Things are continuing to shape up for women’s soccer in 2018. NWSL clubs added stars to their lineups, leadership to their coaching staffs, and sponsors to their jerseys. Everything seems to be coming to fruition on the international front as well. FIFA announced the 2019 World Cup schedule, U.S. Soccer elected a new president, and the USWNT amps up to play neighboring Mexico in a friendly this spring. Check out some of the highlights in women’s soccer last week!
With a month left before the Royals’ inaugural season opener, the club released their away kits debuting a new sponsor. Conservice and the club will hold a 3 year deal with “The Utility ExpertsTM” placing corporate branding on the front and back of the Royals jerseys. According to club owner Dell Loy Hansen, it is the most lucrative deal of its kind in professional women’s soccer.
Utah Royals FC head coach Laura Harvey announced their final leadership additions last week, adding Olympic gold medalist Amy LePeilbet as the second assistant coach and former New Zealand star Jason Betty as the goalkeeper coach. The appointment will serve as a reunion for former USWNT and FC Kansas City defender LePeilbet, as she will reunite with many of her former teammates.
U.S. Soccer announced the USWNT’s next 2018 showdown last week, scheduling a friendly between Mexico and the ladies in red, white, and blue to take place in Houston on April 8. The game will mark the 35th match between the international rivals. The last match took place in February of 2016 for World Cup qualifying, resulting in a 1-0 win for the U.S.
After a widely contested election and a third ballot, Carlos Cordeiro is the new U.S. Soccer president. After the USMNT failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup, president Sunil Gulati decided not to seek another term, creating a group of eight looking to take on the role. President of Soccer United Marketing, Kathy Carter, gave the former U.S. Soccer Vice President Cordeiro a run for his money, staying close to him in the first two ballots but dropping to 10.6% on the decisive vote. Hope Solo made headlines while running for president with a platform centered around equal pay and conditions for female players. However, the former USWNT goalie ran near the bottom of the ballot on all three votes.
In anticipation for next year’s World Cup, FIFA has announced the complete schedule for the main event in France. The tournament will begin on June 7 at Parc de Princes in Paris, and the group stage will run from June 7-20. From there, the elimination round will commence on June 22 and finish with the final match on July 7, with both the semifinal and final to be held in Lyon. Other notable cities to hold matches will be Grenoble, Le Havre, Montpellier, Nice, Reims, Rennes and Valenciennes.