Post-Holiday Round-Up: Two More U.S. Soccer Coaches Step Down; NWSL News; Japan Confirms SheBelieves Cup Participation

A quick round-up of notable news since mid-December:

  • U-20 USWNT head coach Mark Carr hired by the University of Oklahoma
  • USWNT goalkeeping coach Graeme Abel hired by the University of Oregon
  • 2023 FIFA WWC bid books published
  • NWSL News:  OL Groupe buys Reign FC; 2020 Draft list of eligible players released; No expansion
  • 2020 SheBelieves Cup:  Japan confirmed, one to go
  • 2020 FIFA U-20 WWC:  Will be jointly hosted by Costa Rica and Panama


On Saturday, December 21st, the University of Oklahoma announced that now-former U-20 USWNT head coach Mark Carr would be the new head coach of the school’s women’s soccer team (  Carr’s departure from the U-20 WNT appears to be immediate.  The U-20 USWNT has one more camp scheduled prior to CONCACAF qualifying for the 2020 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

This leaves the USWNT youth teams with just one permanent head coach, Tracey Kevins of the U-17 WNT.  That team is holding a camp in Florida at the same time as the USWNT’s camp (January 5-15, 2020).

On Monday, December 30th, now-former USWNT Goalkeeping Coach Graeme Abel was named head coach for the University of Oregon’s women’s soccer team (,

For the USWNT’s January camp, Penn State head coach Erica (Walsh) Dambach will serve as an assistant coach and Wake Forest head coach Philip Poole will serve as the goalkeeper coach. (Twitter)

PREVIOUSLY:  2023 Women’s World Cup Bid Books Published

On Friday, December 13th, FIFA uploaded the bid books and executive summaries for the four official bids for the 2023 WWC.  (All documents can be downloaded from this article.)  The four bids are from Brazil, Colombia, Japan, and a joint bid between Australia and New Zealand.


On Tuesday, December 17th, Sky Blue FC name interim head coach Freya Coombe as the team’s permanent head coach. (

On Thursday, December 19th, OL Groupe was officially announced as the new majority owner (89.5%) of Reign FC. (

No expansion for 2020. (

On Monday, December 30th, the NWSL released the preliminary list of players eligible for the 2020 Draft. (  A Google Sheets spreadsheet version of that initial list is available here, for custom sorting, filtering, and searching.


Although U.S. Soccer has yet to officially announce the teams and schedule for the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, we do know three of the four teams that will be participating:  The USWNT, England, and Japan.

On December 20, the JFA published PDF calendars for their national teams (, confirming Nadeshiko Japan’s participation in the friendly tournament.

Additionally, Mexico  (rank #26) will participate in the 2020 Cyprus Women’s Cup, along with Czech Republic (#28-T), Finland (#28-T), Thailand (#38), Slovakia (#47), and Croatia (#52). (


On Friday, December 20th, FIFA confirmed that CONCACAF associations Costa Rica and Panama would jointly host the 2020 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.  ( FIFA and CONCACAF have yet to officially announce how this will affect CONCACAF qualifying for the tournament.

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