NWSL Fall Series: Who’s In, Who’s Out

Challenge Cup NJvNC

North Carolina Courage rookie Hailie Mace (left) battles Sky Blue’s Imani Dorsey in the NWSL Challenge Cup first-round finale. Photo by Jordyn Baker.


UPDATED October 2
We’re halfway through the NWSL Fall Series. Based on the roster information that’s been announced by each team, below is an overview of the Fall Series rosters. The Verizon Community Shield standings are linked below — the top team at the end of the Fall Series gets to give $25,000 to their selected community partner, thanks to Verizon. Second place team gets $15,000 for their community partner and third place gets $10,000. Portland sits at the top of the standings after two straight wins.

Note that all NWSL players were notified shortly after the Challenge Cup ended up that a fall series of games was a possibility, but would end no later than October 17. All players were allowed to opt-out of the fall games without losing pay, just like the Challenge Cup. Some players secured loans with Europeans clubs that would guarantee more playing time than four friendlies; a few USWNT players made the jump to the FA WSL, which kicked off its 2020-21 season after Labor Day.

Links of interest
NWSL Fall Series standings
NWSL Fall Series schedule in 1-page printable PDF
Keeper Notes WoSo Google calendar


Challenge Cup players returning (16): Camryn Biegalski, Danielle Colaprico, Tierna Davidson, Hannah Davison, Vanessa DiBernardo, Morgan (Brian) Gautrat, Zoey Goralski, Sarah Gorden, Katie Johnson, Sarah Luebbert, Savannah McCaskill, Zoe Morse, Alyssa Naeher, Casey Short, Bianca St. Georges, Kealia Watt

Returning from maternity leave (1): Arin Wright

Signed for Fall Series (3): Aerial Chavarin, Kelsey Daugherty, Dani Rhodes

On loan for remainder of 2020: Emily Boyd (HB Køge/Denmark), Makenzy Doniak (HB Køge/Denmark), Rachel Hill (Linköpings FC/Sweden), Cassie Miller (Apollon Ladies/Cyprus), Yuki Nagasato (Hayabusa Eleven men’s/Japan), Kayla Sharples (Kuopion Palloseura/Finland)

Opting out: Julie Ertz

Traded to Utah: Michele Vasconcelos

Unavailable due to injury: Alyssa Mautz (knee)

Contract ended after Challenge Cup: Zoe Redei, Cassie Rohan

ROSTER NOTES: Chicago’s fall roster features the most 2020 USWNT allocations – Tierna Davidson, Morgan Gautrat, Casey Short and Alyssa Naeher. Arin Wright could make her first appearance of 2020 in the Fall Series, returning from the birth of her son earlier this year. Undrafted Dani Rhodes made her NWSL debut at Washington on 9/5, along with 2020 draftees Aerial Chavarin and Camryn Biegalski.



Challenge Cup players returning (21): Bridgette Andrzejewski, Jane Campbell, Allysha Chapman, Amanda Dennis, Jamia Fields, Shea Groom, Haley Hanson, Lindsey Harris, Maegan Kelly, Veronica Latsko, Kristie Mewis, Christine Nairn, Katie Naughton, Megan Oyster, Nichelle Prince, Ally Prisock, Cami Privett, Sophie Schmidt, Erin Simon, Katie Stengel, Bri Visalli

Signed for Fall Series (3): Shaina Ashouri, Jaci Jones, Lauren Silver

On loan for remainder of 2020: Rachel Daly (West Ham United/England), CeCe Kizer (Koboltn/Norway)

Unavailable due to injury: Kayla McCoy (knee)

ROSTER NOTES: Every starter from the Dash’s Challenge Cup championship squad returns except for tournament MVP Rachel Daly, who’s spending the fall playing in the FA Women’s Super League and for the England national team. Houston’s three fall signings included another Reggae Girl — Lauren Silver, who was part of the Dash training squad in 2015 but never saw the field.



Challenge Cup players returning (15): Abby Dahlkemper, Debinha, Hailey Harbison, Kaleigh Kurtz, Stephanie Labbé (opting out after 9/19 game), McKenzie Meehan, Addisyn Merrick, Lauren Milliet, Sinclaire Miramontez, Samantha Murphy, Cari Roccaro, Katelyn Rowland, Meredith Speck, Lynn Williams, Ryan Williams

Signed for Fall Series (5): Rylee Baisden, Danica Evans, Kristina Maksuti, Peyton Perea, Ari Romero, Havana Solaun (October 1)

On loan for remainder of 2020: Lindsay Agnew (Orebro/Sweden), Hailie Mace (Kristianstads DFF/Sweden), Denise O’Sullivan (Brighton & Hove/England)

Transferred to Manchester City: Samantha Mewis

Unavailable: Jaelene Daniels (opt out), Crystal Dunn (opt out), Abby Erceg (opt out), Kristen Hamilton (opt out), Merritt Mathias (knee), Jessica McDonald (opt out), Ally Watt (knee)

ROSTER NOTES: Lynn Williams’ Pepperdine pal Rylee Baisden earned her first NWSL appearance last weekend versus Houston, while Peyton Perea and Hailey Harbison made their belated professional debuts. Keep an eye out for Albanian national teamer (and US dual citizen) Kristina Maksuti. Stephanie Labbé played the first two matches for the Courage, but will opt out the final two games as she prepares for the next Canada national team camp — but if any team has a wealth of healthy, talented backup keepers with NWSL experience, it’s the Courage.



Challenge Cup players returning (16): Morgan Andrews, Bethany Balcer, Michelle Betos, Amber Brooks, Steph Cox, Shirley Cruz, Madison Hammond, Sofia Huerta, Celia Jimenez Delgado, Allie Long, Kristen McNabb, Casey Murphy, Taylor Smith, Jasmyne Spencer, Dani Weatherholt, Rosie White

Returning from injury after missing Challenge Cup (2): Julia Ashley, Leah Pruitt

Signed for Fall Series (4): Kim Hazlett, Sam Hiatt, Carly Nelson, Miranda Nild

On loan for remainder of 2020: Lauren Barnes (Kristianstads DFF/Sweden), Jess Fishlock (Reading/England), Machaela George (Fortuna Hjorring/Denmark), Darian Jenkins (Bordeaux/France), Nicole Momiki (Linköpings FC/Sweden), Quinn (Vittsjö GIK/Sweden), Celia Jimenez Delgado (Lyon/France) as of 9/23

Contract/loan ended after Challenge Cup: Alana Cook, Adrienne Jordan

Transferred out of NWSL: Rose Lavelle (Manchester City/England), Jodie Taylor (Lyon/France)

Unavailable: Schuyler DeBree (on leave for 2020), Kelcie Hedge (knee), Megan Rapinoe (opt out)

ROSTER NOTES: Madison Hammond became the first Native American to play in the NWSL when she took the field at Utah on 9/26. And last Wednsday Miranda Nild became the first player from Thailand’s national team to play in the league. Draftee Sam Hiatt’s parents met playing soccer at Santa Clara — her mom was a teammate of Brandi Chastain’s. Julia Ashley could make her NWSL debut.



Signed for 2020 and available for Fall Series (14): Kristen Edmonds, Abby Elinsky, Ashlyn Harris, Julie King, Ali Krieger, Sydney Leroux, Marta, Courtney Petersen, Konya Plummer, Toni Pressley, Morgan Reid, Marisa Viggiano, Chelsee Washington, Brittany Wilson

Signed for Fall Series (7): Deneisha Blackwood, Ally Haran, Kate Howarth, Carrie Lawrence, Jordyn Listro, Zandy Soree, Savanah Uveges

On loan for remainder of 2020: Camila (SE Palmeiras/Brazil), Claire Emslie (Everton/England), Alanna Kennedy (Tottenham/England), Taylor Kornieck (Duisburg/Germany), Erin McLeod (Úrvalsdeild/Iceland), Jade Moore (Atletico Madrid/Spain), Alex Morgan (Tottenham/England), Carson Pickett (Apollon Ladies/Cyprus), Ali Riley (Rosengard/Sweden), Emily Sonnett (Kopparbergs/Göteborg FC/Sweden), Emily van Egmond (West Ham United/England), Shelina Zadorsky (Tottenham/England)

Unavailable: Caitlin Farrell (did not report)

ROSTER NOTES: Kate Howarth came on as a late sub against North Carolina on Saturday – her first NWSL appearance since May 2013! She was the UWS Player of the Year for 2019, and has represented the New England Mutiny every season since 2014. Sydney Leroux made her first start since September 2018 in that same game. Jamaican “Den Den” Blackwood made NWSL debut in that game, and her World Cup teammate Konya Plummer, the first Jamaican-born draftee in NWSL history, got her first NWSL minutes at Houston on 9/26.



Challenge Cup players returning (18): Simone Charley, Britt Eckerstrom, Marissa Everett, Lindsey Horan, Meghan Klingenberg, Kelli Hubly, Tyler Lussi, Emily Menges, Emily Ogle, Madison Pogarch, Rocky Rodriguez, Angela Salem, Becky Sauerbrunn, Gabby Seiler, Christine Sinclair, Autumn Smithers, Morgan Weaver, Christen Westphal

Returning from injury (1): Sophia Smith

Signed for Fall Series: none

On loan for remainder of 2020: Celeste Boureille (FC Fleury/France), Meaghan Nally (tbd)

Transferred: Tobin Heath (Manchester United/England)

Unavailable: Bella Bixby (knee injury), Adrianna Franch (knee injury), Katherine Reynolds (opt out)

ROSTER NOTES: There’s only one goalkeeper listed on Portland’s Fall Series roster, so the assumption is that Thorns goalkeeper coach Nadine Angerer will once again step in as Eckerstrom’s backup like she did at the Challenge Cup. Note that Portland’s roster has the oldest average age (26.7) of all the Fall Series squads, even without factoring in the 41-year-old Angerer. Sophia Smith, the #1 overall draft pick this year, at last made NWSL debut (just weeks after her 20th birthday) and promptly scored her first NWSL goal. She’s the second-youngest American to score a goal in NWSL.



Challenge Cup players returning (18): Nicole Baxter, Jennifer Cudjoe, Imani Dorsey, Sabrina Flores, Mandy Freeman, DiDi Haracic, Megan Hinz, Estelle Johnson, Gina Lewandowski, Amanda McGlynn, Paige Monaghan, Ifeoma Onumonu, Mallory Pugh, Midge Purce, Domi Richardson, Kailen Sheridan, Erica Skroski, Sarah Woldmoe

Signed for Fall Series: Mikaela Howell (October 2)

On loan for remainder of 2020: Elizabeth Eddy (Vittsjo/Sweden), Naho Kawasumi (INAC Kobe/Japan), Kaleigh Riehl (Paris FC/France), Evelyne Viens (Paris FC/France)

Unavailable due to injury: Caprice Dydasco, Carli Lloyd, Kenie Wright, McCall Zerboni

ROSTER NOTES: Sky Blue is the only team carrying four keepers for the Fall Series, and has the smallest roster. In their first game, Mandy Freeman made her first NWSL injury in two years following her ACL injury in spring 2019. Nicole Baxter was signed to a short-term contract for Fall Series following the Challenge Cup.



Challenge Cup players returning (21): Elizabeth Ball, Nicole Barnhart, Vero Boquete, Katie Bowen, Kate Del Fava, Aminata Diallo, Tziarra King, Lo’eau LaBonta, Taylor Leach, Melissa Lowder, Taylor Lytle, Michelle Maemone, Maddie Nolf, Brittany Ratcliffe, Amy Rodriguez, Arielle Ship, Abby Smith, Raisa Strom-Okimoto, Chestley Strother, Gaby Vincent, Mallory Weber

Acquired via trade (1): Michele Vasconcelos

Signed for Fall Series: none

On loan for remainder of 2020: Rachel Corsie (Birmingham City/England), Gunny Jonsdottir (Úrvalsdeild/Iceland)

Unavailable: Diana Matheson (opt out), Kelley O’Hara (opt out), Desiree Scott (opt out)

Transferred: Christen Press (Manchester United/England)

ROSTER NOTES: Chestley Strother could make her NWSL debut in the fall series, and BYU alumna Michele Vasconcelos could make her Royals debut. Utah is one of just two teams (along with Washington) to sign no player to short-term contracts for the Fall Series. Amy LePeilbet was announced as interim head coach on September 20, with Craig Harrington being place on adminstrative leave. Former NWSL midfielder will join Utah as assistant coach for the remainder of the Fall Series (September 30).




Returning from Challenge Cup (23): Dorian Bailey, Aubrey Bledsoe, Jaye Boissiere, Averie Collins, Jordan DiBiasi, Meggie Dougherty Howard, Bayley Feist, Ashley Hatch, Jenna Hellstrom, Brooke Hendrix, Tori Huster, Natalie Jacobs, Devon Kerr, Katie Lund, Katie McClure, Meghan McCool, Tegan McGrady, Paige Nielsen, Ashley Sanchez, Jessie Scarpa, Sam Staab, Crystal Thomas, Kumi Yokoyama

Signed for Fall Series: none

On loan for remainder of 2020: none

Unavailable: Cheyna Matthews (maternity leave), Andi Sullivan (knee), Kaiya McCullough (waived at her request to pursue opportunities overseas)

ROSTER NOTES: This is the youngest roster (average age just over 24 years) in the league right now, and Washington is one of just two teams (along with Utah) to sign no player to short-term contracts for the Fall Series. In addition, no Spirit players are currently on loan. Jessie Scarpa made her NWSL debut in the Fall Series opener, and scored her first pro goal in the following game. Meghan McCool also made her NWSL debut.



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