A European Holiday: The NWSL in the Euros


With the European Championship fast approaching, NWSL teams have seen players leave to attend pre-tournament camps with their national teams. All in all, there are seven NWSL players representing their country at the EUROs. Denmark has the most representation with two players heading back to their National Team, while the Portland Thorns will lose the most players–three–to the tournament.

As players depart, coaches will be forced to readjust their teams to make up for the gap. Some are stars and leading goal scorers, others are subs who rarely see time. No matter the case, the impact of this tournament will be felt over the next month or two.

Let’s break down each of the seven players leaving and what that means for their club.

Dagný Brynjarsdóttir – Iceland (Portland Thorns)

Brynjarsdóttir has played in just four games for the Thorns this season for a total of just 207 minutes. She missed the first two months of the season because of a back injury, and has only just been getting back into the mix. For Portland, losing Brynjarsdóttir will hurt their already thin depth on the bench. With two other players also heading to the tournament along with several anticipating call-ups for the Tournament of Nations, the Thorns will definitely miss a player like Brynjarsdóttir in the midfield.

Amandine Henry – France (Portland Thorns)

In the 12 games that Portland has played this season, Henry has been at the center of the midfield for every one of them. Henry’s production may not show on the stat sheet–only a single goal to her name while in a Thorns jersey, but her ability to create for the offense will be heavily missed for Portland. Head coach Mark Parsons will be forced to be very inventive with his lineup moving forward.

Nadia Nadim – Denmark (Portland Thorns)

Nadim is tied for the lead in goals scored for the Thorns. Her time has been limited this season due to injury, but when she is there, she is one of the top forwards in the league. One of the biggest things that the Thorns will be missing with Nadim gone is her ability to take penalty kicks. She is among the top in the league and already has three goals thanks to the spot.  However, with Sinclair starting to regain her form and with Hayley Raso heating up, Portland won’t be lost on the front line.

Rachel Corsie – Scotland (Seattle Reign)

Corsie has been battling a bone bruise in her left knee for the past few games but is expected to still participate in the tournament. This will be a big loss for the Reign as Corsie has been an important part of their backline this season. The Reign are already thin on their backline and that was apparent this weekend against the Thorns, despite not giving up any goals. It appears the Reign will be fine without Corsie because of the strong play of Lauren Barnes on the backline and Haley Kopmeyer in goal.

Amanda DaCosta – Portugal (Boston Breakers)

DaCosta is the kind of player that every coach dreams of having on their roster. While she isn’t the flashiest player, she gets the job done in the midfield. Often times if she is playing her best, you won’t even notice her on the field. DaCosta has played in eight games for the Breakers, starting in three of those games. Her ability to come into games and help close them out is what the Breakers will miss most while she is gone. On a young team like the Breakers, it will be difficult to find a replacement for her.

Emilie Haavi – Norway (Boston Breakers)

Haavi is a player many NWSL fans may not be familiar with. In her first season with the Breakers, Haavi has played in six matches, starting in five of them. She has not scored any goals or assisted on any this season, and this has been tough for the Breakers who have struggled to score as of late. Rookie Margaret Purce seems like the obvious replacement for Boston with Haavi out. Purce scored her first ever NWSL goal vs. the Washington Spirit in Week 11 to give the Breakers the win.

Line Sigvardsen Jensen – Denmark (Washington Spirit)

Sigvardsen has been in and out of the lineup for the Spirit as they adjust with the countless injuries suffered this season. With Kristie Mewis, Meggie Dougherty Howard, and Tori Huster playing well together, Sigvardsen saw herself on the outside looking in. Washington will not bring in a roster replacement for Sigvardsen while she is gone. The addition of Estefania Banini, Yanara Aedo, and Mallory Pugh gives head coach Jim Gabarra plenty to choose from when picking his starting XI.

As July 16th is fast approaching, most NWSL players participating in the tournament have made their way to Europe for preparations. Now teams are faced with replacing those players or simply working with what they have. The months of July and August will be an interesting one both on the club and international level.

Image courtesy of Kelley Piper