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Jaedyn Shaw scores game-winning goal in USWNT’s 2023 finale

Jaedyn Shaw celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the USWNT’s 2-1 victory over China PR. (Sam Hodde/Getty Images)

Jaedyn Shaw played hometown and U.S. women’s national team hero on Tuesday night, scoring the deciding goal to secure the USWNT’s 2-1 come-from-behind win over China PR.

Shaw, playing in front of many friends and family in her hometown of Frisco, Texas, ran onto a deflection in the box after a set piece and sent a low strike into the left corner. It was the 19-year-old’s second international goal in her first career start for the USWNT.

The USWNT appeared to take the lead in the 67th minute, but Lindsey Horan’s diving header goal off a service from Shaw was disallowed for offside.

Sam Coffey brought the USWNT even in the 62nd minute with her first international goal. Jenna Nighswonger sent a low corner kick into the box that got batted around before Emily Sonnett set up Coffey for a curling shot into the top right corner.

The USWNT hasn’t lost to China since 2015 and leads the all-time series 38-13-9, outscoring China 104-38. The game was the team’s last of 2023, as players now head into an international break before preparations officially begin for the 2024 Paris Olympics under new head coach Emma Hayes.

The U.S. ends the year with 14 wins, four draws and zero losses in regulation — and just three goals conceded.

Sophia Smith and Midge Purce came on at the start of the second half, replacing Ashley Hatch and Emily Fox (who was placed under concussion protocl). Lynn Williams also departed in 58th minute for Trinity Rodman, the star of the USWNT’s win on Saturday with one goal and two assists.

Korbin Albert, 20, made her USWNT debut in the 69th minute alongside 18-year-old Olivia Moultrie, playing in her second consecutive game after earning her first cap Saturday. Albert, a former standout midfielder at Notre Dame, was called into her first U.S. camp this month after signing with Paris Saint-Germain in January.

China PR gave the USWNT a scare in first-half stoppage time when Shen Mengyu got on the end of Siqian Wang’s header across the goal line. The cross came courtesy of a set piece after China was threatening down the flank and Fox committed a slide-tackle foul near the left corner.

The U.S. went into halftime down 1-0 despite controlling 66% of the possession and registering eight shots to China’s three.

USWNT starting lineup vs. China PR

Interim head coach Twila Kilgore made seven changes to the starting lineup from the USWNT’s 3-0 win over China PR on Saturday in the first of the two-game series. Naomi Girma, Fox, Sonnett and Horan were the only holdovers from Saturday’s starting lineup.

Goalkeeper Aubrey Kingsbury started in place of Casey Murphy, while Shaw and Nighswonger earned their first starts with the national team. Coffey, Hatch and Tierna Davidson also entered the starting lineup for the first time after being left off the USWNT’s 2023 World Cup roster.

Kilgore said this week that the USWNT is layering in new tactics and ideas, including a shift in mentality that encourages players to be “willing and brave to try new things.”

Cameron Brink likes Caitlin Clark for 2024 WNBA Rookie of the Year

Cameron Brink poses with Caitlin Clark at 2024 wnba draft in new york
Cameron Brink poses with fellow draftee — and possible WNBA ROY —Caitlin Clark. (Photo by Emily Johnson/NBAE via Getty Images)

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

Dash winger Maria Sanchez confirms trade request a day shy of NWSL deadline

María Sanchez of Houston Dash during a NWSL game
In December, Sanchez signed a new three-year contract with the club worth $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images)

Maria Sanchez issued a statement on Thursday, confirming recent reports that she has requested a trade from the Houston Dash. 

In it, she revealed that the club has been aware of the request "since late March."

"This has all taken a toll and isn’t an easy thing to talk about, but I want to confirm that I’ve requested an immediate trade," she wrote. "My expectations and reasons have been clear. I trust that my current club’s management will honor my decision in a timely manner and proceed with accepting a trade."

"I’m eager to refocus and dive back into what I love most: playing football," she concluded.

Reports of Sanchez's trade request first surfaced on ESPN last week, and were later confirmed by multiple sources. 

In December of last year, Sanchez signed a three-year contract with the Dash valued at $1.5 million including bonuses and an option year. It was the largest contract in NWSL history at the time — a figure that would be eclipsed by multiple contracts in the following months. 

Sanchez spent the offseason as a restricted free agent, meaning that Houston could match any other team's offer to retain her rights. Should the Dash trade Sanchez, her current contract terms would remain intact, limiting potential buyers to teams able to afford to take on an inking of that size.

The Dash has yet to address the trade, instead reiterating to ESPN that Sanchez is "under contract, a choice she made in free agency at the end of 2023." 

Both the NWSL trade window and transfer window close tonight, April 19th, at 12 a.m. ET. The window will stay closed through the next 11 regular season games, reopening on August 1st, 2024.

Seattle Storm debut state-of-the-art $64 million practice facility

Jewell Loyd #24 of the Seattle Storm during warms up during practice on July 11, 2020 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida
Jewell Loyd, seen here practicing at Florida's IMG Academy, and her team are in for a major upgrade this season. (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

The four-time league champion Seattle Storm unveiled their new practice facility on Thursday, with Storm co-owner Lisa Brummel dubbing Interbay's Seattle Storm Center for Basketball Performance the team’s "new home."

"It's just such a special space," Brummel told Fox 13 Seattle. "I think when the players get here, it's gonna be overwhelming."

The sprawling 50,000-square-foot, $64 million property is just the second designated practice facility to be designed and built expressly for a WNBA team, with the Storm further noting that 85% of all design and engineering team members involved in the project's construction were women and people of color. The finished product holds two professional indoor courts, two 3x3 outdoor courts, a state-of-the-art locker room, and players' lounge, plus designated areas for strength and conditioning, kitchen, dining, and nutrition, and recovery. 

"This facility reflects our commitment to providing our athletes an exceptional environment that supports their growth, health, and performance," said Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder in an official team release. "It’s built for women, by women, embodying our dedication to leading the way in professional women’s sports."

For their part, the team can't wait to make the faciilty their own.

"It's amazing," Storm guard Jewell Loyd told Fox 13. "Not having to drive everywhere around, knowing you have access anytime of the day to get into the gym, to workout." 

Head coach Noelle Quinn said she predicts the team is "never going to leave this building."

"Which is a good thing for me," she continued. "You talk about having an edge in performance. We want our athletes to not only perform on the court, but get whatever they need."

All of the Storm's staff and operations will now live under one roof, and the team also has plans to launch a youth basketball program operating out of the building.

Mystics relocate game to accommodate Caitlin Clark fans

Maya Caldwell, Erica Wheeler, and Lexie Hull of the Indiana Fever celebrate Caitlin Clark
Get ready — Caitlin Clark is coming to town. (Photo by Ron Hoskins/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Caitlin Clark effect is quickly making its mark on the big leagues, as WNBA host teams around the country rush to upgrade their Fever games to larger arenas in order to accommodate surging ticket sales.

With Clark mere weeks away from her Indiana Fever debut, both the Las Vegas Aces and Washington Mystics have officially relocated their scheduled home games with head coach Christie Sides' squad. On Thursday, the Mystics became the latest to adjust their plans, moving their June 7th matchup from Entertainment & Sports Arena in Southwest DC to the more centrally located — and much larger — Capital One Arena "due to unprecedented demand."

The Mystics home court's capacity taps out at 4,200, while Capital One Arena — home to the Wizards, Capitals, and Georgetown Hoya's Men's Basketball — can fit nearly five times that crowd at some 20,000 spectators.

"The move to Capital One Arena will allow for additional fans in the stands as well as premium hospitality options, including Suites and the all-new all-inclusive courtside Hennessy Lofts," the team announced via Thursday's press release.

The Aces were one of the first teams to switch venues, aiming to take on the Indiana Fever in front of as many as 20,000 fans inside T-Mobile Arena on July 2nd. That’s a sizable a boost from their home venue, which holds just 12,000.

For those still planning to face the Fever in their home arenas, ticket prices have skyrocketed. Previously scheduled construction has already forced the LA Sparks to relocate their first five games — including their May 24th clash with the Fever — to Long Beach State's Walter Pyramid. The temporary venue is quite the downsize, holding just 4,000 in comparison to Arena's near-19,000. As of Friday, the get-in price for that game started around $400.

Despite fans launching a petition urging relocation, the Chicago Sky say they're unable to move their June 23rd Fever meeting from Wintrust Arena's 10,000-seat facility to the 23,500-seat United Center due to a concert. Tickets for that game start around $325 as of Friday.

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