stage of the tournament (see: The Week in Women's Football: Chatting with stars of Gold Cup Finals; Tyrone Mears joins USL trailblazers - Tribal Football).

Off the field, in early February, the club signed Richard Feuz as the club General Manager, joining from Servette Football Club in Geneva, Switzerland. Feuz will lead all soccer operations of the club including managing the coaching, performance, training and administration staff as well as the construction of the team roster through player acquisitions, trades or releases. Feuz served as the president and sporting director of Servette's women's team since 2017. During his time as sporting director, Servette finished at the top of the table in the AXA Women's Super League, the top women's league in Switzerland, four-consecutive times (2019-2023), and won the Swiss Women's Super League once (2021) and the Women's Swiss Cup (2023). The Servette women's team qualified for the UEFA Women's Champions League three-consecutive times (2020-2022).

Gotham FC

NJ/NY Gotham FC today announced that forward Taylor Smith (30) has been recalled early from her loan spell with Brighton & Albion W.F.C. due to injury and is undergoing evaluations. Her loan was originally planned to expire in August of 2024; (see more on Smith at: The Week in Women's Football: NWSL preview as clubs go on mega spending spree - Tribal Football). She has been in the NWSL since winning a league title as a rookie with Western New York in 2016 and has been with Gotham for the past two seasons, winning another league title in 2023.

Houston Dash

New Houston Dash Head Coach Fran Alonso was recently presented to the media after arriving in the city and receiving his U.S. work visa, which can take some time (see: The Week in Women's Football: NWSL preseason review - Alonso leaves Celtic for Houston - Tribal Football).

Houston Dash General Manager Alex Singer began the media session: "It's an extremely exciting day to welcome Fran Alonso as our new head coach. Coming out of last season [during the coaching search]…we really focused on not just this past season, but seasons before and what led us to successful moments and where we were falling short. To sum it up, there were a few things and one of them was culture. One of them was clear roles and establishing clear roles on-and-off the pitch and establishing a true winning mentality. All of this, in collaboration, contribute to an identity.

"Throughout the years with lots of changes on-and-off the pitch, highs and lows there. There has been a lack of identity and a strong, strong foundation in not only how we play, but how we behave and everything that we do when we wear the Houston Dash crest… Fran has a really interesting background and experience, he has coached in the English Premier League with some of the best tacticians in the game. Learning the details in the game and how to develop players. Including those with huge names and young players who were just on the brink of starting their career and then went on to have extremely accomplished accolades and careers in the top level around the world and in their national teams. He always wanted more. He had a passion to commit to the women's game and a passion to find a project where he would he would continue to bring energy in everything he did and use these details that he's learned throughout his coaching career.

"With his experience at Celtic, he took a team that was never a professional in the Scottish Women's Premier League, to double title winners, three trophies. From basically a roster of amateurs, he put together a team that was 100 percent committed to buying in to a culture of winning. A culture of excellence. He had a developmental program where he brought 12 players to their respective national teams, nine players getting their first senior call-up. When we looked at things last year, we felt that we did have a great core and a great foundation for success but we were missing out on these key elements. Fran's competitive nature stood out across this process… We kept coming back to Fran and I talked to a lot of coaches… You all know that last year we were not a dominant attacking team, whereas we had been in the past. We felt that we had brought in and enforced our attack, but we really fell short there… When whenever we spoke to Fran, it was almost like he was reading our minds.

"We're so excited to have Fran here as our head coach with his commitment to the vision that we have, the energy that he's going to bring. We are going to make this city, our fans and the players fall in love with this new style of play and all of our goals to bring a winning culture of excellence, sustainable winning team and trophies to this city."

Fran Alonso then talked and came across as very sincere, committed to women's football and excited to coach in the NWSL and Houston: "I coached my sister's team when she was just a little girl. I went to one of her games and I heard a comment toward women football that I promised myself that I would try to reach to the top in the men's game if I could and when I got there I would try to contribute in the women's game. That's why, as I say, I got experience in both games. I started as a translator and made my way into assistant coaching but I was learning from top coaches—I was like a sponge, but I couldn't put it into practice. I decided to volunteer in the women's game and have been in the women's game since 2012.

"While volunteering and learning from these top managers [I] learned ideas and tactics, which we are going to try to implement. When you are in the women's game, you always dream [of] the NWSL. In my opinion it is the best league in the world and is the most competitive league in the world. For any manager, it is an incredibly challenge… For me it was a no-brainer to come here. The process has been very long, two months waiting for my visa. The first comment from the players when I got to the hotel was 'He's real.'"

Alonso also indicated that he wants to win trophies in Houston in a full stadium—which on the fans' side the Dash has always struggled for their attendances. Last season, the Dash finished tenth in the 12 team league with a per game average of 5,857—compared to the league average of 10,432—and only a slight increase from 2022 (5,644) for ninth, when the league averaged 7,894 a game.

Alonso also expanded on the importance of building a team culture: "I come from humble beginnings. Before I was in professional football and to make my way, I went all the way to England with a suitcase and £2,000 (about US$2,500). I was a cleaner so I come from the bottom. I like this feeling of family. In my experience, the successful clubs are because they are family. They are together. When things go well, it's very easy to be good teammates. When things go bad, only the families stick together. This is the culture that I'm trying to introduce into the team."

Alonso will be coaching a top class international from Europe as on March 13, it was announced that Swedish international midfielder Elin Rubensson (30)—from 2024-25 UEFA WCL quarterfinalists BK Hacken, who play PSG of France later this month—had signed a two year deal with the Houston Dash, through the 2025 season. She had two more years on her contract with BK Hacken so speculation is that the Dash paid a very high transfer fee to Hacken of Gothenburg. At Hacken in total, she made 113 appearances, scored 34 goals and led the club to its first league title ever in 2020.

Rubensson won the 2023 Diamond Ball, an annual award for Sweden's best female football player, and won five Damallsvenskan league titles during her career in Malmo and Gothenburg. At the international level, she has 87 caps for Sweden and started six games during the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, which was her third Finals after 2015 and 2019. She was injured for a few months at the end of last year but should soon be available to play for the Dash.

Rubensson said: "I'm excited to be here in Houston and I'm looking forward to get started with my new team. This is a great adventure for me and my family. We are really looking forward to getting to know the city and the people. The Dash is the right place for me to develop and take the next step in my career. I can't wait for the season to start and play in front of our fans!"

Houston Dash midfielder Elin Rubensson 2.png

Swedish international Elin Rubensson in her new Houston Dash kit following her transfer from BK Hacken in March of 2024. Photo courtesy of Houston Dash.

Kansas City Current

The Kansas City Current went to Florida for pre-season training and defeated the Houston Dash (2-0) on March 3, with new signing and Malawi international Temwa Chawinga scored twice. Sixteen-year-old Alex Pfeiffer and second-year forward Alexa Spaanstra entered the game in the 60th minute and each assisted on one of Chawinga's goal. Temwa Chawinga (25) scored 63 goals in 84 matches in 2023 with Whuan Jianghan (51) of China and Malawi's national team (12); she finished 2023 with nine more goals than Ronaldo and 24 more than the other leading female goal-scorer, Charlyn Corral of Pachuca in the Liga MX Femenil. At Wuhan Jianghan, Chawinga won four straight league titles and scored 83 goals in 84 matches. Before going to China, Chawinga played for Kvarnsveden in Sweden, where she registered 55 goals in 57 games from 2017-19. She played in Sweden and China with her sister, Tabitha Chawinga, who is currently with Paris Saint Germain in France. Temwa was acquired by the Current on a free transfer and signed through the 2025 season.

The Kansas City Current also signed a pair of American-born players for the 2024 season who had been playing abroad. Sophie Braun (24) joins from Club Léon from Liga MX Femenil and Regan Steigleder joins from Swedish team KIF Örebro in exchange for a transfer fee. Both players are signed through 2024 with an option for 2025. Braun played collegiately at Gonzaga University and was a member of Argentina's 2023 WWC Finals side, scoring the first goal to key a comeback 2-2 deadlock in the First Round against South Africa.

She made her international debut with Argentina's U-20 team at the 2020 South American Under-20 Women's Football Championship, where she scored the game-winning goal in her country's opening match against Ecuador. After the CONCACAF W Gold Cup Finals, she had 29 caps and two goals. In club play, Braun signed with Club Léon out of college. She played 18 games for the Liga MX Femenil squad in 2023 and scored two goals from her center back position.

Regan Steigleder played collegiately for Northwestern University in Chicago and then KIF Örebro signed her in 2022. She made 25 appearances in Sweden's Damallsvenskan with 220 minutes played.

Kansas City Current midfielder Lo'eau LaBonta (30) has signed a new contract with the club ahead of the upcoming season that will keep her in Kansas City through 2025. Head coach Vlatko Andonovski said: "I can't think of a player that better fits the Kansas City style with her creativity and hard work. Lo has a love for this city and this club that we want and that fans want to see. I'm very happy to have her on our roster."

La Bonta entered the league in 2015 and then with FC Kansas City, where she played for Andonovski, the Utah Royals and then back to Kansas City to join the Current. Over three seasons, LaBonta ranks among the top three players in nearly every category for the Current franchise. She holds the Current records for:

· Games Played (56)

· Games Started (53)

· Minutes Played (4,468)

· Penalty Goals (6)

· Fouls Won (116)

LaBonta posted on social media: "New stadium, new coach, new contract. We are concocting something beautifully dangerous here with this new squad and I'm ready to run through a wall for them. KC BABY!"

During the recent European transfer window, Swedish forward Mimmi Larsson (29) joined RB Leipzig of Germany, where she has scored one goal in four games thus far in the Frauen-Bundesliga. She had two goals in 20 matches in her one season in the NWSL—and previously played at home in the Damallsvenksan with Rosengard, Linkoping, Eskilstuna and Mallbacken. She has 33 full caps for Sweden, with six goals.

North Carolina Courage

The North Carolina Courage has loaned Danish forward Mille Gejl (Jensen) to Montpellier HSC of the French Division 1 Féminine through June of 2024, when Montpellier will have the option to purchase the contract outright. Gejl saw action in 15 regular season matches in 2023, scoring twice with one assist. She came to North Carolina in 2023 and signed for two years. To date, she has seven goals in 23 full internationals and was on Denmark's Women's World Cup Finals side last summer.

Orlando Pride

While most of the focus over the past week has been Orlando Pride's high price capture of world-class striker Barbra Banda (see: The Week in Women's Football: Barbra Banda's near $3M move to Orlando Pride; examining Jan transfers report - Tribal Football), the team had some difficult news in preseason as forward Simone Charley ruptured her Achilles Tendon in her right ankle early in March during training. She joined the Pride for the 2024 season as a free agent after two seasons with Angel City FC. She played three seasons with the Portland Thorns and an off-season with Canberra United in 2019-20, scoring five goals. She played collegiately at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. She missed the 2023 season with an Achilles Tendon tear in her left ankle last year so this will be her second consecutive season out for injury. wishes her a speedy and complete recovery.

Portland Thorns

American-born and raised Nigerian international defender Nicole Payne (23) has joined the Thorns on a season-long loan deal from Paris Saint-Germain. She has struggled for playing time at PSG, playing just four games, and needs playing time to keep in the frame for the Super Falcons, where she has played with her sister Toni, who currently plays in Spain with Sevilla. Payne previously played at the University of South California and West Virginia University. She has seven full caps and helped Randy Waldrum's side to fourth place at the 2022 Women's African Cup of Nations in Morocco. She was not selected for last summer's WWC Finals in Australia/New Zealand.

U.S. Wins the Inaugural 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup Title

On March 10 in San Diego, the U.S. women's national team won the title for the inaugural 2024 CONCACAF W Gold Cup championship with a 1-0 win over Brazil in front of an enthusiastic crowd of 31,528 at Snapdragon Stadium, the home of the San Diego Wave of the NWSL and an upcoming expansion franchise in Major League Soccer. The 31,528 gate was a record for the largest CONCACAF women's event ever held in the United States. Lindsey Horan scored from a header near the end of the first half from a long cross out on the right wing by Emily Fox, against the run-of-play, for the ultimate winner. This was the U.S.'s 15th all-time CONCACAF championship tournament title.

Forward Jaedyn Shaw (who plays in San Diego with the Wave) won the tournament's Golden Ball with four goals. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, the hero of the semifinal win over Canada (3-1 in penalties after a 2-2 tie following 120 minutes, with three saves and scoring once), was the Golden Glove winner (see more in last week's column on that semifinal: The Week in Women's Football: Barbra Banda's near $3M move to Orlando Pride; examining Jan transfers report - Tribal Football).

The USA and Brazil have played 39 times total, with the U.S. now leading the overall series with a 32-5-3 (W-D-L) record. The USA has won each of its last six games against Brazil, though nine of the last 10 games between the teams have been decided by two goals or fewer. Brazil had more shots in total (11 vs. 7) and in possession (57% vs. 43%) compared to the U.S. but the Americans led for shots-on-goal (3-0) and corner kicks (4 vs. 3).

This CONCACAF Finals tournament revealed a core of young players who will probably lead the team this summer at the Paris Olympics. Only six of the 13 different starters over the last three Gold Cup matches were at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Interim head coach Twila Kilgore explained: "This is a group that's moving forward together, that still wants more time together. It's time to go back to club [seasons] for them and do those things, but we genuinely enjoy being together and feel like we're just getting started."

All credit to CONCACAF for investing in this new W Gold Cup tournament, in between the Women's World Cup Qualifying cycles. CONCACAF invested millions in the tournament, including six figure travel and preparation grants to teams and other financial payments and prize money totaling U.S. $3.7 million. The tournament is a nice set-up for CONCACAF's new women's club tournament that will launch later this year (see more below).

CONCACAF Annual Regional Club Tournament Announced to start in August 2024

CONCACAF will finally launch an annual regional club tournament, beginning with the 2024-25 season for the first edition of the CONCACAF W Champions Cup. The winner will also qualify directly to the planned FIFA Women's Club World Cup, with details on that tournament yet to be announced.

The inaugural CONCACAF W Champions Cup will be the 2024/25 edition, the format for which will include a Preliminary Round (a Canada club vs an El Salvador club) followed by a Group Stage consisting of two groups of five teams, with each team playing a total of four group stage matches (two at home; two away) in August, September, and October. At the conclusion of Group Stage play, the top two clubs from each group will progress to a final four centralized event played in May 2025, with Semifinals, Third Place Match and Final. CONCACAF also presented a very effective three minute video explaining the format and key aspects of the new competition: Concacaf W Champions Cup | The First Official Women's Continental Club Competition (

The competition will be played annually between 11 clubs from Member Associations which meet CONCACAF's eligibility criteria. Clubs will qualify through their domestic leagues based on sporting merit through criteria which must be proposed by their Member Association and ratified by CONCACAF. The qualification slots are allocated to seven Member Associations as follows:

  • Canada: 1 club in Preliminary Round*
  • Costa Rica: 1 club in Group Stage
  • El Salvador: 1 club in Preliminary Round*
  • Jamaica: 1 club in Group Stage
  • Mexico: 3 clubs in Group Stage
  • Panama: 1 club in Group Stage
  • USA: 3 clubs in Group Stage

*The best club from each of Canada and El Salvador will compete in a Preliminary Round play-in to determine which of them progresses to the Group Stage.

An interesting wrinkle is that Canada's new Division II Professional League is not set to start until 2025, so who would participate in Canadian qualifying—provincial level club teams or summer W-League teams, though those are summer teams with players usually playing in high schools or colleges during the fall.

CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice-President Victor Montagliani said: "Launching the CONCACAF W Champions Cup is a very exciting next step on our journey of developing all aspects of women's football in our region. When we launched our CONCACAF W women's football strategy in 2019 we focused on creating an enhanced calendar of national team competitions that benefited all of our Member Associations, and on providing opportunities for women and girls to develop a passion for football at all levels of the sport. We have made significant progress in those areas, albeit with much more work to do, and the growth of leagues and clubs is an important next phase in our strategy. The W Champions Cup will provide a tremendous sporting opportunity for clubs in CONCACAF, and we look forward to the first edition commencing in August this year, to crowning a first champion in May 2025, and to delivering an exciting pathway to the new FIFA Women's Club World Cup."

This news that this long promised competition is starting this year is great for club football in the region, but there were some questions regarding the nations involved in the Finals, the most important being how Jamaica was selected rather than clubs from an established league in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as from improving leagues in Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and others.

Shek Borkowski—who coached Haiti and Puerto Rico's WNT in the past and led Puerto Rico Sol to a world record for women's league consecutive victories—on social media pointed out that: "Jamaica's women's league has been inactive for four years while El Salvador did not send its league's champions to the 2023 UNCAF (Central American Football Union) Championship."

He has a point and it's not perfect but the championship is a start and an important step for CONCACAF for the women's game in the region. We know that the club game is not prioritized in some countries compared to their national associations' investment in national teams, but CONCACAF now has a tool to galvanize women's leagues throughout the region. Some issues for CONCACAF to firm up in future years is: 'How do other nations' teams qualify in the future, particularly from Central America and the Caribbean', and 'How can this new tournament spur league development in countries where they don't exist past the youth stage: such as in Panama, or where they are quite amateur in approach: Guyana and Puerto Rico come immediately to mind. It will be interesting to follow the qualifying plans in future tournaments and follow which countries put more emphasis on their women's leagues with this new CONCACAF tournament in mind.

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

Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimGrainey

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