NWSL news: Madril pens extension with Pride, Haught attracting interest, Dash close to appointing coach

  • Emily Madril signs three-year extension with Orlando Pride
  • Gotham goalkeeper Mandy Haught a target for numerous clubs
  • Per The Equalizer, Houston are set to name a new leader very soon

Orlando Pride v Angel City FC
Orlando Pride v Angel City FC / Katharine Lotze/GettyImages
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NWSL news: Former No. 3 overall pick Emily Madril extends her stay in Orlando for three more years

Before she entered the league, we all knew she was going to be special. After an impressive rookie campaign with the upstart Orlando Pride, Emily Madril penned a three-year extension with the franchise. The Florida side looks to be out of the picture for Crystal Dunn but wasted no time solidifying one of its many positives from 2023.

Nobody played more minutes in the regular season for Seb Hines' crew than the ex-Florida State Seminole. The 24-year-old ended the season as the right-sided center-back alongside former Arsenal defender Rafaelle.

She was one of nine players in the NWSL last season who completed over 800 passes while amassing a completion percentage of over 80 percent. Madril is the future of the Pride's backline. Better get this contract down now than later. Carrie Lawrence will be back in defense next season, giving the ex-first-rounder another potential partner to help her grow in her second campaign.

NWSL news: Expansion sides and European clubs interested in NJ/NY Gotham FC's Mandy Haught per source

According to Jenna Tonelli, the 25-year-old goalkeeper Mandy Haught of NJ/NY Gotham FC is drawing interest from "big clubs in Europe" and the two expansion outfits. This comes with no surprise. The goalkeeper seamlessly filled in, becoming a critical reason why Gotham took home the title. All postseason long, Haught was always there, coming up with vital save after vital save.

As of right now, she is under contract with the defending champions for next season. Haught made 13 starts between the sticks in her return to the New York side, taking over as the No. 1 following the injury to Abby Smith in the middle of the season.

The former standout in the Damallsvenskan, the Swedish top-flight impressed in the tail end of 2023, picking up five total clean sheets including two straight in the playoffs. Smith is more than likely going to return as the No. 1 choice, leaving Haught as the backup. From what the league saw, the ex-Virginia Tech shot-stopper deserves a shot to be an everyday starter.

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NWSL news: Houston Dash to reveal new head coach within the coming days according to source

There are three NWSL head coaching vacancies as of the time of writing. The Equalizer's Theodore Lloyd-Hughes broke the silence on one of them. Just a day after Sarah Lowdon announced her departure from Houston Dash, it was reported that the club is inching closer to naming its new leader. The announcement is expected to come prior to the expansion draft pending league approval.

The report did state that Lowdon was considered for the manager's seat, but "the Dash front office ultimately went in a different direction" with the search. General manager Alex Singer spearheaded the mission to find a new leader, seeking someone to instill a new attacking mindset into a club that scored the fewest goals in the league in 2023.

It is going to be a massive offseason for Houston with this coach being just one piece of change in the identity of this club. Singer is doing her thing. We could see a reinvigorated Dash side when the 2024 campaign kicks off.

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