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Juan Carlos Amorós named interim coach of Houston Dash

Juan Carlos Amorós. (Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images)

The Houston Dash announced Wednesday that Juan Carlos Amorós will take over as interim head coach at the end of June.

Sarah Lowdon will remain as acting head coach until that time.

Lowdon took over for James Clarkson after the head coach and general manager was placed on leave.

Most recently, Amorós served as head coach of Real Betis Féminas, leading the club to its longest unbeaten run in Spain’s top division. He also spent time with Tottenham Hotspur FC, helping lead them to a second-place finish in the FA Women’s Championship League in 2019. Following that season, the Spurs were promoted to the Women’s Super League.

For the 2018-19 season, Amorós earned Manager of the Year honors in the Women’s Championship League.

“I am excited to join the Dash because I have seen the commitment to women’s soccer from owner Ted Segal and everyone at the organization,” Amorós said. “I believe the Dash have a massive potential to be one of the best teams in the best league in the world. I love that Houston is a multicultural city with the ability for me to make an impact in the community, both on and off the field. I can’t wait to get started.”

When he arrives, he will work closely with Lowdon, who will take on the first assistant position.

“I am very excited to welcome Juan and his family to the Houston Dash,” Lowdon said. “I am looking forward to learning from Juan and working with him throughout this transition. I really appreciate the support I’ve received from the fans, players and our president, Jessica O’Neill. We are ready to build upon the success we’ve had during the regular season so far.”

The Houston Dash are currently fifth in league standings with a 3-3-2 record.

WNBA Commissioner Admits to ‘Faulty’ Charter Rollout

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert at 2024 wnba draft
Cathy Engelbert at the 2024 WNBA Draft in New York. (Cora Veltman/Sportico via Getty Images)

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert admitted to a "faulty rollout" of the new charter travel initiative on Thursday, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Ahead of Tuesday's season opener, it was announced that the only teams flying private this week would be Indiana and Minnesota. The announcement came mere days after the league made a new charter flight program for all WNBA teams public. At the time, they said it would be implemented "as soon as we have the planes."

But as two teams out of 12 chartered to their first games of the season, others like the Atlanta Dream and Chicago Sky were forced to fly commercial.

A town hall meeting between Engelbert and the players was held in response to the confusion. Everything from the league's new media rights deal to private travel was covered in the meeting, with players submitting their questions ahead of time. Sky center Elizabeth Williams told Sun-Times reporter Annie Costabile afterwards that cross-country flights were prioritized.

"Flights that are across the country like [the Lynx] going to Seattle, crossing multiple time zones, or flights that usually require a connection, those were the priorities," Williams said. "That’s why New York didn’t go to DC with a charter, but Minny goes to Seattle."

What’s unclear under that metric is that the Atlanta Dream played the Los Angeles Sparks on Wednesday, which could technically be classified as a cross-country flight. 

On Tuesday, rookie forward Angel Reese shared a photo on her Instagram story lamenting the league's use of commercial flights.

"Just praying that this is one of the last commercial flights the Sky has to fly," Reese posted. The team still has at least three commercial flights awaiting them in the near future.

"Obviously, I think all teams should be able to get chartered," Reese told the Sun-Times. "But I know moving forward... going in the right direction, being able to have some teams [chartering] is cool. Within the next weeks, everybody will be flying charter, which will be really good."

On Thursday, Lindsay Schnell of USAToday Sports confirmed that the league intends to have all teams on charter flights by May 21st.

Brazil Wins Bid for 2027 Women’s World Cup Host

fifa womens world cup trophy on display
The FIFA Women's World Cup trophy on display in Bangkok after Brazil was announced as the 2027 host country. (Thananuwat Srirasant - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Brazil has been named the host for the 2027 Women’s World Cup, with FIFA announced early Friday. 

The decision came after a vote at the 74th FIFA Congress in Bangkok, with Brazil earning 119 votes to the joint European bid’s 78. 

This will be Brazil’s first time hosting the Women’s World Cup, with the country having hosted the men’s World Cup twice before in 1950 and 2014. It will also be the first Women’s World Cup held in South America. The tournament will follow the same 32-team format as the 2023 WWC in Australia and New Zealand.

Brazil winning the bid was not entirely surprising after FIFA issued a report just last week, stating that the Brazilian bid had pulled ahead as host following technical inspection. After evaluation, Brazil was given a score of 4.0 out of 5, compared to the 3.7 awarded to the Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands.

Brazil ranked higher in a number of key areas, including stadiums, accommodations, fan zones, and transport infrastructure. Though considered to be a frontrunner, the US and Mexico withdrew their joint bid prior to the technical inspection period, saying they would instead focus their efforts on 2031.

On Friday, Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) president Ednaldo Rodrigues called it a "victory." 

"We knew we would be celebrating a victory for South American women's soccer and for women," he told reporters. "You can be sure, with no vanity, we will accomplish the best World Cup for women."

"We are working on a transformation, not only for the country but for the continent," added bid team operational manager Valesca Araujo.

Brazil intends to use 10 of the venues utilized at the 2014 men’s World Cup, including holding the final in Rio de Janeiro on July 25th. The CBF's proposal outlines that the 2027 tournament run from June 24th through the end of July. Last summer’s World Cup began at the end of July and concluded on August 19th.

Another notable element of Brazil's newly unveiled plan to grow of the women’s game is that "all [men’s] clubs wishing to take part in high-level national and continental competitions must now provide a structure for a women’s team." While the definition of "structure" was not specifically identified, the country has set targets with CONMEBOL to help increase the number of women’s club teams in the country.

In last week's inspection findings, FIFA noted that selecting Brazil as the next WWC host could "have a tremendous impact on women's football in the region."

Chelsea Eyes Weekend Finale With WSL Title in Sight

chelsea players celebrate win against tottenham in the wsl
Chelsea beat Tottenham on Wednesday, moving to the top of the table in an effort to win departing coach Emma Hayes some silverware. (John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chelsea did what they needed to do on Wednesday in order to make Saturday's slate of season-ending WSL fixtures interesting: Beat Tottenham.

The Blues are now number one in the league, with an edge over Manchester City on goal differential thanks to an eight-goal outing against Bristol City last week. 

Yesterday's result tees up a league finale for the books as Chelsea looks to send coach Emma Hayes off with another trophy to add to her cabinet. The Blues will play FA Cup winner Manchester City at Old Trafford on Saturday, while City is away at Aston Villa.

"We will be leaving nothing on the pitch, we will be giving everything and no matter what the result is," Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert said after Wednesday's win. "At least we can look each other in the eye and say we gave everything."

It makes for a thrilling end to Chelsea's Emma Hayes era, as the decorated WSL coach will take over the USWNT in June. And it comes after Hayes all but conceded the title race early this month after Chelsea fell to Liverpool 4-3.

"I think the title is done," Hayes said at the time. "Of course, mathematically, it's not, but I think the title is done. Our job between now and the end of the season is to keep pushing until the end, but I think it will be very difficult.

"We will never give up. But the title is far from us; it's not in our hands. I think City are deserving, their consistency has put them in that position. Of course, we will go to the end, but I don't think the title will be going to us this year."

Be it mind games or Hayes truly thinking her team was that far off, her words lit something in Chelsea. Their following two performances showed the team’s determination to have a shot at some silverware.

As for Saturday's schedule, Hayes believes her team is facing the "tougher of the two games."

"It's a fitting finale for me, being my final game," she told BBC Sport. "As I said to the players if someone gives you a second chance in life, make sure you don't need a third one. We're in the position we want to be in, and we'll give it everything on Saturday no matter what."

Selena Harris ‘Dismissed’ from UCLA Gymnastics, Declares for Transfer Portal

ncaa gymnast selena harris at the beam for ucla
All-American gymnast Selena Harris has been officially dismissed by UCLA gymnastics. (Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)

Star gymnast Selena Harris has been dismissed from the UCLA gymnastics team and has entered the transfer portal, the school confirmed Wednesday.

Harris, the 2024 Pac-12 Gymnast of the Year and a 12-time All-American, has two years of eligibility remaining. During her time at UCLA, she was one of the top all-around gymnasts on the team. 

UCLA did not provide details about her dismissal. 

Harris has also not spoken about it, but did repost a Tweet on Wednesday confirming her entrance into the transfer portal. She has also removed any mention of UCLA gymnastics from all her social media bios.

When reached for comment by the Daily Bruin, she shared a message thanking UCLA fans for their support.

"Just wanna thank bruin nation fans for being the best supporters!" Harris wrote via Instagram.

A former No. 1 recruit, Harris was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year in 2023 and earned four perfect scores during the 2024 season, while also winning the Pac-12 all-around title at the conference championships in March. She finished the regular season tied for first in the country on vault. 

She competed as an individual at the NCAA championships, finishing tied for third place on balance beam after UCLA failed to advance.

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