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NWSL notes: NC Courage add Swedish midfielder Julia Spetsmark

The reigning National Women’s Soccer League champs boosted their midfield Monday, adding a player with European experience.

Julia Spetsmark, who has four caps for the Swedish national team, signed with the North Carolina Courage. The club did not release specifics about the deal, which is pending receipt of her International Transfer Certificate and P1 visa.

“Julia fits our profile for an attacking player. Skillful, pacey, excellent one-on-one ability, crafty and relentless both sides of the ball,” Courage coach Paul Riley said in a statement. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for Julia and we believe this will be key in her establishing herself as an invaluable piece on the Swedish national team. (We’re) excited to add her to all the other key attacking pieces we have.”

Spetsmark, 29, started playing in the Damallsvenskan — the highest division of women’s soccer in Sweden — at the age of 17 and has made over 100 appearances in the league since 2006. She also briefly played for Manchester City, making five appearances for the English side in 2018.

Most recently, she played with Swedish club Djurgården, scoring six times in 11 appearances.

Spetsmark has four caps for the Swedish national team and was on the roster for the UEFA women’s Euro tournament in 2017.

Ching resigns from Houston Dash post

The Houston Dash announced Monday that Brian Ching will step down as the club’s managing director “to focus on personal and entrepreneurial interests.” The Dash said Ching will be an adviser to the team in 2019.

“We have the most talented team in the history of the club,” Ching said in a statement. “I will be available to help in any way possible as James gets acclimated with the league, starting with the NWSL College Draft next week.”

Ching — a former U.S. national team and Houston Dynamo forward — has been the club’s managing director since it was founded in 2013. The Dash have been through three head coaches over that stretch and have never qualified for the playoffs.

Dash head coach James Clarkson, who was hired by Ching last month, will take on the role of technical director and oversee soccer operations for the team, the club said.

Red Stars hire goalkeeper coach

The Chicago Red Stars announced the hiring of a goalkeeper coach Friday, bringing on Rade Tanaskovic.

Tanaskovic played his college soccer at the University of North Georgia and has since coached at several levels. Most recently, he was the goalkeeper coach at the University of Iowa for two seasons. He also coached at Louisville, Columbus State and Emmanuel College, and also for a club in Serbia. Tanaskovic has also worked with the U.S. women’s national team at the U-23 level.

“We could not be more excited to add Rade to our coaching staff, and we welcome him and his family to Chicago,” Red Stars coach Rory Dames said in a statement. “He has a considerable amount of experience at every level, so adding him to the staff was a no-brainer.”

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