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NWSL notes: After year in Iceland, defender Ally Haran joins NC Courage

Players from North Carolina Courage celebrate after winning the 2018 Women's International Champions Cup final against French Division 1 Feminine side Olympique Lyonnais at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens on Sunday, July 29, 2018. (Yutao Chen/Sun Sentinel)

The North Carolina Courage have bolstered their defense ahead of the 2019 NWSL season by signing Ally Haran to a contract. The club did not disclose the terms of the deal.

Haran was a four-year starter and twice a team captain at Wake Forest University. Her college career concluded in 2017, and in 2018 she began her professional career by playing with UMF Selfoss, a club in Iceland’s top division.

“Ally has a fantastic opportunity to stake her claim to a starting job,” Courage coach Paul Riley said in a statement. “She has the athleticism, mindset and ability on the ball to fit right in with our environment. At the end of the day, players must love the process of doing their best every day, all of the time. She will be coming into a nurturing, curious environment and it’s our job to get the best out of her. She has many great tools, and in a World Cup year, she has a brilliant chance to elevate her game and be a key impact member of our squad.”

With the Courage, Haran will join a backline that set a NWSL record for fewest goals allowed in 2018, letting just 17 shots hit the back of the net. As a senior at Wake Forest, Haran was part of a pretty solid defense too, as the Demon Deacons tallied 11 shutouts.

Haran also notched four goals and three assists while at Wake Forest. She has participated in U.S. national team camps at the U-19 and U-20 levels.

Last season in Iceland, Haran played every minute of 19 games and scored two goals.

Reign announce preseason schedule

The Seattle Reign have set their preseason schedule for the 2019 season, which will begin March 16 in Norco, Calif., where they will take on the UCLA Bruins.

Then, from March 24-30, the Reign will play in the Thorns Spring Invitational, hosted by Portland Thorns FC. The Reign will face the U.S. U-23s March 24, the Chicago Red Stars on March 27 and then the Thorns on March 30.

The Reign will round out their preseason slate with a match against the Washington Huskies women’s soccer team April 5 at Husky Soccer Stadium.

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