NWSL Roundup: ESPN TV deal, Reddy out and Fishlock tears ACL

NWSL Jess Fishlock
BRIDGEVIEW, IL — JUNE 4: Seattle Reign FC midfielder Jessica Fishlock (10) controls the ball in the first half during a game between the Seattle Reign and the Chicago Red Stars on June 4, 2017, at Toyota Park, in Bridgeview, IL. (Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images).

Chicago (July 5, 2019) — After almost half of the season finished without a single match aired on a cable television channel, the National Women’s Soccer League is coming back to TV. Yesterday, the NWSL announced a 14-match TV partnership with ESPN outlets.

There will be six matches on ESPN2 and eight on ESPNews.

Toward the end of last season, the league announced their partnership with A+E Networks was ending a year early. Matches aired on Lifetime TV as part of the deal. However, the remainder of the contract was nullified and the NWSL went looking for a new partner. This season, matches have been streamed through Yahoo! Sports.

Matches have only aired online.

“NWSL is a global leader in women’s professional soccer, with collectively the most talented players in the world. Together with the reach of ESPN’s vast network, we have the opportunity to bring more games to a broader audience across the country and world,” NWSL President Amanda Duffy said, via a press release. “Even in the year leading up to the Women’s World Cup, we have continued to experience tremendous growth through the support, engagement, and visibility from our fans.”

Meanwhile, Buruke Magnus, an executive vice president of programming and scheduling at ESPN, said that making a deal with the league was important to help build of the FIFA Women’s World Cup success.

“We are pleased to once again televise the National Women’s Soccer League and showcase many of the world’s top female players when they return to their professional club teams,” Magnus said. “The success and excitement of the World Cup in France has been on full display and the NWSL represents the best women’s club soccer in the world.”

The full schedule of matches being aired can be found here.

Denise Reddy OUT at Sky Blue FC

Change can be a good thing.

Sky Blue FC is hoping that will be the case now that Denise Reddy is out as head coach. The second-year coach couldn’t improve the team in her sophomore season. Sky Blue FC still remains at the bottom of the table. They sit in last place with two points, with chances of making the playoffs decreasing by the match.

The club has yet to announce the firing, with no real press release. However, the move was confirmed by the team via their social media page. Media reported that Reddy’s replacement will be remaining coaching staff members, including Alex Mendolia, Christiane Lessa and Hugo Macedo.

Currently, Sky Blue FC is not taking head coaching interviews.

Sky Blue has been the brunt of the NWSL for a while now. After finishing last season with just one win over the Orlando Pride, the club was ousted for unjust working conditions. However, the club started making internal improvements, including the firing of general manager Tony Novo.

Sky Blue FC hit the road tomorrow against the Chicago Red Stars. The New Jersey club is still without Carli Lloyd, who is gone on international duty. However, goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan (Canada) and defender Estelle Johnson (Cameroon) are available for selection.

Jess Fishlock suffers ACL tear

One moment you’re at the top and then next moment you’re off cloud nine.

Jess Fishlock has had a whirlwind six months. Before the start of her NWSL season, Fishlock went on loan to Olympique Lyonnias, where she won the UEFA Champions League title. She came back, joining her Reign FC club, and dominated the game. Recently, she was just named Player of the Month for scoring three goals and providing one assist in her five matches back.

Fishlock’s season has come to an end, though. On Wednesday, Reign FC announced that Fishlock tore her ACL against the Utah Royals FC.

“It’s absolutely devastating for us as a team to lose a player and a leader like Jess,” Vlatko Andonovski said. “But this season has been about facing and overcoming adversity — this will just be another test for our squad. I am confident our players will again rise to the challenge.”

Fishlock is just another example of the ACL spread that’s targeting the league. Also announced recently with an ACL tear was Portland Thorns midfielder Angela Salem. Other players to acquire the same injury are Veronica Latsko of Houston, Kayla McCoy of Houston and two of her Reign FC teammates: Jasmyne Spencer and Taylor Smith.

“I am obviously disappointed by the injury, but am confident in my ability to make a quick return early next year,” Fishlock said. “The word from the medical team has been super encouraging, so I expect to get the surgery behind me quickly and begin the rehab process next week. I’ll be rooting the team on from the bench and will do everything possible to support the squad through the season.”

 

 

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