Cary, N.C. (Oct. 1, 2018) – The North Carolina Courage announced today it has exercised options on seven players from the 2018 NWSL Championship team.
After already securing the services of team captain and 2018 NWSL Defender of the Year Abby Erceg for next season, the club has picked up options for Kaleigh Kurtz, Heather O’Reilly, Denise O’Sullivan, Cari Roccaro, Katelyn Rowland, Meredith Speck and McCall Zerboni ensuring they will return to the club in 2019.
“It was a fabulous season but already we are putting in building blocks to ensure we continue to grow as a club, team and organization,” said NC Courage Head Coach Paul Riley. “Continuity of players is vital, and our detailed plan has many players returning as you can see by our recent signings. Off season emphasis is preparing not only for next season but for the fact it’s a World Cup year.”
Sabrina D’Angelo remains on the roster as a 2018 Canadian subsidized player, while Abby Dahlkemper, Crystal Dunn, Samantha Mewis and Lynn Williams remain as 2018 Federation Players for the United States. Federation status for 2019 will be announced at a later date.
Additionally, the club extended contract offers to Debinha, Elizabeth Eddy, Kristen Hamilton, Jaelene Hinkle, Darian Jenkins, Julie King, Merritt Mathias, and 2018 NWSL Championship MVP Jessica McDonald to bring them back to Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park for 2019.
“Our performance values remain the same and the continued development of this young group is exciting for our growing fan base,” Riley continued. “Courage culture is evolving and fosters a resilience and resolve that we look for in every player signing we make.”
With these moves, the club aims to bring back the core of the 2018 record-setting team that completed the most successful season in United States women’s professional soccer history. In 2018 the NC Courage broke records for most wins, goals, points, least goals allowed, and goal differential in a single season, on their way to capture a historic treble with the Women’s International Champions Cup in July, the 2018 NWSL shield in August and the NWSL Championship in September.
“Player negotiations continue, and we are determined to make 2019 season a riveting and exhilarating one for our season ticket holders and entire Courage fan base,” Riley concluded.
Japanese International Yuri Kawamura, who suffered a torn ACL injury at the Women’s ICC in July, did not receive a contract offer and will be placed on the NWSL Re-entry wire.
North Carolina Courage season tickets are on sale now, and fans interested in securing their seats for 2019 should click here to learn about the exclusive benefits of becoming a season ticket member.