NWSL news: Dash to select Alonso as coach, Sharples off to the Bay, Viggiano signs deal with Racing, and more

  • Spaniard Fran Alonso set to be appointed as next Houston Dash manager per source
  • Bay FC agree to two-year deal with defender Kayla Sharples
  • Midfielder Marisa Viggiano departs Dash, signs with Racing Louisville
  • Makenzy Doniak stays put in southern California, inks new deal with Wave

Celtic v Rangers: Women's Scottish Cup Final
Celtic v Rangers: Women's Scottish Cup Final / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages
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NWSL news: Dash to choose Celtic women's manager Fran Alonso as head coach with task of revitalizing the attack

It looks like there will be just one NWSL club without a leader as of the time of writing. Per a report by The Equalizer, Alex Singer and Houston Dash have picked their next head coach after an extensive search, Fran Alonso. When Monterrey hired Amelia Valverde to serve as its new leader, it looked as if the NWSL was going to be his next destination.

The Spaniard currently coaches Celtic of the Scottish Women's Premier League, and previously led Lewes in the Barclays Women's Championship from 2018-2020. Under the tutelage of Alonso, the Hoops hoisted back-to-back Scottish Cups while finishing second in the league in 2021, and 2023. The cup triumphs were just the second and third in the outfit's history. Alonso led the club to its first two UEFA Women's Champions League campaigns, falling just short in the round one final on penalties this past September to Norwegian side Valerenga.

Despite just beginning his journey as a first-team lead manager in 2018, Alonso has achieved quite a lot. Houston seeks an enticing brand of attacking football that will get fans around the league out of their seats. This is without hesitation the right man to assist in doing that. Nobody so far this season in the league has managed to find the back of the net more efficiently than the Ghirls. His passion and desire for continued progression jump off the page, making the task of replacing him a tough one for the Scottish top-flight side.

When Alonso took over for the Glasgow outfit, it was just beginning to enter life as a fully professional football operation. Under the constraints of a limited budget compared to the powerhouses of the league, Glasgow City and Rangers, Alonso captained a revolution at Celtic. He epitomized what it meant to leave a place much better than you found it.

NWSL news: Red Stars defender Kayla Sharples makes move to northern California, pens deal with expansion side Bay FC

Just a day after the Chicago Red Stars made the announcement that Lorne Donaldson will lead the way, its defense continues to be shredded. 26-year-old central defender Kayla Sharples added even more confirmation on how unproductive this offseason has been so far for Chicago on the pitch. Sharples, who had been with the outfit from the Windy City for the past five campaigns has traded her home state for northern California.

The Illinois native agreed to a two-year contract with Bay FC yesterday afternoon, giving Emily Menges a partner in crime at the center of Albertin Montoya's backline. After being taken in the third round of the 2019 NWSL Draft, the Northwestern product made 48 appearances for the Chicago side.

Her 2022 was cut short though as she tore her ACL in June against Orlando Pride. Before going down, Sharples competed in every minute of the regular season, slotting into the middle of two other center backs within a back-three. This past season, the former No. 26 overall selection made the starting XI 11 times across both the league and Challenge Cup. Bay FC General Manager Lucy Rushton explained the reasoning behind locking down the 26-year-old.

“Kayla is another established central defender who understands the league and who we believe has skills to be an excellent fit in our team. As a center back, she wants to be on the ball and has the ability to play out and penetrate the attacking half with her range of passing."