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Spirit Goalkeeping Coach Ian McCaldon Departs for FA WSL Side Everton FC

November 19, 2020 - National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) - Washington Spirit News Release

Boyds, MD. - Washington Spirit goalkeeping coach Ian McCaldon has left the club to become the goalkeeping coach at WSL team Everton FC.

McCaldon spent two seasons with the Spirit as a Goalkeeping and Team Performance Technical Staff Coach. McCaldon joined the Spirit after having spent five years with the Scottish Women's National Team as the goalkeeper coach. McCaldon holds a Scottish Football Association license as well as a UEFA "B" License.

McCaldon's additional experience includes two years as the head of goalkeeping coaching at the National Performance Center for Female Footballers for Herriot Watt University Edinburgh.

Spirit Head Coach Richie Burke said this on the move: "I'm slowly getting over Ian's departure to Everton because losing a great goalkeeper coach was one thing, but losing a really close friend was entirely another! He was tasked when joining our club with making Aubrey [Bledsoe] the best goalkeeper in the league and getting her into the USWNT program, both of which he achieved in one short season."

"Ian was magnificent during his time with the Spirit and I know he was a very popular figure with other Technical Staff throughout the league. I'm sure Aubrey and the rest of our players will miss him dearly. I know I will. We wish him the very best in his move back across the pond and hope he gets to spend more time with his two young sons, which I know was a huge factor in his decision to return to the UK."

McCaldon said this on the move: "After two amazing seasons coaching goalkeepers for the Washington Spirit organization, sadly my time in the United States has come to an end. I'll forever be grateful to head coach Richie Burke for the opportunity to join the team, with the blessing of Larry Best and Steve Baldwin."

"Coaching for the Washington Spirit was one of the best, most fulfilling experiences of my career. I'll be leaving the Spirit with some wonderful memories. It was a privilege to work with, in my eyes, the best goalkeeper in the world, Aubrey Bledsoe. Along with Devon Kerr and Katie Lund, our work together gave me incredible joy. All three have such infectious drive, passion, and professionalism. They will inspire generations to come throughout their careers."

"As I move back home and onto new challenges, I'm truly going to miss everyone associated with the Washington Spirit organization."

In McCaldon's two years with the club, starting Spirit goalkeeper Aubrey Bledsoe enjoyed a decorated streak under his tutelage. While working with McCaldon in 2019, Bledsoe was named NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year. The Spirit keeper made 86 saves, which ranked first in the league and kept nine clean sheets, second-most in the NWSL. Bledsoe was also tied for second in the league in goals-against average with 1.04 and had a save percentage of 77.5, conceding 25 goals.

During the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup and Fall Series, Bledsoe posted similarly impressive numbers, making nine appearances, earning three clean sheets and earned 66.7 percent and 75 percent save rates, respectively. Bledsoe was also called up to three United States Women's National Team training camps in November of 2019 and in October and November of 2020.


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