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Euros 2022: Get to know up-and-coming England star Georgia Stanway

Georgia Stanway played hero in extra time for England. (Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Georgia Stanway is on her way to becoming a household name in England, particularly after sending England to the semifinals of this year’s European Championship with some late heroics against Spain.

But Stanway’s brilliance has long been known to those who are Manchester City fans, and will soon be known to Bayern Munich fans. While there’s much to know about the young forward, Just Women’s Sports has a bit of an introduction to get you started.

Her step into the spotlight has been a long time coming

While Stanway has been playing with the England national team since 2018, she’d been making a name for herself even before that. When she was just 17 years old, Lucy Bronze called Stanway “the future of English football.”

That future arrived Wednesday, when Stanway notched a scorcher in a do-or-die match against Spain. She met the moment with all that it required, and very little fear.

She is not scared of anyone or anything,” Bronze said of Stanway back in 2016. “She came on for us recently in a game when it was 0-0 – was chucked in the deep end – and she scored a goal. She did not look out of place at all and she never has. She probably never will. She is the future of Manchester City and probably the future of England as well. She is an unbelievable talent.”

She scored her first international goal in her senior national team debut 

While Wednesday’s goal might be the biggest so far in her international career, Stanway’s first international goal came in 2018 during England’s 3-0 friendly win over Austria.

She would get her second a year later and add two more goals in 2021. She’s erupted in 2022, however, scoring seven goals so far this year in her past nine appearances for England. On top of her game-winner against Spain, Stanway also opened up the scoring in England’s record-breaking 8-0 win over Norway in the group stage. 

But Stanway has admitted to needing to be more confident in her shooting, something that resulted in Wednesday’s game-winner.

“I honestly don’t know why I shot but I’m glad I did. A lot of the girls before the game said to me, I need to shoot more. Coming into this tournament, I’d not had masses of efforts on goal,” she said.

“I don’t know why I shot [against Spain]. I don’t know what came over me. Usually I would probably pass that ball to the winger and expect the ball to be put back in the box. But I just thought, what’s the worst that can happen?”

She recently signed a three-year deal with Bayern Munich

After making her way up the ranks with the Blackburn Rovers, the forward made her debut with Manchester CIty at 16 years old in 2015. But her contract with the club expired in June, and Stanway subsequently signed a three-year deal with Bayern Munich.

During her time with City she became the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, winning three League Cups and three FA Cup titles alongside a Women’s Super League title with the club in 2016. Following a particularly good season in 2017-18, Stanway was named to the UEFA Women’s Champions League Team of the Season. She was also awarded the PFA Women’s Young Player of the Year the next season after scoring 11 goals through 19 appearances. 

“It felt right from the very first conversation,” Stanway said of the decision to join Bayern. “I was absolutely convinced and my instinct told me I belonged here.

“The club is so amazing – the research they did on me, the way the club presented themselves to me and how they can take my game to the next level. Bayern has very big ambitions and I really admire that.”

Sofia Huerta signs contract extension with Seattle through 2027

(Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports)

Former Oregon soccer players detail instances of verbal abuse from former USWNT assistant

(Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard via Imagn Content Services)

Members of the Oregon women’s soccer team are saying they received harsh treatment and even verbal abuse from head coach and former USWNT assistant Graeme Abel. 

During the 2023 season, the team had zero wins, and upon its conclusion a total of 12 of the team’s 29 players departed the team. Former players told The Oregonian that Abel would verbally attack them, threaten to kick them off the team and at times would even throw objects.

"When I’d make a mistake at practice, it felt like he made it a job to embarrass you to the point where you just wanted to walk off the field,” one player said. “He’d stop the practice – and I know it’s college soccer, it’s very competitive — but he’d stop practice and just keep going nonstop on this one thing."

In total, the Oregonian spoke with 14 former players – including 12 who agreed to be interviewed in depth. All said that they experienced verbal abuse. Six of the players were among those who transferred following the season. 

One instance of Abel’s tirades included him throwing a water bottle that narrowly missed players’ heads. 

“He kicked all of our staff out of the locker room, kicked a trash can, threw a white board, sat on the trash can and started screaming,” one player recounted. “He wanted us to tell him what we thought went wrong in the game. Me and another player spoke up, and he said, ‘You’re just (expletive) wrong.’ And that if we didn’t want to be in this program, we could all quit, and he’d sign our release paperwork tomorrow.”

While Abel was not made available for an interview, he did say in a statement that “at no point have I used threatening statements or financial repercussions as a part of coaching.”

Instances of emotional distress stemming from Abel’s alleged harsh treatment date back to 2021 – his first full year leading the team following an abbreviated 2020 campaign.

Other former players contacted by The Oregonian detailed positive overall experiences, and described his style as “normal coaching.”

Others, like USWNT players Becky Sauerbrunn and Lindsey Horan, did not respond to requests for comment, although Sauerbrunn wrote in 2019 that she had a “great relationship” with Abel. 

Still, multiple players interviewed had similar stories, with one saying that girls would be “crying in the locker room” after practice because of what he would tell players. Attempts to speak with the administration about his behavior, players say, was “discouraging.”

“His office is like the scariest place,” one player said. “You’d have to sit there while he’d belittle you and say all these nasty things, and gaslight you into believing you’re not good enough. ... Our team fell apart because of the environment he created. We were just trying to get through the day. There was no way we could focus on soccer.”

Multiple players said they experienced suicidal ideation while playing at Oregon. In part of his statement, Abel wrote that “at no time do we put our student-athletes in any danger.”

Abel is currently in his fifth and final year of his contract at Oregon.

Gotham FC unveil Championship rings ahead of banner reveal

Gotham FC players celebrate Lynn Williams' goal in the first half of the 2023 NWSL Championship. (Ray Acevedo/USA TODAY Sports)

Gotham FC has unveiled their 2023 NWSL championship rings — and safe to say, they deliver.

The reveal has led to a little bit of trash talk ahead of the team’s matchup with Kansas City this weekend, as both teams have NFL owners. While the Current are co-owned by Patrick and Brittany Mahomes, former Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a co-owner of Gotham. 

On Wednesday, Manning took to Sportscenter to give Mahomes a bit of a hard time.

“He may have one more Super Bowl ring than me, but he does not have a NWSL championship ring like I do,” Manning joked.

“Come Sunday night at Red Bull Arena, April 14th, we’re dropping the banner on Kansas City. We got the ring ceremony, the players get their rings and their championship afterwards. This is it, I’ve got something to talk a little trash to him about because I can’t do it about football anymore, I gotta find something else.”

The appearance came after Manning posted to social media, inviting Mahomes to “come see [the championship ring] up close this Sunday.”

Mahomes responded in kind, writing that “we’ll see y’all Sunday!”

Gotham takes on current league-leaders Kansas City on Sunday at 6pm ET. The game is available on NWSL+.

Oregon State hit by transfer portal again as Raegan Beers departs

ALBANY, NEW YORK - MARCH 31: Raegan Beers #15 of the Oregon State Beavers shoots a free throw during the first half against the South Carolina Gamecocks in the Elite 8 round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament at MVP Arena on March 31, 2024 in Albany, New York. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Oregon State leading scorer and rebounder Raegan Beers announced on Thursday that she is entering the transfer portal. 

"Thank you for all of your endless love and support these past two years," she posted on social media. "I will never forget my time at OSU and I am thankful for the opportunity I had to meet and play with incredible people. My journey as a Beav was a special one and I am grateful for my teammates, coaches, fans, and friends who have changed my life throughout my time here."

A sophomore forward, Beers is a two-time All-Pac-12 selection who averaged 17.5 points per game last season while shooting 66.4 percent from the field. She also added 10.3 rebounds en route to earning third-team All-American honors from the AP. 

She’s the fourth Oregon State starter – and seventh player overall – to hit the portal this offseason. She joins Talia von Oelhoggen and Timea Gardiner in the transfer portal, as well as starting freshman Donovyn Hunter. 

Beers and Gardiner were both top-10 recruits in ESPN rankings coming out of high school. 

With the dissolution of the Pac-12, the program will join the WCC next season and no longer be a part of the Power 5.

Conference realignment is hitting the team hard, with coach Scott Rueck saying during the tournament that he knew it could seriously affect his team moving forward. 

"That's reality," Rueck said. "I can't control that, other than just keep doing what I'm doing. I think the opportunity within that for a leader provides a discipline that you'd better be on your A-game all the time. You'd better take care of people, and you'd better provide a great experience. That's the approach going forward and what happens, happens. We'll find a way."

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