NWSL Notebook: It’s Official, Rodriguez Has Fastest Goal

Piscataway, NJ - Saturday May 20, 2017: Raquel Rodriguez during a regular season National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) match between Sky Blue FC and the Houston Dash at Yurcak Field.

By TOM SLATER

NWSL logoIt didn’t take long for Sky Blue midfielder Raquel Rodriguez to score against the Portland Thorns last Saturday night.

But it took a bit longer for the National Women’s Soccer League to confirm that Rodriguez set the league record for its fastest goa.

It wasn’t until Wednesday that the league confirmed that video showed that Rodriguez scored in just under 25 seconds.

That barely beat the previous record set by FC Kansas City midfielder Erika Tymrak, who scored in 25 seconds against Boston in July 2015.

League to Honor DiCicco

 There will be a moment of silence held before the start of at all NWSL games this weekend to honor women’s soccer pioneer Tony DiCicco, who died this week at his home in Connecticut.

In addition, all players and coaches will wear a memorial armband featuring DiCicco’s initials.

DiCicco was integral in the growth of women’s soccer, not only in the United States but worldwide. He led the United States to and Olympic gold medal in 1996 and the country’s second World Cup championship, in 1999.

He also had key roles in all three women’s professional soccer leagues, serving as the chief operating officer for Women’s United Soccer Association in 2001 and commissioner in 2002 and 2003. He returned to coaching with the Boston Breakers from 2009-11 during their time in Women’s Professional Soccer. DiCicco also served as a color commentator on several NWSL broadcasts — including during the 2013pPlayoffs.

Kerr Continues Hot Streak

Sky Blue’s Sam Kerr followed up her hot May with an even hotter week in June.

Kerr was selected Player of the Week for her Week 9 performance after scoring two goals and one assist at Portland during the New Jersey team’s 3-1 win. She took player of the week honors three years ago … two goals and an assist … in Week 9 … in Portland!

Morgan Joins Pride

The Orlando Pride has added forward Alex Morgan to their cub’s 20-player roster and waived forward Christina Burkenroad.

Morgan was designated as a U.S. women’s national team federation player for the Pride, but was not on the 20-player roster while she was playing in France for Olympique Lyon. Morgan will continue rehabbing a hamstring injury before being cleared to play. She is expected to be available in two to three weeks.

Burkenroad wasn’t without a team long. She quickly signed with Grando Boso in Norway.

Carli Lloyd, another U.S. star, played in her first NWSL game this year with with Houston after finishing a stint with Manchester City.

Lloyd, the two-time reigning FIFA Women‘s Player of the Year, started and played in a 4-2 loss to the Orlando. The Dash are in the midst of a six-game losing streak for the second consecutive season. They have conceded 20 goals in nine games.

Banini Returns to Spirit

Hoping to lift the team from the bottom of the NWSL table, the Washington Spirit signed forward Estefanía Banini. Banini, a forward from Argentina, played for Washington from 2015-16 and led the Spirit in scoring last season.

“I am very happy and grateful to be part of the Washington Spirit again,” she said. “I wish to help them in the best way, and for that I will train very hard. While I already know the team, all experiences are different and I’m coming with great enthusiasm, wanting to add a lot to the team.”