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This Week in Women’s Football March 31, 2021

This Week in Women’s Football: UWCL update, Montemurro parts ways with Arsenal, NWSL trades & more

March 31, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
Let’s go over the UWCL quarterfinal results and semifinal what ifs, Joe Montemurro’s departure from Arsenal at the end of the season and the list of women’s football games to watch this weekend.

What the UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals will look like

Chelsea and Barcelona sealed their tickets to the UWCL semifinals on Wednesday. Emma Hayes’ Blues put three goals past Wolfsburg and kept a clean sheet to win with a global score of 5-1. On the other hand, Barcelona clinched a spot in the semifinals despite losing to Manchester City 2-1 in the second leg thanks to their 3-0 home leg win.

Bayern Munich will take on Swedish side Rosengard on Thursday at 1 p.m. ET. Bayern leads the global score 3-0 after a dominant first leg last week and is expected to secure a spot in the semifinals. However, the all-French quarterfinal between Lyon and PSG is up in the air and more so after the postponement of the second leg. 

All in all, the semifinals will look very similar to the 2018-19 UEFA Women’s Champions League semifinals stage. That time out, four clubs from four different nations made it to the semifinals stage, something that will happen again this year. Also, the same four sides that were in the 2018-19 semifinals – Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Lyon – might meet again, as Bayern will most likely advance, and Lyon is up 1-0 with an away goal.

Projected 2020-21 UWCL semifinal matchups

The semifinals’ first and second legs are scheduled to be played on April 24/25 and May 1/2. 

  • Barcelona vs. Olympique Lyonnais
  • Chelsea vs. Bayern Munich

Joe Montemurro to leave Arsenal at the end of the season

Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro will part ways with the club after a four-year stint with the Gunners. The Australian led Arsenal to their first Women’s Super League title in seven years in 2019 and described his tenure as “the highlight of my coaching career.” 

The 51-year-old decided to take a professional break and dedicate more time with his family.

In addition to the 2019 WSL title, Montemurro helped Arsenal reach four cup finals during his stint in London. The Gunners are fourth in the WSL, three points from third-placed Manchester United but with a game in hand and a better goal differential. His goal is to help Arsenal secure a spot in the 2021-22 UEFA Women’s Champions League by finishing third in the league ahead of Man Utd.

NWSL trades ahead of the 2021 NWSL season

The 2021 National Women’s Soccer League season is just over a week away from kicking off and clubs are finalizing their final roster moves. The following are the league’s latest trades and signings.

  • Chicago Red Stars acquired the Houston Dash’s natural second-round selection in the 2022 NWSL Draft in exchange for the NWSL playing rights to Maria Sanchez.
  • The Chicago Red Stars waived defender Hannah Davison. The mutual decision allows Davison to pursue a playing opportunity overseas.
  • Houston Dash signed defender Annika Schmidt to a one-year contract through 2021 with an option to extend the contract through 2022.
  • Kansas City acquired midfield Jordyn Listro in a trade with Orlando Pride. In exchange, the Pride received a conditional third-round pick from Kansas City in the 2022 NWSL Draft. The selection could change to one of Kansas City’s second-round picks in 2022 or 2023 should certain conditions be met.
  • Kansas City added veteran midfielder Ashley Nick to its roster on a one-year contract.
  • Kansas City acquired Kristen Edmonds in a trade with the Orlando Pride. Kansas City received the Pride’s second-round pick in the 2022 NWSL Draft. In exchange, Orlando received midfielder Gunnhildur Jonsdottir and the rights to midfielder Erika Tymrak.
  • The North Carlina Courage traded their 2022 third-round pick to OL Reign for the rights to defender Schuyler DeBree, who was signed to a two-year contract. 
  • Wales international Angharad James signed a two-year contract with the Courage and arrived from FA WSL side Reading. 
  • North Carlina acquired defender Carson Picket from the Orlando Pride for the rights to Jodie Taylor. 
  • Irish international Diane Caldwell signed a one-year contract with a one-year option with the North Carolina Courage.
  • The North Carolina Courage signed Ghana’s captain Elizabeth Addo to a one-year contract with a one-year option.
  • OL Reign signed forward Miranda Nild and Goalkeeper Ella Dederick for the 2021 season. 
  • Goalkeeper Karen Bardsley joined OL Reign from Manchester City.
  • Orlando Pride signed defender Ally Haran to a one-year contract after featuring for the Pride in NWSL Fall Series.
  • The Washington Spirit signed Swedish international Julia Roddar to a two-year contract from Goteborg FC.

Women’s football games to watch from Thursday, April 1, through Wednesday, April 7

UEFA Women’s Champions League

Rosengard vs. Bayern Munich on Thursday, April 1, at 1 p.m. ET

FA Women’s Super League

Chelsea vs. Birmingham City on Sunday, April 4, at 7:30 a.m. ET

Tottenham vs. Manchester City on Sunday, April 4, at 9 a.m. ET

Bristol City vs. Arsenal on Sunday, April 4, at 9 a.m. ET

Brighton vs. Manchester United on Sunday, April 4, at 9 a.m. ET

Liga Iberdrola

Barcelona vs. Levante on Sunday, April 4, at 6 a.m. ET

Division 1 Arkema

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Soyaux-Charente on Sunday, April 4, at 7 a.m. ET

Liga MX Femenil

Chivas Guadalajara vs. Pumas UNAM on Saturday, April 3, at 12 noon ET

Tigres UANL vs. Cruz Azul on Monday, April 5, at 8 p.m. ET


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