Days after finding out that Sabrina D’Angelo left the Courage to play in Sweden for the 2019 Season, the NC Courage announced today that they acquired a midfielder Julia Spetsmark from Sweden.
The North Carolina Courage, pending receipt of her International Transfer certificate, will have Swedish international midfielder Julia Spetsmark for the coming season.
In October 2016, Spetsmark got her first senior cap when Sweden played Iran. She was then selected for the Sweden squad at UEFA Women’s Euro 2017.
Last year’s midfield was already strong, consisting of Sam Mewis, McCall Zerboni, Debina, and Denise O’Sullivan. Heather O’Reilly was added in June of 2018 after a trade with Utah. O’Reilly and long-time Western New York Flash/NC Courage midfielder Elizabeth Eddy were both backups for the Courage midfield.
It’s likely some of the NC Courage won’t be brought back for 2019. With the acquisition of Spetsmark, the questions start about who and who won’t return in the Courage midfield. O’Sullivan is currently on loan, playing with Canberra United of the Westfield W-League. She is on loan from the NC Courage as a guest player during the NWSL offseason. Zerboni, recovering from a late season injury with the U.S. Women’s National Team, is in Europe, along with four other Courage starters, training with USWNT. One would think both Zerboni and O’Sullivan are returning. The others are more of a question mark, without getting further confirmation from either the players themselves or from the Courage.
Pieces will shortly fall into place, as the NC Courage confirm who is coming back for the 2019 season.
Confirmed Returning Courage
So far, for 2019 the only returning player confirmed for the 2019 season is captain Abby Erceg. The Courage announced Erceg’s return soon after winning the NWSL championship.
Coach Riley Comments
On their website, head coach, Paul Riley said that Spetsmark fits the profile for the team’s attacking players.
“Skillful, pacey, excellent 1-on-1 ability, crafty and relentless both sides of the ball,” Riley said.
“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. Excited to add her to all the other key attacking pieces we have.”
Julia Spetsmark Background
Julia Spetsmark, 29, most recently played for Djurgården in the Damallsvenskan, the highest division of women’s football in Sweden. Spetsmark had only been with Djurgården since July 2018. She has over 100 appearances in the Damallsvenskan league. The prior year, she signed with Manchester City in the FA WSL, in January 2017.
Spetsmark has yet to comment on her social media about coming to North Carolina. Her social media has her in Vancouver currently. She is a Puma-sponsored athlete.