Another addition to the Gunners, but this one is much more temporary. Midfielder Yael Averbuch will be joining the club for the upcoming, and newly renamed, Nestlé Cup International Women's Club Championship. While not sanctioned by FIFA, but how much weight does that really carry now days, the tournament is considered the women's world club championship as indicated by its name.
First, let's talk about Averbuch. The midfielder is coming off her first season in the NWSL with the Washington Spirit, helping the club reach the playoffs for the first time in team history. Averbuch has played extensively overseas, with her less than excellent experiences in Russia well documented, and a few seasons in Sweden to boot. Not likely that this guest stint will result in a legitimate contract for Averbuch, as she's signed with reigning NWSL champs FC Kansas City for the 2015 season.
Now, let's get familiar with the International Women's Club Championship. The competing squads include the Australian W-League champions, the Melbourne Victory, the South American champions, São José Esporte Clube, the Nadeshiko League Regular Series champions, Okayama Yunogo Belle, the to be determined Asia Women's Club Championship winners and Nadeshiko League Exciting Series Champions, and of course your Arsenal Ladies who are in because of their recent FA Cup victory.
Along with São José Esporte Clube, Arsenal gets a first round bye for reasons I do not know. This means that Arsenal is already in the semifinals. So really, I'd say the club is doing quite well in this tournament. The semifinal match is two-legs and will be played on December 3rd against the winner of Melbourne Victory vs (possibly) Okayama Yunogo Belle.
Here's where it gets a little crazy, so stay with me. However, Melbourne may not play Okayama Yunogo Belle. This is because while Okayama Yunogo Belle won the Regular Series they for some reason also in the Exciting Series. Should they win the Exciting Series as well, Okayama Yunogo Belle would not play Melbourne. The second place team from the Exciting Series would play Melbourne.
Yes, I'm just as discombobulated as you are about this. Regardless, Averbuch is a fun addition to the team and this tournament is going to be an adventure for all of us to follow. We can learn together! Yay!