The days are ticking down to the must-watch event of the summer. Tickets are selling out, squads have been announced and the excitement is building. Euro 2022 is right around the corner and the NWSL will have a few representatives in action.
Rachel Daly, Houston Dash — England
Starting first with the Lionesses, Rachel Daly has long since been playing on both sides of the pond. She first made the move to Houston back in 2016 and besides a brief stint with West Ham, has been an NWSL ever-present since.
Daly is one of four active players stateside from England and she is the only one named in Sarina Wiegman’s squad.
She may be officially listed as a defender but throughout her career, she has operated all over the field. Whether it be as a right-back or as a right-winger, she will surely excel next month.
Having won the NWSL Challenge Cup with the Dash in 2020, she has that experience of silverware that will come in handy.Embed from Getty Images
Nadia Nadim, Racing Louisville — Denmark
From one experienced player to another, the story behind Nadia Nadim’s journey is quite something. The Danish international fled war-torn Afghanistan at a young age and alongside her exploits on the pitch, she is qualified as a doctor and speaks nine languages. (More can be found out about this in a fascinating interview below).
With Racing Louisville in the NWSL, Nadim had a formidable partnership with Ebony Salmon going forward. A season-ending ACL injury was a huge setback as well as issues with the hierarchy at Gotham FC. This is hopefully all behind the 34-year-old in Kentucky, and alongside names such as Pernille Harder and Sanne Troelsgaard, she can help Denmark be a real threat at Euro 2022.
Natalia Kuikka, Portland Thorns — Finland
The next name on the list may be lower profile but Natalia Kuikka is a very good player all the same. She has made 12 appearances for the Portland Thorns and already has a few trophies to her name, including last year’s NWSL Challenge Cup.
Kuikka is a three-time Finland National Player of the Year, in 2017, 2020, and 2021. She has 63 caps and three goals since joining the senior team in 2013, primarily operating in midfield.Embed from Getty Images
Gunnhildur Jónsdóttir, Orlando Pride — Iceland
Iceland will feature an NWSL veteran, as Gunnhildur “Gunny” Jónsdóttir of Orlando will join her national side.
Durable and reliable, the midfielder led the Pride in minutes played during the 2021/22 season. She is among the team’s leaders in minutes played again this season.
Jónsdóttir has started in all seven of the games she has featured in, scoring in a draw against Kansas City. A versatile player, she can play on the backline, as a midfielder, and also as a No.9.
She has 89 caps for Iceland’s senior team since 2011. In those matches, she has found the back of the net 14 times.Embed from Getty Images
Sofia Jakobsson, San Diego Wave — Sweden
Finally then to a superb Swede in the form of Sofia Jakobsson.
From Chelsea to Bayern Munich to Real Madrid, Jakobsson has played for some of the best in the business. The focus is on the NWSL and she is part of one of the most recent additions to the league. She has ran out a couple of times so far for San Diego.
The Wave are currently flying high at the top of the table.
Sweden’s stars are all over the globe. Fridolina Rolfo is with Barcelona, Lina Hurtig with Juventus, Rebecka Blomqvist with Wolfsburg and Stina Blackstenius with Arsenal. They will all be back with their home country for Euro 2022.
Sweden beat the Lionesses in the third-place playoff at the last World Cup to claim bronze. Two of Jakobsson’s goals came at that tournament, including one against England.Embed from Getty Images