cover photo belongs to Jane Gershovich / Seattle Reign FC
Easily the biggest news that slipped by most was the announcement of Madalyn Schiffel's retirement. Earlier this summer I rated her as not only a top USWNT prospect, but also a top U24 goalkeeper in the world. Schiffel had played at nearly every level of the USWNT youth programs and was a standout collegiate goalkeeper. After watching her highlights, it's easy to see why.
For those that are worried about the USMNT's player development, they may also want to take a hard look at the 22-25 year old bracket on the women's side. Players are graduating college only to find themselves out of luck when it comes to meaningful playing time in the United States. Schiffel is a great example of a talented goalkeeper who had to leave the country to get games under her belt. She earned 22 starts for Avaldsnes in 2016, finishing second in Norway's top league and qualifying for the Champions League. She would return to Seattle where she made one only start for the Reign in 2017, in the last game of the season.
The NWSL is not a viable league for rookies to earn playing time yet the USWNT does not reward young players for plying their trade overseas, as USWNT rosters are continually filled without one European-based player. Until there is a clear path for continued development for college grads, expect more early retirements from promising players who can't find playing time.
Most are familiar with Bill Hamid's departure for Denmark, which I gave my thoughts over on ASA about why fans should be weary of expecting Hamid to still be around in 2022. David Bingham is another goalkeeper who is looking like he is on his way out. Chicago, Montreal, RSL, Minnesota, and Los Angeles are probably his best options in MLS unless he wants to follow Hamid's path overseas.
Haley Kopmeyer and Britt Eckerstrom are heading to Australia for the winter. A handful of players going on loan to the Australia's W-League has occurred fairly consistently over the past couple years and is a great way for players to get another 10-12 games into their seasons. Kopmeyer has already played one game for Canberra United, in a 2-1 loss, while Eckerstrom is 2-0 with the Newcastle Jets.
Adrianna Franch earned two back-to-back rewards for her recent stellar play. First, she was named the NWSL's Goalkeeper of the Year and then was immediately invited into the USWNT's camp for the upcoming games against Canada. The USWNT has been fickle when it comes to playing goalkeepers not named Naeher or Harris so it's unlikely Franch will see time, although the Thorns goalkeeper is currently playing very well so she may be able to edge out some aging competition.
A number of American goalkeepers are doing well overseas. Both Alyssa Gianetti and Katie Fraine were in the running for top goalkeeper of the year in Norway's premier league, the Toppserien. Bryane Heaberlin has made seven starts for fourth place FFC Frankfurt. Emily Dolan and Medyk Konin fell 14-0 on aggregate to Lyon in Champions League play but Dolan held her own despite being constantly under siege. Jillian McVicker (Olimpia Cluj) and Libby Stout (Apollon Limassol) both ended their Champions League run in the round of 16 while Megan Dorsey (AC Sparta Praha) is the last American goalkeeper in the tournament. Adelaide Gay and IBV won the Icelandic Cup Final, in large part due to the American's saves. CJ dos Santos trained with Benfica's first team at the end of the month.
Audrey Baldwin wrote two articles for Women's Soccer Zone (first and second) on her time playing in Kosovo. University of Virginia and US U20 goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell recently spoke on his season in a podcast. Andrew Dykstra was featured on this site as we talked earlier this month on his goalkeeping style and off-the-field hobbies.
Butler goalkeeper Eric Dick made a fantastic double save last month that deserves your attention.
Lastly, some goalkeepers provided some lighthearted news in the wake of the biggest USMNT collapse of all-time.