Jan. 11, 2013
NWSL Allocation List | CanadaSoccer.com
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Even though she's currently in China with the rest of the Canadian Women's National Team preparing for the Four Nations Tournament (Yongchuan Cup), Purdue soccer alumna Lauren Sesselmann found out Friday that she has been assigned to Kansas City FC for the inaugural season of the National Women's Soccer League.
The NWSL announced the allocation of the 55 international players to the eight clubs set to compete in the new women's professional league beginning this spring. The club assignments for the 23 American, 16 Canadian and 16 Mexican players were unveiled Friday.
The eight teams for the NWSL's inaugural season include Sesselmann's FC Kansas City as well as the Boston Breakers, Washington Spirit, Portland Thorns, Seattle Reign FC, Chicago Red Stars, Sky Blue FC and Western New York Flash. Some of the franchises have ties to the teams that comprised Women's Professional Soccer (WPS). Sesselmann last played for the Atlanta Beat of WPS before the league officially folded in May 2012.
Joining Sesselmann in Kansas City will be Team USA's Nicole Barnhart (a goalkeeper), Lauren Cheney and Becky Sauerbrunn, Canada's Desiree Scott, and Mexico's Renae Cuellar and Marylin Diaz. The NWSL will hold its college draft next Friday, Jan. 18 in Indianapolis. FC Kansas City has hired a coaching staff but is still determining where it will play its home games. The NWSL season is slated to begin in April with teams playing a 22-game schedule.
U.S. Soccer is subsidizing the salaries of the 23 American players, while the Canadian Soccer Association and the Federation of Mexican Football will each do the same for their 16 players. Although she was born and raised in Wisconsin before joining the Boilermakers, Sesselmann earned Canadian citizenship through her father en route to earning a spot on the Canadian National Team.
With 23 U.S. players available for the allocation, all but one of the eight teams received three U.S. Women's National Team players. The Western New York Flash received Team USA standouts and Olympic heroes Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach, who was recently named the 2012 FIFA Women's World Player of the Year.
Canadian Women's National Team head coach John Herdman selected the 16 players from his team that would be among the first group of players allocated to NWSL teams. Sesselmann was among the 13 players that were part of Canada's bronze medal-winning team at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Meanwhile, the Canadian Women's National Team is set for the four-team Yongchuan Cup in China, which begins Saturday and also features Norway and South Korea. Twelve of the 21 players on Canada's roster for event were part of the 2012 Olympic Team. Meanwhile, Ohio State's Tiffany Cameron, Michigan's Shelina Zadorsky and West Virginia's Bryanna McCarthy are also in the mix. Those three players took the field when their teams played Purdue women's soccer during the 2012 college season. Cameron and McCarthy are likely to be selected in next week's NWSL draft.
Team Canada is scheduled to play China Saturday at 1 a.m. ET, South Korea Jan. 14 at 3 a.m. ET and Norway Jan. 16 at 4 a.m. ET at the Four Nations Tournament. The event is also being called the Yongchuan Cup while being held at the Yongchuan Olympic Center in Chongqing, China.
Sesselmann played for Purdue from 2001-05, finishing her career as the program's all-time leader in goals (34), assists (22) and points (90). One-time teammate Jessica Okoroafo later eclipsed her goals record. She helped Canada win the gold medal at the 2011 Pan-Am Games in Mexico and then went the distance at defender in five of Canada's six games at the 2012 Olympic Games. She was on the pitch for the duration of the tournament except for the final 21 minutes of the opener against Japan, helping the Canadians post shut out wins against South Africa, Great Britain and France.
Canada won its first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since 1936 (men's basketball silver). Sesselmann joined David Boudia as former Boilermakers to win a medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. She was the first Purdue women's soccer alumna to win an Olympic medal.