EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Business is picking up in the world of women’s soccer, as post-collegiate and professional players look for teams to latch on to for the 2017 season. Three players with connections to United Women’s Soccer (UWS) member teams have found new landing spots as former New Jersey Copa F.C. forward Krystyna Freda, former Lancaster Inferno midfielder Sydney Blomquist and Real Salt Lake Women alum midfielder Stephanie Verdoia have signed on for professional teams in Europe.
Freda - the 2016 United Women’s Soccer Player of the Year, who scored 15 goals and tallied three assists in 11 games for the East Conference champions - has been offered a three-month trial with Apollon Ladies F.C. in Cyprus. ALFC won the Cypriot First Division four consecutive times between 2009-2012 and competes in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, where Apollon has advanced from the qualifying stage on five occasions.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity,” said Freda. “I have been looking to take that next step in my career, and when this came up I couldn't refuse. Cyprus is beautiful and the team is excellent, so I think that it will help me immensely in my soccer career. I am going to look to improve my soccer skills and fitness while over there and become the best player I can be, as well as expand my cultural knowledge.”
For more information, click HERE for Freda’s full interview on the NJCFC website.
Blomquist suited up for Lancaster in 2014 and 2016 (playing in eight games), and was presented with an opportunity to play in Prague for SK Slavia (UEFA Women’s Champions League qualifier). Sidney had a successful trial but ultimately chose to sign for Swedish club Vasteras BK30 and helped them win promotion to the Elitettan. She has now signed on to play for Åland United of the Finnish Naisten Liiga for the 2017 season.
“Playing in Europe has been an amazing experience so far,” said Blomquist. “It has provided me with the opportunity to continue growing not only as a player, but also a person. I’m very grateful be to living out my dream as a professional footballer and seeing the world in the process.”
For more information, click HERE for Blomquist’s full Q&A on the Inferno website.
Verdoia is a Real Salt Lake Women alum who was drafted by the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the 4th Round of the 2015 NWSL Draft, after ending her Seattle University stint as the career leader in goals (51) and points (132). Stephanie was recently waived by Boston after making 18 appearances over two seasons with the Breakers (five starts in 10 games in 2016). The midfielder would find a new home quickly as she signed with Vifademene of Norway’s Toppserien.
For more information on Verdoia’s days with the Real Women, click HERE for a Q&A on the RSL website.
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at Press@UWSSoccer.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Director Joe Ferrara by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Last week, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) announced the list of players that will be eligible for selection in the 2017 NWSL College Draft. The unprecedented fifth edition of the draft will take place this Thursday, January 12th at 3:00 PM ET (Noon PT) at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Convention in Los Angeles. Ten players with connections to United Women’s Soccer (UWS) member teams will take part in the NWSL Draft, highlighted by three players from 2016 East Conference champion New Jersey Copa F.C.
UWS will also take part in this week’s convention festivities, as fans, friends and potential players, sponsors & teams can meet up with league officials at Booth 369 starting this Wednesday afternoon when the convention officially kicks off. The full list of current players & alumni with connections to UWS member teams is below:
NAME - POS. - HOMETOWN - COLLEGE / CLUB
Morgan Andrews - M/D/F - Milford, NH - Univ. of Southern California / New England Mutiny *
Emily Armstrong - GK - Collegeville, PA - Univ. of Connecticut / Lancaster Inferno
Nicole Bates - D - Basking Ridge, NJ - Fordham Univ. / New Jersey Copa F.C.
Nickolette Driesse - M/D - Wayne, N.J. - Pennsylvania State Univ. / TSF Academy
Callie Duliba - D/M - Kintnersville, PA - Villanova Univ. / New Jersey Copa F.C.
Kaitlyn Johnson - F/M - Los Angeles, CA - Washington State Univ. / Colorado Pride
Serina Kashimoto - D/M/F - Hiroshima, Japan - Butler Univ. / New York Magic *
Diana Poulin - GK - Hauppauge, NY - St. John's Univ. / Long Island Rough Riders *
Kristyn Shea - GK - Piscataway, NJ - Providence College / New Jersey Copa F.C.
Michele Vasconcelos - M/F - Sandy, UT - Brigham Young Univ. / Real Salt Lake Women
* signifies club alumni who did not play in UWS 2016
NWSL will live stream the 2017 NWSL College Draft via Facebook and YouTube on Thursday, with host Mark Rogondino, analyst Aly Wagner, analyst Jen Cooper and reporter Ashleigh Ignelzi broadcasting live from the JW Marriott. Click HERE for full draft broadcast information and HERE for the full NWSL College Draft list.
New Jersey Copa F.C. will have three draft-eligible players, led by 2016 All-UWS Honorable Mention & All-UWS East Conference First Team goalkeeper Kristyn Shea who played in nine matches (664 minutes) and had 27 saves over the course of the season. The former Providence College shot-stopper was named the UWS East Defensive Player of the Week (Week 2), going 1-0-1 in a win over TSF Academy and a draw against Long Island.
Nicole Bates was also part of Copa’s stalwart defense and was named to the UWS East Honorable Mention Team - playing 687 minutes while helping to hold opponents to only 11 goals scored - and Defensive Player of the Week (Week 5). The senior captain for Fordham University was named First Team All-Atlantic 10 Conference. Callie Duliba (eight games, 693 minutes) was named UWS East Defensive Player of the Week (Week 3) when the center back’s leadership paid dividends in a shutout win over New York.
Emily Armstrong split duties in goal for the Lancaster Inferno this past summer, playing 276 minutes in seven matches (12 saves). At UConn, she was chosen as American Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive season. Nickolette Driesse was named UWS East Offensive Player of the Week (Week 6), when she led TSF Academy with two goals in a 3-1 win over New England. At Penn State, Driesse was a team co-captain and a All-Big Ten First Team and NSCAA All-Great Lakes Region Second Team selection.
Kaitlyn Johnson was named to the UWS All-West Conference First Team for the Colorado Pride, playing seven matches (497 minutes). The Washington State forward was named to the All-Pac-12 Second Team for the second straight fall. Michele Vasconcelos led Real Salt Lake Women in scoring (three goals, three assists) and was named to the All-UWS Honorable Mention & All-West Conference Teams. At BYU, she was named the West Coast Conference Player of the Year and totaled 16 goals & 13 assists which ranked her fifth nationally (2.14 points per game).
For full information on the 2017 NSCAA Convention, click HERE.
EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The inaugural season in United Women’s Soccer (UWS) ended this past Saturday with a dramatic double-overtime win for the host Santa Clarita Blue Heat (5-1-3) over New Jersey Copa F.C. (8-2-1) in the league championship. All that’s left to do is announce the All-UWS Team & individual awards and business can be concluded for the 2016 season. Santa Clarita leads the way, as they have three players on the All-UWS First Team and together with New Jersey have eight of the 18 players who have garnered league-wide honors.
When it comes to the league individual awards, Copa Head Coach Roberto Aguas & Associate Coach J.R. Balzarini have been named the UWS Coaches of the Year and their high-scoring forward Krystyna Freda is the UWS Player of the Year. Real Salt Lake Women’s veteran goalkeeper Rebecca Ritchie is the UWS Defensive Player of the Year. The selections for All-UWS honors were determined from the pool of those players & coaches who received All-Conference First Team and/or individual awards last week.
2016 All-UWS First Team
F KRYSTYNA FREDA - New Jersey Copa F.C.
F KATE HOWARTH - New England Mutiny
F KASANDRA MASSEY - Santa Clarita Blue Heat
MF TATIANA ARIZA - Houston Aces
MF JACKIE BRUNO - New Jersey Copa F.C.
MF CHLOE CASTANEDA - Santa Clarita Blue Heat
D CAROL SANCHEZ - Lancaster Inferno
D NATALIE NORRIS - Real Salt Lake Women
D KELLY EAGAN - Long Island Rough Riders
D YADIRA TORAYA - Santa Clarita Blue Heat
GK REBECCA RITCHIE - Real Salt Lake Women
2016 All-UWS Honorable Mention
F JEANINE NUNEZ - New Jersey Copa F.C.
MF MICHELE MURPHY VASCONCELOS - Real Salt Lake Women
MF STEPHANIE SANTOS - New England Mutiny
D KELSEY GUDGEON - Santa Clarita Blue Heat
D LEXI LONG - Colorado Pride
D ALLYSON SWABY - New England Mutiny
GK KRISTYN SHEA - New Jersey Copa F.C.
UWS Coach Of The Year
ROBERTO AGUAS - New Jersey Copa F.C.
J.R. BALZARINI - New Jersey Copa F.C.
UWS Player Of The Year
KRYSTYNA FREDA - New Jersey Copa F.C.
UWS Defensive Player Of The Year
REBECCA RITCHIE - Real Salt Lake Women
UWS “Iron Women” Of The Year
East: New York Magic - KRISTINA HRISTIC
West: Santa Clarita Blue Heat - KELSEY GUDGEON
Media can contact UWS Director of Communications Jorma Kansanen by e-mail at Press@UWSSoccer.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.