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NWSL notes: Seattle Reign give up rights to Europe-bound Adriana Leon

Oct 8, 2018; Edinburg, TX, USA; Canada forward Adriana Leon (19) scores a goal against Cuba goalkeeper Lucylena Martinez (not pictured) during a 2018 CONCACAF Women's Championship soccer match at H-E-B Park. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Adriana Leon won’t be returning to Seattle Reign FC in 2019.

The club elected not to retain the rights to the Canadian forward, making her available to all clubs through the National Women’s Soccer League’s distribution process. The NWSL said that Leon was not selected by any of the league’s other teams and is now Discovery Eligible.

It appears that Leon is set to play in Europe in 2019, though it hasn’t been announced what club she’ll be playing with, or in what league or country. Neil Davidson of the Canadian Press reported that Leon will join West Ham’s women’s team in England.

“She received a great opportunity to play in Europe that we all agreed would be best for her to pursue, especially given that this is a World Cup year,” Seattle head coach Vlatko Andonovski said in a statement from the club. “We wish her the best and would welcome her back to the club in the future.”

Leon also released a statement through the Reign, saying: “I would like to thank the Seattle Reign for welcoming me half-way through the season last year. A special thank you to the Predmore family for all they do for the Reign and women’s soccer. It was great to work with such a talented group of athletes. I wish everyone continued success and all the best next season.”

After the Boston Breakers ceased operations prior to the 2018 season, Leon was selected by Sky Blue FC in the dispersal draft, but appeared in just two games for the club before she was traded to Seattle in exchange for a fourth round pick. Leon played in six games for Seattle.

“We appreciate all Dri contributed last season,” Andonovski said. “She came in, worked hard, and was a positive part of the group during her time in Seattle.”

Leon, 26, has 54 caps for the Canadian national team and has notched 14 goals for them. She scored six goals during the 2018 CONCACAF Women’s Championship.

Dash hire technical staff

The Houston Dash announced the hiring of its technical staff on Thursday, featuring Eddie Robinson and Monica Gonzalez as assistant coaches and Brenton Saylor as goalkeeper coach. It is the first full-time staff in the club’s history.

“I’m extremely excited about the technical staff we have been able to put together for the new season,” head coach James Clarkson said in a statement. “All three bring a wealth of knowledge and experience that will help me and the players on and off the field. We are striving to create an outstanding environment and culture that will allow everyone involved to be successful.”

Robinson is a former MLS player, having won three league cups with playing with the San Jose Earthquakes and the Houston Dynamo. He was a MLS Best XI selection in 2007.

Gonzalez played college soccer at Notre Dame, professionally for the Boston Breakers and had 83 career caps for the Mexican national team, playing in a World Cup and the Olympics. She has also worked as a TV analyst.

Saylor has worked in college soccer, serving on staffs at Tennessee-Martin, Eastern Kentucky, Mercer and Rice universities since 2008.

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