Thorns win, Dash and Red Stars draw: highlights
Portland beats KC, 2-1, while Houston and Chicago draw 0-0.
It’s official—the January transfer window for the FAWSL is now closed. To say it’s been a busy window would be an understatement. To catch up on all the signings, be sure to check out our roundups from week one, week two, and week three. Below, we’ll be looking at all the last minute deals that happened before the transfer window closed.
United decided to leave their transfer business until late in the window by signing Maria Thorisdottir from Chelsea only earlier in the week. Thorisdottir had a contract with Chelsea until the summer of 2021, so it’s clear that the club wanted to cash in on the player on the assumption that she’d be leaving for free in a few months.
It’s rare to see top clubs sign players from their direct rivals. Chelsea and Manchester United are not just two of the top teams in the league—they’re currently tied atop the standings, with both of them in the hunt for a title.
Thorisdottir is a fantastic player, but with the squad that Chelsea had, she was not getting much playing time. This season, she’s only played in two league matches (and five in all competitions). Comparing that to her twenty-four appearances in her first season at Chelsea, it’s clear that she’s fallen down the depth chart.
Make no mistake though, Thorisdottir is still an impressive defender—she’s quick, aggressive, and is excellent with the ball at her feet, making it easy for her to play out from the back. She’s also coming to United with experience playing in the league (and championship experience as well, having won five trophies during her time at Chelsea), and a lot of international experience with Norway.
As a defender, Maria Thorisdottir primarily plays as a right-back in a back four, but she has the capabilities of also playing as right centre-back in a back three. Her flexibility will give Manchester United manager Casey Stoney options going forward.
In London, meanwhile, West Ham opted to sign midfielder Dagný Brynjarsdóttir from Icelandic club Selfoss. Before she returned to her home country of Iceland, Brynjarsdóttir played for Bayern Munich in the Frauen-Bundesliga in 2015 and for the Portland Thorns in the NWSL from 2016-2019, winning the NWSL Championship in her second year at the club.
The signing of Brynjarsdóttir likely stems from the club’s need to replace Cho So-hyun, who is now on loan at Tottenham Hotspur until the end of June. While Cho is only on loan at Tottenham for now, the Spurs have the option to make the loan permanent at the end of the season.
Both Cho and Brynjarsdóttir are relatively similar players—both play quite deep as midfielders, and they are usually situated right in front of the defensive line. However, they aren’t pure defensive midfielders; instead, they actively act as playmakers for their sides.
West Ham fans should also know that Brynjarsdóttir has been a fan of the club since she was a young girl, and she is essentially one of their own. It’ll be interesting to see how Brynjarsdóttir adapts to her first spell in England, and where she can help take West Ham alongside their new coach, Olli Harder.
With about four months left in the season, it remains to be seen how all of these signings will make an impact on their new teams. But with depth becoming an issue as clubs try to pack their schedules with make-up games, there will be opportunities for these players to step in and leave a mark on the ongoing title race.
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