Claire Watkins is a Staff Writer for Just Women’s Sports. She writes the JWS newsletter three days a week and covers the NWSL, USWNT and soccer. Residing in Chicago, Claire is also a musician.

Her Work

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Kelley O’Hara embraces Gotham’s evolution from Sky Blue days

O'Hara left Sky Blue in 2017 because of subpar player standards.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Lynn Williams shakes off trade ‘shock’ to focus on Gotham

Williams describes the moment she learned about the trade at USWNT camp.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT roster bubble: What we learned from New Zealand games

Trinity Rodman adds to the USWNT's embarrassment of riches at forward.

Claire Watkins - News

Alex Morgan calls for more resources in wake of maternity lawsuit

Morgan spoke up on behalf of Sara Björk Gunnarsdóttir's fight.

Claire Watkins - News

With new founding partner BMO, Angel City eyes bigger goals

ACFC president Julie Uhrman explains the club's goals for 2023.

Claire Watkins - News

USWNT wakes up in second half to defeat New Zealand 4-0

The USWNT opened the 2023 World Cup year with a win over New Zealand.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Three things I want to see from the USWNT to start 2023

The New Zealand friendlies give the U.S. a chance to experiment.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL Draft grades: Kansas City, Orlando Pride among big winners

Gotham FC also took a big step with their draft maneuvers.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Angel City banking on culture to help Alyssa Thompson thrive

Thompson said she's most excited to play with ACFC's Christen Press.

Claire Watkins - Feature

‘A gut feeling’: Michelle Cooper’s big decision leads to Kansas City

Cooper has high praise for her new home, the Kansas City Current.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL 2023 mock draft: Projecting every first-round pick

Alyssa Thompson and Michelle Cooper lead the way in Round 1.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Sophia Smith and the 2020 draft class that reshaped the NWSL

The NWSL's 2020 draft class had a rookie experience unlike any other.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What every team needs in the 2023 NWSL Draft

Offseason moves have shaken up team needs ahead of the draft.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Angel City lands No. 1 pick in blockbuster four-team NWSL trade

ACFC is expected to draft 18-year-old phenom Alyssa Thompson.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Concerns and hope for a new era: Biggest USWNT stories of 2022

The USWNT had plenty of growing pains as they prepare for the World Cup.

Claire Watkins - Feature

History, calamity and expansion: Biggest NWSL stories of 2022

To call 2022 an eventful year for the NWSL would be an understatement.

Claire Watkins - Feature

The NWSL’s CBA journey through the eyes of three player leaders

The NWSL Players Association's three presidents have many stories to tell.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Alex Morgan shines at center forward

Catarina Macario and Ashley Hatch also got time at the No. 9.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Sophia Smith earns top winger marks

The USWNT is stacked at the winger position heading into 2023.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Rose Lavelle in peak midfield form

Ashley Sanchez and Kristie Mewis will compete for spots alongside Lavelle.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Serena Williams’ undying legacy: Our Sportsperson of the Year

Williams' handprint will be on the tennis and sports world forever.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Andi Sullivan midfield question lingers

Defensive midfield is one of the USWNT's biggest concerns in 2023.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Naomi Girma headlines center-backs

Three players returning from injury will likely compete for the final World Cup spot.

Claire Watkins

NWSL report outlines dangerous culture of weight-shaming

The NWSL's 2022 Anti-Harassment Policy includes a reference to weight.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL has all the facts of widespread abuse. What comes next?

Abuse has been well-documented, but action has been slightly slower to follow.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Emily Fox makes case at outside back

Fox could force Vlatko Andonovski into a decision between her and Crystal Dunn.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT 2022 player grades: Alyssa Naeher still No. 1 goalkeeper

Casey Murphy has more to prove to overtake Naeher for the top spot.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT minutes tracker: What player trends can tell us about 2023

Thirty-four different players made at least one game appearance in 2022.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What new Current signings mean for Sam Mewis, stacked midfield

Mewis' injury status remains unknown in a crowded Kansas City midfield.

Claire Watkins - News

Duke star Michelle Cooper turns pro: Will she go to the NWSL?

Cooper could jump at an opportunity abroad instead of entering the NWSL Draft.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Under new coach, UCLA soccer finally makes good on star talent

Before Aozasa, UCLA produced pro-level players but won just one title.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Most intriguing NWSL free agents still testing the waters

There is a wealth of NWSL talent on the market.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Red Stars’ free-agent exodus leaves future even murkier

Three club veterans are leaving in free agency after a tumultuous year.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL prospects to watch in NCAA Soccer Tournament

The list ranges from seniors ready to go pro to standout underclassmen.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Is Mark Parsons the right coach for the Spirit’s rebuild?

Parsons has a proven track record in the NWSL but faltered with the Netherlands.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Abby Dahlkemper injury timeline: USWNT star’s road to recovery

Dahlkemper announced she'd had another back surgery this week.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What Kelley O’Hara’s signing means for new-look Gotham FC

O'Hara's signing speaks volumes about her belief in Gotham's future.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

As Mia Fishel makes rookie history, pressure mounts on USWNT

Fishel helped deliver a championship for her Liga MX Femenil club this week.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What we learned from USWNT vs. Germany: Bench remains sidelined

Vlatko Andonovski has been reluctant to call on subs.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What we learned from USWNT vs. Germany: Young core steps up

Naomi Girma anchored the defensive effort.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What we learned from USWNT vs. Germany: Vlatko’s sunk cost fallacy

Is the U.S. making progress under Andonovski's system?

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT’s problems run deeper than generational divide

Resist the urge to pit the young stars against the veterans.

Claire Watkins

New coach Seb Hines wants to bring pride back to Orlando club

After turnover to the roster and coaching staff, Hines is focused on stability.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT midfield seeks to reconnect against Germany

Injuries have stymied the group in recent matches.

Claire Watkins - News

Beth Mead calls lack of diversity on England WNT ‘completely coincidental’

Just three Black players featured on England's Euros roster.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT roster: Players with most to prove in Germany games

The Germany friendlies are the USWNT's last chance for evaluation in 2022.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

The case for moving Crystal Dunn into the USWNT midfield

Dunn plays as a midfielder for the Thorns but an outside back for the U.S.

Claire Watkins - News

FIFA ‘looking into’ ticketing issues as World Cup demand soars

"There's been a huge amount of requests, specifically after the draw."

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT injury list: Players they most need back for World Cup

The USWNT is missing many stars, but some more important than others.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Thorns put all the pieces together for NWSL Championship magic

Instead of caving under the pressure of the Yates report, Portland came together.

Claire Watkins - Feature

How the benches can help Thorns or Current win NWSL title

Substitutes have been difference-makers throughout the playoffs.

Claire Watkins - Feature

The secrets behind on-field communication in NWSL title game

Thorns and Current players have different approaches in the heat of the moment.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL Championship 2022: Underrated players to watch

With an NWSL trophy on the line, you can expect a few unsung heroes to...

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What to make of OL Reign’s latest NWSL playoff disappointment

The windows for Megan Rapinoe and other OL Reign stars are closing.

Claire Watkins - Feature

In Thorns-Wave heavyweight battle, NWSL legends are born

Generations of stars showcased what makes NWSL playoff soccer special.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Top 10 NWSL free agents: Tobin Heath, Julie Ertz among most intriguing

NWSL players with six years of service are free agents this offseason.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Kansas City Current show fight and dark-horse NWSL title potential

The Current have been proving people wrong all season.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

How Alex Morgan, Wave rose to the occasion against Red Stars

Morgan showed some of the qualities that make her a special player in big moments.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT by position: Context and concerns for each group

The USWNT has issues to address ahead of the 2023 World Cup.

Claire Watkins - Feature

The secrets behind the Kansas City Current’s stunning turnaround

The Current are having fun and setting an NWSL precedent.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT roster: Will we see any changes before 2023 World Cup?

Coach Vlatko Andonovski has so far favored roster cohesion over rotation.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Fresh off transformative summer, women’s soccer enters age of ambition

Fans across the world got a glimpse instead at what is happening right now.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT at Concacaf: Takeaways and top priorities for 2023 World Cup

This group isn't the team we'll see at the World Cup, and that's a good...

Claire Watkins - Feature

Brandi Chastain and the never-ending push for progress

Chastain's iconic kick set the team on a path toward excellence and generational change.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Mexico’s complicated path to prominence goes through USWNT

Mexico's two losses have changed the tenor of Monday night's rivalry game.

Claire Watkins - Feature

How Casey Stoney created an NWSL title contender in San Diego

Stoney's blueprint for the Wave has led to unprecedented NWSL success.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

USWNT roster: What will go into World Cup qualifying selections

Christen Press and Alex Morgan could find themselves back in the fold.

Claire Watkins - Opinion

Solutions to NWSL Challenge Cup format take on even greater urgency

The final reignited concerns over player safety under the current format.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL grades: Evaluating every team from the Challenge Cup

Here's what the Challenge Cup group stage taught us about every team.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL Challenge Cup: Taking stock of every team as the games begin

The NWSL Challenge Cup is full of unpredictability after an offseason of turnover.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL players strike: How we got here and what it would mean

A work stoppage is on the table for Feb. 1 if an agreement isn't reached...

Claire Watkins - Opinion

My wishes for the NWSL in 2022, a defining year for the league

The stakes are high for the NWSL's 10-year anniversary season.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Inside Angel City’s modern approach to building a NWSL contender

ACFC has prioritized player wishes and data analytics while filling out their roster.

Claire Watkins - Game Recap

In season of adversity, Washington Spirit find strength to win NWSL championship

What the Spirit accomplished in 2021 is one of the most miraculous sports stories of...

Claire Watkins - Analysis

‘Read the game’: Why the NWSL championship will be won in the midfield

The teams' midfields have been their backbone all season long.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

The Red Stars and Spirit, teams of destiny, are NWSL finals bound

Their journeys to Louisville were improbable but fitting for this league.

Claire Watkins - Feature

To ‘win everything’ in 2021, the Portland Thorns are trusting in the process

An NWSL championship would complete the Thorns' trophy sweep.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

NWSL’s parity shines in exhilarating quarterfinal debut

Sunday's games were different in style but equal in skill level.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Red Stars Iron Woman Sarah Gorden embodies the spirit of Chicago

Gorden's impact goes far beyond the Red Stars' backline.

Claire Watkins - Feature

‘We will build a better league’: NWSL’s CBA talks take on new sense of urgency

The NWSL Players Association is pushing harder than ever for real change.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Balancing crisis and professional duty: Inside the NWSL’s pivotal week

NWSL players battle exhaustion as they fight for playoff positioning.

Claire Watkins - Feature

‘It is a very draconian system’: The NWSL Players Association’s fight for its first CBA

This season has made the need for a collective bargaining agreement especially urgent.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

What went wrong for the USWNT at the Tokyo Olympics

The U.S. women's national team didn't look like itself from the moment it took the...

Claire Watkins - Feature

For the USWNT, Tokyo is a chance to make history and cement a remarkable legacy

The Tokyo Olympics might be the last major tournament for this USWNT group.

Claire Watkins - Feature

Behind the NWSL’s gameday fits and the power of self-expression

Gotham FC and OL Reign have led the way in pregame fashion, a growing league...

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Re-seeding the NWSL during the Olympic period

Some teams are better equipped to handle the player absences than others.

Claire Watkins - Analysis

Here’s who the USWNT should take to Tokyo

Projecting the 18-player USWNT roster for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.