Around the World of WoSo: Morgan Hat-Trick, Sweden Gains a Kiwi

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Wilkinson to Sweden:

After five years at the University of Tennessee, New Zealand International Hannah Wilkinson has signed her first professional contract. The 24-year-old striker is now in Sweden to play for Vittsjo GIK, a respected club in the Damallsvenskan league.

Wilkinson had a well-rounded career at Tennessee, from 2012-2016 she played in 68 games while scoring 33 goals and adding 19 assists. On the National Team for New Zealand, Wilkinson has been capped 78 times and already played in two World Cups, two Olympic games, and has scored 24 goals. She has so much experience, it’s no wonder a top club wanted her.

If Wilkinson can remain healthy, I would expect her to get on the score sheet plenty once she suits up.

Stout Out For Boston:

The Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League have announced that goalkeeper Libby Stout has sprained her ankle and is expected to be out 4-6 weeks. In 2016 Stout started in nine of the ten games she appeared in, accumulating 42 saves in that time.

Boston drafted Sammy Jo Prudhomme out of University of Southern California, who won the 2016 NCAA DI College Cup. She and Abby Smith are expected to battle for the number one spot. Preseason has begun for all teams as they prepare for the fifth NWSL season which opens April 15th.

Boston has revamped their roster, adding defenders Megan Oyster, Allysha Chapman, Amanda Frisbie; midfielders Amanda DaCosta, Rosie White, Rose Lavelle; and forwards Tiffany Weimer, Emilie Haavi. I think this could be the year they climb out of the bottom of the table and compete in the middle of the table.

Sky Blue Release Stanley:

Sky Blue FC has announced they have released goalkeeper Caroline Stanley. The 23-year-old got 11 starts in 2016, racking up 33 saves in 940 minutes. She earned two wins, four losses, and four draws in her time in New Jersey.

Sky Blue now turns their attention to Caroline Casey and the rookie from Clemson, Kailen Sheridan. Both are worthy of the number one spot, with Casey earning 10 starts in 2016 and Sheridan playing 21 games her final season at Clemson, earning a .77 goals against average.

With Stanley being a Kansas City native, could we see her land as the backup for Nicole Barnhart in the near future? I think that would be a great opportunity for both FCKC and Stanley.

Moros Back to KC:

A key piece of the 2015 NWSL championship team for Kansas City has returned. After being sent to Houston for the 2016 season, Becca Moros is finding her way back to the Blues. FCKC acquired the defender from Houston for their highest third round pick in the 2018 College Draft.

Moros has played for Portland, Houston, and Kansas City, playing in 58 games since 2014. KC finished in sixth in 2016, and for the first time in two years didn’t qualify for the playoffs. Bringing back Moros is certainly good news; she has always been a solid defender in the NWSL. It’s safe to say the defense in KC just got better, as they also have Becky Sauerbrunn and Katie Bowen, who are stars in their own right. With a few other familiar pieces added (Amy Rodriguez, Sydney Leroux Dwyer), could FCKC return to the top of the league?

New Look Spirit:

The Washington Spirit have signed six players to a new contract: Estelle Johnson, Jo Lohman, Cheyna Williams, Cali Farquharson, Kristie Mewis, and Alyssa Kleiner. They also signed two picks from the 2017 College Draft, Meggie Dougherty Howard (University of Florida) and Lindsay Agnew  (Ohio State).

These are all surely a relief for the Spirit organization, who had a busy off-season. Big time players left including Ali Krieger (Orlando Pride), Christine Nairn (Seattle Reign), Diana Matheson (Seattle Reign), Crystal Dunn (Chelsea Ladies FC), and Estefania Banini (Valencia Feminas FC).

Even with the changes, the Spirit have a reputation for winning, and 2017 is no different. Fans expect them to make the playoffs every year. In 2016 they finished the regular season in second and lost to Western New York Flash in the NWSL final. It will be interesting to watch this team come together and answer the question: Just how long will it take to find that right amount of chemistry?

Only time will tell.

Morgan Finds Her Goals:

Orlando Pride and USWNT star Alex Morgan has finally found her stride for Olympique Lyonnais in the D1 Feminine. In three previous starts, the 27-year-old striker hit the post a few times and came close, but never quite connected the right way. On Sunday she played in her fourth game and managed to score three goals for Lyon.

Was it inevitable, Morgan scoring for Lyon? Of course it was, even with the stacked roster that includes Wendie Renard, Eugenie Le Sommer, Elodie Thomis, Ada Hegerberg, Dzsenifer Marozsan, and many more. Morgan was going to find playing time and with world-class support behind her on the field and on the bench, she was eventually going to find goals.

Morgan got the start and netted her first goal in the 38th minute after finding a slotted pass from Thomis inside the eighteen-yard box. With Lyon leading by just a pair of goals at halftime, Morgan and company turned it on in the second half, showing no mercy. Morgan grabbed her second goal in the 63rd minute, and finished her clinic in the 79th minute to secure the win.

Lyon was competing in the French Cup Quarter-finals against Rodez. With the hat-trick by Morgan leading the way to a 6-0 win, they advance to the semi-finals.