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Real Salt Lake Women

Playoffs 2018
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New Year's Roundup: Pops For Popadinova

01/09/2019, 3:00pm EST
By Admin

UWS alum awarded top honor in Bulgaria; NWSL Draft updates, etc.

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.

2019 NWSL Draft: Preliminary List Released

12/26/2018, 1:30pm EST
By Admin

Thirteen UWS alums eligible for annual professional draft

METUCHEN, NJ - The National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) released the preliminary list of registered players for their 2019 College Draft this past week. The draft will take place on Thursday, January 10 at 12:00 PM ET at the United Soccer Coaches (USC) Convention at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL. Thirteen United Women's Soccer (UWS) alumni are on the initial list of draft-eligible players, highlighted by 2018 All-UWS Second Team selection Sabrina Flores (University of Notre Dame / LA Galaxy OC Women) and 2018 West Conference Offensive Player of the Year Hailey North (University of Utah / Real Salt Lake Women).

"We want to wish all of the players on the NWSL Draft list the best of luck in the pursuit of their professional dreams," said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. "Its great to see so many UWS alumni getting the chance to reach the next level. We do our best to create an environment that helps them take the next step up in their soccer careers."

There is still time for prospective draftees to add their names to the list. The deadline for application is 4:00 PM ET on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. More NWSL College Draft information, including how players can register for the draft and eligibility requirements as well as the draft order for NWSL member teams can be found HERE. To follow all the action of the 2019 NWSL College Draft, use #NWSLDraft and follow the NWSL on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For the full list of eligible players, click HERE.

POS. NAME (COLLEGE / CLUB)
F/M Diandra Aliaga (University of Texas Rio Grande Valley / Houston Aces)
F/M Millene Cabral (Martin Methodist College / Santa Clarita Blue Heat)
GK Kelsey Daugherty (University of Alabama Birmingham / Long Island Rough Riders)
M/D Sabrina Flores (University of Notre Dame / LA Galaxy OC Women)
M/D Amelia Fullmer (Lamar University / Real Salt Lake Women)
F/M Mariel Gutierrez (University of Northern Colorado / Colorado Pride)
D Liane Keegans (University of Connecticut / Connecticut Fusion)
D Caroline Kopp (University at Albany / Rochester Lady Lancers)
M/D Colleen McKay (Western Michigan University / Grand Rapids FC Women)
M/D Lauren Milliet (Colorado College / Colorado Pride)
F/M Lexi Pelafas (Central Michigan University / Lansing United)
F Hailey Skolmoski North (University of Utah / Real Salt Lake Women)
F/M Mariah Williams (University at Albany / Rochester Lady Lancers)

A deep pool of talent follow Flores and North from the UWS ranks that includes three-time NAIA All-America First Team forward Millene Cabral and C-USA Goalkeeper of the Year Kelsey Daugherty. Midfielder Mariel Gutierrez was the 2018 Big Sky Offensive MVP and also received Big Sky Golden Boot & Big Sky Conference First Team honors. A pair of Rochester alums in America East Defender of the Year Caroline Kopp and America East Striker of the Year Mariah Williams look to make the jump to the next level. Mountain West Conference First Team midfielder Lauren Milliet and Mid-American Conference Second Team forward Lexi Pelafas round out the top UWS prospects.

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.

UWS Stars Shine In NCAA Championships

12/05/2018, 3:15pm EST
By Admin

Nine current & former stars raise DI & DII championship trophies

METUCHEN, NJ - The Fall 2018 season in the NCAA concluded this past weekend with the crowning of national champions in the Division I & II ranks. Both finals saw pulsating contests that were decided by slim 1-0 margins. Florida State University won their second-ever College Cup title over the University of North Carolina while the University of Bridgeport topped perennial DII powerhouse Grand Valley State University for their first-ever NCAA championship. United Women's Soccer (UWS) talent dotted the championship sky, as five league alumni suited up for Florida State and four for Bridgeport. Even more (eight altogether) competed for the runner-up UNC Tar Heels and GVSU Lakers. 

"Congratulations to Florida State University and the University of Bridgeport on their respective championships!" said UWS Commissioner Joe Ferrara, Jr. "Its great to see so many players from United Women's Soccer excel with their collegiate programs. We take pride in preparing players for their fall competitive seasons."

Seminoles defender/midfielder Olivia Bergau, midfielder Deyna Castellanos, defender Natalia Kuikka and midfielder Emily Madril starred for the Santa Clarita Blue Heat during the 2017 season, helping the team reach the UWS National Final. Castellanos was the 2017 UWS National Player of the Year while Kuikka was named the UWS West Defensive Player of the Year. Both players were also All-UWS First Team selections. FSU goalkeeper Brooke Bollinger patrolled the net for the Orlando Kicks in 2018, who took part in a provisional season in the newly-formed Southeast Conference. UNC forward Alex Kimball suited up for the Real Salt Lake Women this past summer.

Purple Knights midfielder/forward Maegan Doyle, midfielder/forward Marieke Kramer and defender Karoline Vieira played for the New York Surf during the 2018 season while forward Elin Eklund had a great season with the Rochester Lady Lancers. Eklund was named to the 2018 UWS East Second Team for her efforts. Grand Valley State fell just short of a sixth national championship title (which would have set a new DII record) but the Lakers should still feel proud. Seven GVSU stars have taken the pitch in our national pro-am league, led by 2018 Midwest Defensive Player of the Year & All-UWS First Team honoree Olivia Trombley and All-UWS Second Team midfielder Riko Sagara.

Trombley and Sagara starred for Lansing United this past summer, as the first-year organization won the regular season title in the Midwest Conference and fell one win shy of qualifying for the UWS National Championship. Lansing United were named the 2018 UWS Co-Organization of the Year alongside Calgary Foothills Women's FC. Midfielder Darline Radamaker (Detroit Sun FC), defender Sydney O'Donnell (Michigan Legends FC), defender Cecilia Steinwascher (Detroit Sun FC), forward Corey Sawall (Lansing United) and goalkeeper Callie Rich (Fort Wayne United) round out the rest of league alumni who wore GVSU Lakers colors this past fall.

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.