Connect with us

Soccer

The Courage built a foundation in 2023. Now, they look for consistency. – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on


North Carolina Courage head coach Sean Nahas on the bench


Jaylynn Nash/USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina Courage head coach Sean Nahas does not hide from the fact that his team endured a turbulent buildup to the 2023 National Women’s Soccer League season. Brazilian playmaker Debinha’s departure for the Kansas City Current via free agency and a draft-day trade that shipped away rookie sensation Diana Ordoñez saw the Courage lose over half of their goal-scoring production from a high-scoring 2022 season.

“A lot of question marks last year,” Nahas says now, in an interview with The Equalizer. “We didn’t have a really positive offseason last year. But we’re going into this season in a positive light, and that’s good for us.”

That optimism was not a given. Major personnel losses over the past few months threatened to destabilize the foundation the Courage built in 2023. League MVP Kerolin tore her ACL in the final regular-season match of 2023 and will miss most if not all of the coming season, depending on her recovery. United States women’s national team fullback Emily Fox signed with English powerhouse Arsenal on a free transfer, leaving the Courage after only one season.

Then the script changed in North Carolina, and each looming question brought a quick answer. A surprising draft-day trade worked in favor of the Courage this time: North Carolina acquired U.S. international and attacking midfielder Ashley Sanchez, who will be leaned on to create and produce goals in Kerolin’s absence. Five days later came the announcement of fullback Felicitas Rauch, a left-footed German international who serves as about as good an answer as possible to the loss of Fox.

“I think we’ve done a good job of replacing the needs that we have,” Nahas said. “Losing Tess [Boade], you bring in Ash [Sanchez]; you lose Fox, you bring in Feli [Rauch]. Everything else is pretty stable. No one’s replacing Kero, so that’s impossible, but at least we have a piece there that can add a different dynamic to maybe just a normal way we like to play.”

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long

Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

Five talking points from Gold Cup-opening win – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By


Midge Purce with the USWNT


Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports

The United States women’s national team kicked off the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup on Tuesday with a 5-0 victory over Dominican Republic. The result was predictable, but the United States’ lineup was not.

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore, with the remote input of impending coach Emma Hayes, rolled out a youthful starting lineup that played in a fluid, aggressive shape. Eighteen-year-old Olivia Moultrie and defender Jenna Nighswonger each scored their first international goals in the comfortable victory.

These are the big talking points from the match.

A refreshing lineup

It was expected that the U.S. would roll out some creative lineups at the Gold Cup, but to get that different of a lineup in the opening match was a pleasant surprise.

Access the best women’s soccer coverage all year long

Start your FREE, 7-day trial of The Equalizer Extra for industry-leading reporting and insight on the USWNT, NWSL and beyond.





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

Moultrie leads USWNT with a brace, Argentina tie Mexico – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By





Photo Copyright Kiyoshi Mio for USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup solidly underway, the United States women’s national team has already taken center stage. Despite losing forward Mia Fishel to an ACL tear the day before matches began, the USWNT would go on to defeat the Dominican Republic, 5–0.

United States 5, Dominican Republic 0

The U.S. women’s national team got off to a quick start thanks to 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who scored in the eighth minute off an assist from Sophia Smith. It was Moultrie’s first start and first goal for the U.S. In the 30th minute, Midge Purce found Lynn Williams in the box to double the lead.

Purce connected with Moultrie in the 58th and the U.S. added a pair of penalty kicks in the final minutes of the game to extend the lead to 5-0. Jenna Nighswonder scored her first goal and Alex Morgan, who was called up after Fishel’s injury, scored her 122nd career goal. The U.S. dominated offensively with 31 shots and 10 on goal while holding the Dominican Republic to just one shot in the match.

Argentina 0, Mexico 0

An early foul and a missed penalty kick within the opening 10 minutes would come to define the rest of the match, as both teams struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Mexico finished with 16 shot attempts to Argentina’s 3, the former going on the offensive as the second half began.

Despite their efforts, however, a combination of shots off-goal and clean saves by Argentina’s goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros maintained the scoreless draw until the end. The two teams will play again on Friday, with Argentina will taking on the United States, and Mexico facing the Dominican Republic.





Source link

Continue Reading

Soccer

Moultrie leads USWNT with a brace, Argentina tie Mexico – Equalizer Soccer

Published

on

By





Photo Copyright Kiyoshi Mio for USA TODAY Sports

With the 2024 Concacaf W Gold Cup solidly underway, the United States women’s national team has already taken center stage. Despite losing forward Mia Fishel to an ACL tear the day before matches began, the USWNT would go on to defeat the Dominican Republic, 5–0.

United States 5, Dominican Republic 0

The U.S. women’s national team got off to a quick start thanks to 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie, who scored in the eighth minute off an assist from Sophia Smith. It was Moultrie’s first start and first goal for the U.S. In the 30th minute, Midge Purce found Lynn Williams in the box to double the lead.

Purce connected with Moultrie in the 58th and the U.S. added a pair of penalty kicks in the final minutes of the game to extend the lead to 5-0. Jenna Nighswonder scored her first goal and Alex Morgan, who was called up after Fishel’s injury, scored her 122nd career goal. The U.S. dominated offensively with 31 shots and 10 on goal while holding the Dominican Republic to just one shot in the match.

Argentina 0, Mexico 0

An early foul and a missed penalty kick within the opening 10 minutes would come to define the rest of the match, as both teams struggled to take advantage of scoring opportunities. Mexico finished with 16 shot attempts to Argentina’s 3, the former going on the offensive as the second half began.

Despite their efforts, however, a combination of shots off-goal and clean saves by Argentina’s goalkeeper Laurina Oliveros maintained the scoreless draw until the end. The two teams will play again on Friday, with Argentina will taking on the United States, and Mexico facing the Dominican Republic.





Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending