Kristie Mewis Heads to Canberra, Jane Ross Moves to Vittsjo, Ali Krieger Comes Home
By Ryan Wood – Don’t expect this January to feature an array of transfers. To be quite honest, it’s shaping up to be a moderately quiet transfer period. But that’s not to say that some big moves haven’t been made already. Let’s take a look at a few so far with more to follow in the coming weeks.
Jane Ross (Glasgow City to Vittsjo)
Ross has been a fixture at the Scottish club Glasgow City since she was 16 years old and now heads to Sweden to play for Damallsvenskan side Vittsjo. The Rothesay native has always played for City, seven years to be exact. During her span, she helped lead City to six Premier League titles, three Scottish Cups, and three League Cups and also played in the Champions League against Duisburg, Frankfurt, Turbine Potsdam, and Zvezda to name a few.
“As the new season commences, we have to accept that some players will leave us and seek a fresh challenge,” City Head Coach Eddie Wolecki Black said. “Jane has now achieved so much. Every year has seen her strengthen her reputation and consistency. I would be hard pushed to think of more dedicated individual, she has done everything in her power to improve her game … she has been remarkable, not only establishing herself as a very important player for the club, but also on the international stage. She has now added goals to her armoury and allied with her pace, skill and work rate, her new club in Sweden are getting very much a finished article. Her goals ratio for both club and country are fantastic, and it’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye. I would like to thank Jane for her fantastic contribution to the club and wish her the very best of luck in Sweden.”
Kristie Mewis (Boston College to Canberra United)
The Hanson, Mass., native graduated early from Boston College, and on Jan. 1, 2013, joined Canberra United of the Australian W-League as an injury replacement for Sally Shipard. Canberra are one of three teams fighting for a final playoff spot in the W-League and Mewis brings a wealth of talent Down Under. A longtime U.S. Youth National teamer, who trained last year with the senior team under former coach Pia Sundhage, can play anywhere on the left side of the field. She’s got pace and a lethal shot. Current USWNT midfielder Lauren Cheney once called Mewis, “the best raw talent” she’s ever seen. The W-League season ends next month, so Mewis will return for the National Women’s Soccer League, where she is projected to be the No. 1 pick in the Jan. 18 NWSL College Draft.
Ali Krieger (TBD)
What we do know is that after five years in Germany, Krieger has left 1. FFC Frankfurt, and indications are that she wants to play in the National Women’s Soccer League this spring.
Karen Bardsley (Lincoln Ladies)
England’s keeper and former member of Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) has moved from Swedish side Linkopings to the Lincoln Ladies of the FA Women’s Super League in England.
Whitney Engen (Liverpool)
The former Western New York Flash star and 2011 WPS Defender of the Year heads across the pond to play for Liverpool in the upcoming FA Women’s Super League season. Engen, who had a couple caps with the U.S. Women’s National Team under former coach Pia Sundhage, joins a Liverpool club that has made a splash during their offseason by signing a number of top players. The club released 10 players this offseason to make room for a new crop. This new group includes former Chelsea defender and England youth national teamer and defender Gemma Bonner, Everton duo Fara Williams and Natasha Dowi, who have been capped multiple times for England, Swedish international Louise Fors, German U20 international midfielder Nicole Rolser, England U23 international defender Lucy Bronze. Don’t be surprised to see another 2-3 internationals link up with Liverpool shortly.
Jaime Souza (Arna Bjornar)
After two years in Germany at VfL Wolfsburg, the 25-year-old keeper is off to Norway to play for Arna Bjornar in Toppserien.
Katie Bethke (Avaldsnes IL)
Bethke has experience at the international level with the U.S. U-23s and previously played for the Atlanta Beat in WPS and the Ottawa Fury of the USL W-League. After a season at German club Bayer Leverkusen, Bethke is off to Avaldsnes IL in Norway, the 2012 Division 1 champions who were promoted to top-flight Toppserien.
Brett Maron (Kristianstads DFF)
Maron, who played last year for Valur in Iceland’s Pepsi-Deildin, returns to the Swedish club she played for in 2009. The former WPS keeper with the Atlanta Beat, Maron played for Hall of Fame coach Tony DiCicco in 2007 for SoccerPlus CT of the Women’s Premier Soccer League.
Justine Bernier (Klepp IL)
The former Vancouver Whitecaps keeper is on the move to Klepp of Norway’s Toppserien.
Michele Dalton (UMF Selfoss)
Dalton turned heads in 2012, playing for the Philadelphia Fever in WPSL Elite, proving herself as one of the top keepers in the league. She’s now heading to Iceland to play in Pepsi-Deildin for UMF Selfoss.
Monica Dolinsky (Aland United)
After establishing herself overseas at Finnish club Kokkola F10 in 2011 and in 2010 with Östersunds DFF in Sweden’s second division, Dolinsky, the former University of Kansas forward, is heading to Finland to play for Aland United in top-flight Naisten Liiga.
Melinda Ingalls (Östersunds DFF)
Former Oregon State University midfielder/forward will return to the Division 2 Swedish club Östersunds, where she debuted last season.
Jones twins land at Everton
In late November, sisters Kelly and Vicky Jones left Liverpool and joined rival club Everton. They were the Blues’ first signings of the year.
What’s brewing in central London?
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes hinted on Twitter recently that the Blues are close to announcing a number of “world class signings.” This doesn’t surprise me, given Hayes’ track record of spotting tremendous talent. In the final year of WPS, Hayes was the technical advisor for the Western New York Flash and was partly responsible for the team signing top players, who led the Flash to the WPS title. Chelsea have already made one massive signing, England international and former WPS forward Eniola Aluko from Birmingham City. She was Hayes’ first new signing for Chelsea.
Rumor mill … According to German publication Märkische Verlags, former Boston Breaker and Seattle Sounder Keelin Winters has left 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam to return to the U.S. to likely play in the NWSL … Is UNC’s Amber Brooks heading overseas? She recently tweeted about packing up for 5 months. Coincidentally, the second half of the Bundesliga season is about to begin and runs for another 5 months. Projected as a top pick in the NWSL draft, we could see Brooks back in NWSL for the second half of the season … Although not officially confirmed by the club, it appears as if U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Megan Rapinoe will play for French champions Lyon. This is according to her father, who revealed the info to a local paper in California.
Ryan Wood is an assistant editor for Our Game Magazine. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing and communications from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and has written for several major publications. The Boston-based journalist has covered the men’s FA Cup for The Sunday Sun in Northeast England and women’s soccer for The Watford Observer, World Soccer Reader, and GateHouse Media New England, where he currently serves as a sports editor. Ryan is the Communications Director for the Boston Breakers of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). This is his third year with the team. He is also a minority owner of the Spanish men’s football club Real Oviedo.