National Women's Soccer League teams had to finalize their opening-day rosters Monday ahead of this weekend's season openers, and several players with Wisconsin ties were among those signed and released.
Forward Sarah Hagen (Appleton North/UW-Milwaukee) joined the Houston Dash, four days after being waived by the Orlando Pride. It's the third stop in the NWSL for the 27-year-old Hagen, who had 10 goals and four assists in 42 appearances (27 starts) for FC Kansas City and the Pride over the past two seasons.
"We're built with speed between Kealia (Ohai) and Rachel (Daly) and Melissa (Henderson) and Stephanie (Ochs)," Dash coach Randy Waldrum told the Houston Chronicle (Read full article). "They're all similar in being that runner. Janine (Beckie) is the closest we have to a true No. 9 who can hold up play with her back to the goal. Sarah gives us that.
"She's not the pacey player who is going to beat you from 30-40 yards like what we have already. She can play with her back to the goal. She's really good in the air and she's good when she gets around the goal. She's had a good scoring record within the league. When it came up, we just felt like we couldn't pass."
The Chicago Red Stars signed midfielder Morgan Proffitt (Marquette), whom they selected with the second pick of the second round (No. 12 overall) in January's NWSL College Draft, and released forward Cara Walls (Wauwatosa East/UW).
Proffitt, 22, was the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Year for the Golden Eagles as a senior last fall and had 10 goals and three assists in 85 games (83 starts) in her college career. The 23-year-old Walls had two goals and one assist in 22 appearances (nine starts) for Chicago over the past two seasons.
FC Kansas City had three players with state ties on their preseason roster, but none of them made the final cut. Defender Rashida Beal (Germantown), the Big Ten Conference Defender of the Year for Minnesota last fall, was a fourth-round draft pick by the team this year, while forward Maegan Kelly (Marquette) and midfielder Josee Stiever (Cedarburg) were trialists looking to earn a roster spot.
Interestingly, the 25-year-old Kelly – a Kansas City native who was drafted by FC Kansas City in 2014 before playing professionally in Iceland, Finland and Cyprus the past three years – played in FCKC's final preseason match Monday night after the opening-day roster was announced and scored the final goal in a 3-1 victory over the University of Kansas.