The North Carolina Courage dominated the National Women's Soccer League in 2018 as they shattered records on their way to a second-consecutive Shield and a 3-0 win in the championship game. The team released their preseason roster on Monday, and then announced that four players had signed new contracts on Friday. The signings bring the total number of rostered players on the team to 22. The Courage will play six preseason matches before their opening weekend game at home against the Chicago Red Stars on April 14th.
Preseason leaves few openings for new players
The Courage roster is already finished, barring some unforeseen changes. The 22 roster spots allocated by the league are already filled, so the team's four paid reserve players are the only positions left up for grabs.
The Courage made a few changes during the offseason. Canadian goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo left the team while Stephanie Labbe, also a goalkeeper from Canada, joined the team. Labbe is expected to be the starter, but while in France at the 2019 Women's World Cup she will be replaced by capable backup Katelyn Rowland. Rowland started most of the 2018 season for the Courage.
Japanese defender Yuri Kawamura suffered an ACL injury at the ICC Women's Tournament back in July of 2018, and she is no longer on the team. Her international slot is instead being used on Swedish midfielder Julia Spetsmark. The Courage also added American defender Ally Haran who played in Iceland for one year after graduating from Wake Forest. Defender Julie King is also training with the Courage after she missed all of last season while recovering from ankle surgery. Forward Darian Jenkins was traded to Reign FC in January.
The other 19 players on the roster are all returning from last year.
With so few changes to a team that broke almost every major record in the NWSL record book the rest of the league should be scared.
Full 38-player roster
FED – 2019 Federation Player
CDP – 2019 NWSL College Draft pick
NRI – Non-Roster Invitee
NYR – Not Yet Reported to Camp
Goalkeepers (5): Kelsey Daughtery (NRI), Adelaide Gay (NRI), Stephanie Labbé (FED), Sam Leshnak (NRI), Katelyn Rowland
Defenders (10): Abby Dahlkemper (NYR, FED), Abby Erceg (NYR), Ally Haran, Hailey Harbison (CDP), Jaelene Hinkle, Shannon Horgan (NRI), Julie King, Kaleigh Kurtz, Merritt Mathias, Morgan Reid
Midfielders (18): Debinha (NYR), Nickolette Driesse (NRI), Elizabeth Eddy, Meagan Harbison (NRI), Samantha Mewis (NYR, FED), Gianna Milaro (NRI), Lauren Milliet (CDP), Heather O’Reilly, Denise O’Sullivan (NYR), Peyton Perea (NRI), Cari Roccaro, Meredith Speck, Julia Spetsmark, Kaycie Tillman (CDP), Charlotte Williams (NRI), Ryan Williams, Taryn Wright (NRI), McCall Zerboni (NYR, FED)
Forwards (5): Crystal Dunn (NYR, FED), Kristen Hamilton, Jessica McDonald (NYR), Leah Pruitt (CDP), Lynn Williams