THIRD TIME'S A CHARM FOR POPADINOVA... Florida Gulf Coast University & Santa Clarita Blue Heat star Evdokia Popadinova was named Bulgaria's top female footballer for the third straight year on Sunday. Popadinova was a United Soccer Coaches (USC) Division I All-America Second Team honoree for FGCU this past fall as she scored 14 goals and seven assists (35 points). Evdokia appeared in eight matches for Santa Clarita last summer and tallied two goals and an assist. She had first-hand experience with the Blue Heat in the 2017 post-season when she played against them in the United Women's Soccer (UWS) National Semifinal. Popadinova was named to the UWS All-Tournament Team for Detroit Sun FC for her strong performance in the loss against her future team.
MORE UWS ALUMNI ADDED TO NWSL DRAFT LIST... the preliminary list of draft-eligible players has been updated since its release in late December. Nine more UWS alumni will have the chance to make their professional dreams come true on Thursday, January 10 at 12:00 PM ET at the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Convention in Chicago, IL, bringing up the total to 22. 2017 All-UWS selection Bethany Balcer (Grand Rapids FC) and Western New York Flash forward Erica Hubert (2018 Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year) highlight the new additions, with the list provided below. For the full draft-eligible list, click HERE.
POS. NAME (COLLEGE / CLUB)
F/M Bethany Balcer (Spring Arbor University / Grand Rapids FC Women)
F/M Christina Bellero (St. John's University / Long Island Rough Riders)
F/D Mykayla Brown (Indiana University / Indy Premier SC)
M/D Ryley Bugay (Marquette University / FC Indiana)
F/M Erica Hubert (Bowling Green State University / Western New York Flash)
F/D Alex Kimball (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill / Real Salt Lake Women)
M Sarah Kinzner (University of Colorado / Calgary Foothills WFC)
F/D Madison Pogarch (Rutgers University / Detroit Sun FC)
F/M Charlotte Williams (Penn State University / Western New York Flash)
SANTA CLARITA ANNOUNCE FIRST SIGNINGS... when the Blue Heat announced their first 2019 signings on social media, Popadinova was included amongst five returnees. She will once again play alongside a quartet with UCLA connections: goalkeeper Lauren Brzykcy, midfielder Chloe Castaneda, defender Jacey Pederson and midfielder Viviana Villacorta. Villacorta also stars for the U.S. U-20's and three of her national team mates will join her this summer in Santa Clarita. Midfielder Savannah Demelo (First Team All-America for USC), forward Penelope Hocking (Pac-12 Freshman of the Year for USC) and forward Ashley Sanchez (First Team All-America for UCLA) will provide a potent injection of talent as the Blue Heat look to capture another league title. Santa Clarita captured the first-ever UWS Championship in 2016 and made it to the 2017 National Final before falling in double-overtime.
GRFC WOMEN ROLL THE BALL OUT... Grand Rapids Football Club announced that James Gilpin will return as the GRFC Women's coach for the 2019 campaign. Gilpin led the Ladies In Blue to a 7-1-2 regular season record and the No. 2 seed in the Midwest Playoffs last summer. GRFC Women went on to defeat Detroit via penalty kicks in the conference semifinals and topped Lansing United by a 4-2 score to lift the Midwest Championship for the second consecutive season. The 2018 season came to a disappointing end as they lost in the UWS National Semifinal at home. Gilpin will have the services of veteran midfielder/forward Marti Corby to count on for the 2019 season. Corby has been a GRFC regular the first two seasons and helped lead the team to a UWS National Championship in 2017. She was was named captain during the 2018 campaign and has scored 10 career goals, putting her second on the all-time list.
FROM CALGARY TO KALMAR... Calgary Foothills Women's FC forward Christabel Oduro has signed with IFK Kalmar of the Swedish Elitettan for the 2019 season. The 26-year-old Ontario-native has five caps for the Canadian Women's National Team and appeared in 10 games (one goal, two assists) for Calgary last summer. It was historic season for Foothills WFC, as the team won the West Conference title and advanced to the four-team UWS National Championship in their second-year of operation. IFK Kalmar is based in Kalmar, Sweden and will play in the second tier of Swedish women's soccer when the Elitettan kicks off this April. The team was relegated from the top-flight Damallsvenskan in October 2018 after a 12th-place finish.
About United Women's Soccer (UWS): We are a national women's soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Media can contact the UWS Communications office by e-mail at UWSPress@gmail.com. You can visit the league's official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.
CALGARY, AB - Calgary Foothills Women's FC Head Coach Troye Flannery recently added another award to his already trophy-laden cabinet. Flannery finished off his successful summer campaign by being named the 2018 United Women's Soccer (UWS) Coach Of The Year and this fall at the University of Calgary, he was honored as the Canada West and U SPORTS Coach of the Year. U SPORTS is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Troye is the first Dinos women's soccer coach to earn the national recognition.
"Troye's leadership has taken the Dinos women's soccer program to the next level," said Dinos Director of Athletics Jason Kerswill. "He surrounds himself with quality people, he truly cares about his players, and he is an outstanding technical coach who led his team to its best-ever season in 2018. We congratulate him on this achievement and well-deserved recognition."
Flannery was not alone in transferring summer success to the fall, as five CFWFC standouts were honored by the Canada West Universities Athletic Association and U SPORTS. Defender Talia White and forward Maddison Fritze were named to the Canada West First Team for the Dinos while goalkeeper Emily Burns was a Canada West Second Team selection for MacEwan University. Forward Sofia Mondaca nabbed a spot on the Canada West All-Rookie Team. Forward Joelle Gosselin was a RSEQ Conference Second Team selection for Université Laval. White joined Flannery as a U SPORTS honoree, as she was eighth Dino to earn First Team All-Canadian status.
Under the six-year tutelage of Flannery, the Dinos have become a relevant program in Canada West and on the national stage. After missing the playoffs five of the last six years before he took over, UCalgary has qualified for the postseason in each of his six seasons. This year's edition of the Dinos set Canada West records with 13 wins and 11 shutouts on the season, allowing just five goals in 14 games. On top of that, he was also inducted into the Trinity Western University Wall of Fame as a Program Builder.
After earning the UWS West Conference Coach Of The Year the last two seasons, Troye was awarded the national honor after this summer's campaign. After guiding CFWFC to a second place finish last year in their inaugural season, his club took the next step up by winning the conference title and advanced to the four-team UWS National Championship. He also guided seven players to earn All-West Conference accolades and another three to All-League honors this season.
About United Women's Soccer: UWS is a national women's soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
METUCHEN, NJ - Nine current and former United Women's Soccer (UWS) stars competed recently in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship. The eight-team tournament determined who would compete in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France from the CONCACAF region. The top three teams qualified for the WWC while the fourth-placed team advanced to a play-off against the third-placed team from the South American confederation - CONMEBOL.
The United States Women's National Team successfully defended their title as hosts, winning the final over Canada for their 8th CONCACAF Women's Championship title. Jamaica automatically qualified for the 2019 FIFA WWC by winning a penalty-kick shootout (4-2) over Panama, after the third-place playoff match ended in a 2-2 draw. Those current & former UWS players who competed in the 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship include:
CANADA - Stephanie Labbé (Calgary Foothills Women's FC)
COSTA RICA - Carol Sanchez (Inferno Rush) & Carolina Venegas (Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
JAMAICA - Allyson Swaby & Chantelle Swaby (New England Mutiny), Jody Brown (Orlando Kicks)
MEXICO - Kiana Palacios (LA Galaxy Orange County Women)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO - Liana Hinds (Connecticut Fusion) & Tasha St. Louis (New England Mutiny)
"Congratulations to all current and former UWS players that participated in the CONCACAF qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup," said UWS Commissioner Joseph Ferrara, Jr. "International players are a major component of our league pool and it was great to see them perform on the highest stage."
Labbé was a 2018 All-United Women's Soccer Second Team and All-UWS West First Team selection for the West Conference champions. Sanchez was a 2016 All-UWS selection for the Lancaster Inferno (now the Inferno Rush) and Venegas starred for the 2017 West champion Santa Clarita Blue Heat. The Swaby sisters are veterans of the New England Mutiny, as Allyson was a 2016 All-UWS selection and Chantelle was a UWS Team of the Week honoree for the Mutiny this past summer.
Brown was the leading scorer for Jamaica (four goals) and was awarded the top Young Player Award for her impressive efforts. She suited up for the Orlando Kicks this past summer, who played provisionally in the Southeast Conference. Palacios starred for the LA Galaxy OC Women in their inaugural season. Hinds also played for the Fusion this past summer in their first season as well while St. Louis was the leading scorer for the Mutiny back in the 2008 season.
About United Women's Soccer: UWS is a national women’s soccer league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer. UWS is a professionally operated league created for teams that meet high minimum standards. The season runs from May until the end of July, culminating in a National Championship match. The UWS player pool is comprised of college players, aspiring & former professionals and international stars. You can follow UWS on social media on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Media can contact the UWS Communications office by e-mail at UWSPress@gmail.com. You can visit the league’s official website at UWSSoccer.com. Interested team applicants can contact League Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. by e-mail at Joe@UWSSoccer.com.