Sarah Huffman

GLORY IN PHOTOS: Our favorite shots from the USWNT’s winning evening in Vancouver

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Whether it’s a teary-eyed Alex Morgan draped in the flag, Jill Ellis leaping into the arms of Abby Wambach, or Wambach’s post-game kiss with her wife, plenty of memorable photos are making their way around the Internet today.

[ MORE: With a legend as a super sub, the USWNT wrote a team-first tale ]

But did you know others were taken? Of course you did, with plenty more flag-waving winners, emotional players, and post-World Cup couple smooches leaping off the wire. Shall we look at a few?

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Alex Morgan (Getty Images)
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USA forward Sydney Leroux gets a kiss from husband Dom Dwyer. FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)
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VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Julie Johnston. (Photo by Maddie Meyer – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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Ellis and Wambach (NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
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 (Photo by Mike Hewitt – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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VANCOUVER, BC – JULY 05: Alex Morgan and Servando Carrasco (Photo by Matthew Lewis – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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USA midfielder Shannon Box walks on the field with daughter Zoe (FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

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(Stuart Franklin – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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source: Getty Images

NWSL Update: Finally, some signings (just not enough)

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The new National Women’s Soccer League’s free agency period closed on Thursday. At least, we suspect it closed, mostly because that’s what the league had previously announced.

From Jan. 18 through Jan. 31 teams would be able to sign four-to-five additional players. Teams were allowed to announce their recruits until the end of the window, but given most teams had verbal agreements with reinforcements before the league identified its free agency period, surely Jan. 31 or Feb. 1 would see a huge list of announcements. Fans would finally see a month of links between players and teams be confirmed or denied.

No such luck. Some teams have leaked or confirmed signings, but for the most part, everybody’s still in the dark, and nobody’s sure why. One way or another — whether it’s behind the scenes or front and center on social media — teams have made it clear their part of free agency is done, but with U.S. Soccer (who runs the league) not only approving all contracts but choosing to have approval over all press releases from clubs, there seems to be a bottle neck. News is only going to flow with the league turns to faucet.

Chalk it up to growing pains. If all goes well, these early hiccups will be buried by time, but with fans having waited around to hear who the eight teams had signed to augment the 10-11 players already on rosters, there’s understandable disappointment that news hasn’t come. It’s not the first time a new league has chosen to err on the side of control rather than let details flow (see early MLS), but don’t expect that to satiate information-starved fans.

A few notes have trickled in. In New Jersey, Sky Blue signed a strong class of free agents headed by midfielder Brittany Bock and Australian attacker Lisa De Vanna. For a team that had been defense-heavy in their previous acquisitions, De Vanna’s is a particularly welcome arrival, as is the signing of forward Danesha Adams. Midfielder Manya Makoski rounds out Sky Blue’s four.

Western New York, who were given an extra free agent slot as a result of getting one fewer U.S. international in allocation, have also had their free agents identified. Brittany Taylor has been added to the defense, Sarah Huffman and McCall Zerboni bolster the midfield, while Spanish international Adriana and Australian Samantha Kerr augment an attack that already features Abby Wambach and Mexican international Veronica Perez.

Boston announced the return of defender Cat Whitehill, Chicago’s announced the capture of Lesley Osborne, but the rest of the signings are left to speculation. We know Portland will eventually announce the captures of former Tar Heels Allie Long and Nikki Washington. It’s widely known Boston will add English forward Lianne Sanderson and have long settled on their other two signings. FC Kansas City will add former University of Virginia midfielder Sinead Farrelly and have also been linked to forward Melissa Henderson and former WPS Best XI midfielder Jen Buczkowski.

Other confirmations and half-acknowledgements float around social media, and in all likelihood, each of the league’s 36 free agent slots have been filled. We just don’t know who’s filled them.

Expect more news to start trickling in at the beginning of the week. With a Supplemental Draft to round out rosters slated for Thursday, we should know team’s 18-20 woman rosters by the end of the week.

At least, in theory.