Why are USWNT and USMNT sharing World Cup prize money?
The USWNT is in line for a big payday.
The NWSL’s first free agency period is underway.
The league established free agency with its new collective bargaining agreement, ratified in February. Despite a rocky start, which included a disagreement between the NWSL and its players association about exactly which players were eligible, the market is heating up.
The defender from New Jersey is headed home. She signed a two-year contract with Gotham FC after spending the last two seasons with the Kansas City Current.
“I’ve worked really hard for a long time and I’ve fought for this dream with a lot of passion all over the world and this country,” the 35-year-old said. “It all started in New Jersey, and to come full circle with my family in the stands for all of our home games is something super special to me.”
Edmonds started 44 games across the last two seasons for the Current, including all three playoff matches on the team’s run to the NWSL championship match in 2022.
Free agents Morgan Gautrat, Danielle Colaprico and Rachel Hill have told the Chicago Red Stars that they do not plan to re-sign with the club.
Gautrat won the World Cup as part of the U.S. women’s national team in 2015 and 2019. The 29-year-old midfielder joined the Red Stars via trade from the Houston Dash in 2017.
Colaprico has played with the club for her entire NWSL career since being selected by Chicago in the 2015 NWSL draft. Hill started her career with the Orlando Pride but was dealt to Chicago in 2020.
Gotham FC signed the former Thorns goalkeeper to a three-year contract. The move comes after Ashlyn Harris announced her retirement from soccer earlier this month, which left the club with an opening in net.
“I feel so fortunate to be amongst the first class of athletes in the NWSL to benefit from the new CBA’s free agency policy,” Smith said in a news release. “Gotham FC made their feelings known immediately and I was so impressed by their support and professionalism throughout the entire process.”
The 29-year-old has played for the Boston Breakers, the Utah Royals, the Kansas City Current and the Portland Thorns. She played in just one match as the backup goalkeeper for the NWSL title-winning Thorns in the 2022 season.
Smith joins Michelle Betos and 2022 draft pick Hensley Hancuff as the goalkeepers on Gotham FC’s roster.
Doniak and the Wave exercised a mutual option that will keep the forward in San Diego for the 2023 season.
In the 2022 season, Doniak played in 18 matches and contributed three goals and two assists for the expansion club.
The 26-year-old defender will stay with San Diego through the 2024 season after signing a new two-year contract. She started 19 of 22 regular-season games for the club this season.
“Kaleigh Riehl has been an outstanding player for us this year, stepped in in incredible circumstances and performed really well and is very, very worthy of a new contract,” coach Casey Stoney said.
Nov. 15 marked the first day that free agents were eligible to sign with new teams rather than their current teams, and Kelley O’Hara kicked off the era with a splash as she joined Gotham FC on a multi-year deal, she announced at an event hosted by the “Men in Blazers” podcast in New York City.
While the club proceeded to post about O’Hara’s announcement on its social media accounts, it had not issued a formal announcement of O’Hara’s signing as of Nov. 22.
O’Hara played with the Washington Spirit in the 2021 and 2022 seasons and won the NWSL title with the club in 2021.
The forward signed a two-year contract extension that will keep her in Orlando through the 2024 season, the team announced Tuesday. She joined the club via trade from the OL Reign in August.
The Current re-signed Kizer to a two-year deal through the 2024 season.
The 25-year-old from outside Kansas City joined the club via trade in June 2022. She started in 14 of 15 matches through the rest of the season, setting a club record with seven non-penalty goals in that span, and helped the team to a runner-up finish in hte NWSL playoffs.
“She was a big part of this club’s success after coming over in June and we look forward to her helping to lead this team in the future,” general manager Camille Levin Ashton said.
The 25-year-old forward signed a two-year contract with Portland, which includes an an option for the 2025 season.
She had seven goals in 20 appearances for the Thorns in the 2022 regular season, and she helped the team to its third NWSL title.
The Chicago club brought back Nagasato on a one-year contract with a one-year option. She played for the team from 2017-20, then spent one season with Racing Louisville in 2021 before returning to the Red Stars.
The team also re-signed Wright to a two-year contract. The defender has played for Chicago since she was drafted in 2015.
The Rookie of the Year finalist has signed a contract extension with the reigning NWSL champions through the 2025 season.
The 23-year-old midfielder, who also plays with the U.S. women’s national team, made 18 starts for the Thorns in 2022. She led the league with 70 successful long passes and tied for fifth with 35 chances created.
“Her ability to lead from the back, to always be available, to manipulate the opposition and create spaces for her herself and her teammates is impressive to see from someone so new to the professional game,” Thorns coach Rhian Wilkinson said.
Two days earlier, Portland re-signed midfielder Rocky Rodriguez through the 2025 season.
Rodriguez will be entering her eighth season in the league in 2023 and her fourth with the Thorns. She recorded her first career postseason goal in the team’s NWSL semifinal win against the San Diego Wave to help propel Portland to the title.
The 24-year-old defender has signed a two-year deal with the Seattle-based club. She joined the team as the No. 33 overall pick in the 2020 NWSL draft.
Since she was drafted, she has started in all 28 of OL Reign’s regular-season games, and she has recorded 29 blocks and 117 clearances.
The 27-year-old defender signed a two-year contract extension with the New York City-area club.
She has spent her entire career with the franchise since being selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2017 draft. In that time, she has made 80 appearances and recorded 258 clearances, 56 blocks, and 109 interceptions.
“In my six seasons with this club, I have seen the growth and believe in the potential for us to be great,” Freeman said in a news release.
Sinclair is returning to the NWSL champion Portland Thorns on a one-year contract, making 2023 her 11th season in the league, all with the Thorns.
She made the announcement during the Thorns’ championship parade. She wants “to win a fourth one of those,” she said, pointing to the NWSL trophy.
The 27-year-old midfielder will stick with the Seattle club for two more seasons. They first joined OL Reign during the 2019 season.
Quinn has started in 26 of the 35 games they have played for the club in the regular season. They had 17 appearances in the 2022 season.
“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to continue playing for OL Reign,” they said. “We have a really good culture and team environment here at this club, so I’m excited to keep it going.”
The defender will remain with the Pride through the 2024 season.
She joined the Pride via trade from the Houston Dash during the 2022 campaign. She made four starts and six appearances for the Pride after the trade.
“We are thrilled to be able to extend Haley’s time in Orlando,” Pride general manager Ian Fleming said in a statement. “Haley has embedded herself quickly and seamlessly into a new group of teammates and tactical system of play, and did so while exhibiting a work ethic and professional attitude that we want to be the standard at our club.”
The 28-year-old forward elected to stay with Gotham FC, signing a new three-year contract that will keep her with the the club through the 2025 season.
Onumonu was traded to the New York area franchise ahead of 2020 season, and she has appeared in 61 matches for the team since then, with 14 goals and nine assists in that span.
“It’s been a journey already with this club and I’m looking forward to many more years competing to be the best team in the NWSL,” she said in the news release announcing her signing.
Gotham FC finished in last place in the NWSL in the 2022 season, but the club already has been aggressive in its roster moves as it embarks on another rebuild.
Before joining Gotham FC, Onumonu played for the Boston Breakers, the Portland Thorns and OL Reign. The American-born player also plays for the Nigeria women’s national team.
The club also re-signed Taylor Smith to a three-year contract. Smith made 14 appearances (and 13 starts) for Gotham in 2022 after she was acquired off waivers in June.
Schmidt, a midfielder, signed a two-year extension, while Chapman, a defender, signed a one-year extension. Both contracts also include option years, per the club news release announcing the signings.
Both players also have been mainstays for the Canada women’s national team.
The USWNT is in line for a big payday.
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Ellis is currently president of the NWSL's San Diego Wave.
The Thorns coach resigned Friday morning.
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