NWSL Roundup: Dagný Brynjarsdóttir returning to Portland Thorns

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WIESBADEN, GERMANY - OCTOBER 20: Anna Blaesse of Germany is challenged by Dagny Brynjarsdottir of Iceland during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Championship Qualifier match between Germany and Iceland at BRITA-Arena on October 20, 2017 in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Portland, Oregon (February 7, 2019) — After one year away from the NWSL, Dagný Brynjarsdóttir is returning back to where it all started.

Brynjarsdóttir has re-signed with the Portland Thorns FC. She was a member of Portland’s championship-winning team in 2017, but originally signed with the club in 2016. Brynjarsdóttir missed last season due to pregnancy and the birth of her son, Brynjar Ómarsson.

NWSL Roundup: Dagný Brynjarsdóttir returning to Portland Thorns

During her time in Portland, Brynjarsdóttir made 31 appearances for the Thorns, scoring five goals. She was a regular starter under Mark Parsons. In the regular season, her numbers included 28 appearances and 17 starts.

Gavin Wilkinson, Thorns FC general manager, called Brynjarsdóttir an “experienced and talented player” who is familiar with the club and NWSL.

“With 2019 being a World Cup year, it was important to add players to our roster that can contribute for a majority of the season as numerous key players will be away with their respective national teams for large portions of the season,” Wilkinson said.

Brynjarsdóttir is a native of Iceland, a country who failed to qualify for the World Cup. She has made 76 international appearances since 2010, scoring 22 goals. Brynjarsdóttir began her career in Iceland with Knattspyrnufélagið Ægir in 2006.

“We are excited to welcome Dagny back to Portland,” Parsons said. “She is a tenacious and energetic central midfielder who provided plenty of versatility during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. We love Dagny’s winning mentality and her desire to be the best she can be each day. She knows this club inside out and is an important addition ahead of the 2019 season.”

Seattle Reign moving stadium, changing name and jersey sponsor

Independent ownership is fading away from the NWSL.

However, with a new ownership comes new perks and opportunities. For the former Seattle Reign FC — who will just go by Reign FC from now on — this means a new stadium. Memorial Park was not fit for NWSL standard for the upcoming 2019 season. The Reign needed a new venue.

Now, they have one.

Cheney Stadium in Tacoma, Washington, is the new home for plenty of players and coaches. Tacoma is about an hour-long drive from Seattle. However, the stadium is equipped with a 6,500 seating arrangement. It’s also the home of the Tacoma Rainers in Minor League Baseball and the new Tacoma Defiance, formerly known as the Seattle Sounders 2, in the United Soccer League.

“We spent a lot of time inside Cheney Stadium to imagine the match day experience we could provide,” Reign FC owner and president Bill Predmore said via a press release. “We can say with certainty that the experience our players and fans will have at Cheney Stadium will be an exponential jump from what we could deliver at Memorial Stadium.”

Predmore continued, saying that the new stadium provides “great optimism for our future.”

“We worked incredibly hard over the past year to find a solution that would allow us to continue playing our home matches in Seattle, but the requirements imposed by the NWSL limited our options,” Predmore said.

Predmore still is the majority owner of the Reign. However, he is now joined by Adrian Hanauer and Lenore Hanauer, Adrian’s mother. Adrian Hanauer is an owner of the Seattle Sounders FC of Major League Soccer.

“Adrian and Lenore have both been supportive of our club since its inception, so we are excited to welcome them to the Reign FC ownership group,” Predmore said. “The renewed strength of the ownership group will provide long-term stability, support and strategic leadership that will ensure that Reign FC is able to achieve success both on and off the pitch.”

Orlando Pride waives Poliana

The Orlando Pride will have one-less Brazilian on this season’s roster.

Poliana is leaving the Pride to head back to Brazil, according to the club. The official roster move was a waiving of the midfielder. However, the decision was mutual between both the player and the club. Poliana expressed her desire to return to her home country and Orlando worked with her to make it happen.

In her time with the Pride, Poliana made 10 appearances in one season. She first joined the NWSL in 2016, spending two seasons with the Houston Dash. Poliana made 37 appearances, scoring five goals, for Houston.

The 27-year-old has made 34 international appearances for Brazil. She has scored five international goals, with her last goal occurring in December 2015 against Mexico.

“On behalf of the Pride, I want to thank Poliana for her contributions and wish her the best of luck as she explores a new playing opportunity,” Erik Ustruck, Pride general manager, said in a press release.

Other Brazilian members of the Orlando Pride include Marta, Monica Hickmann Alves and Camila Pereira.

Washington Spirit re-sign Cali Farquharson

Cali Farquharson isn’t leaving the Washington Spirit anytime soon.

The forward recently re-signed with the club for a fourth season. She has spent her entire NWSL career in Washington. Farquharson has made 31 appearances, but has yet to score her first league goal.

Before entering the NWSL, Farquharson spent her college career at Arizona State University. She starred for the Sun Devils from 2012-15, earning 74 appearances, starting 72 matches. She scored 44 goals and totaled 102 points. Those numbers put her at No. 2 in the school’s all-time list for goals and points.

She also scored 13 game-winning goals, tying the school’s second-place record. During her college days, Farquharson led the Sun Devils in goals and points every single season. She was named to the All-PAC 12 honors list three times.

In September 2016, Farquharson’s season was halted to a torn ACL injury. Since then, she has battled minor knocks and knee injuries. However, with a World Cup year that will see the likes of Mallory Pugh and Rose Lavelle gone for the United States, while Cheyna Williams could join up with Jamaica and Francisca Ordega is a shoe-in for Nigeria, Farquharson will play an important role, alongside Ashley Hatch.

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