McKinney lands three more for football training


CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee — University of Tennessee Chattanooga Head Coach Gavin McKinney is always on the lookout for talent. He announced the addition of three more players to the Mocs roster this fall.

Transfer Birna Jóhannsdóttir is joined by incoming freshmen Clarissa Salinas and Caroline Ekern.


Johannsdottir, a midfielder, arrives at Scenic City from Mississippi State. She sat out last season and has seen action in 12 of 16 games in 2021, making nine starts. She took seven shots for the Bulldogs including three on goal and assisted on four goals. Against Ole Miss, she notched her first career assist and played the full 90 minutes three times and played a career-high 104 minutes against Mizzou.

Prior to Mississippi State, she attended high school in Verslunarskóli Íslands and played in her club soccer for Stjarnan Garðbær. The club won the Icelandic championships in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2016 and the cup championships in 2012, 2014 and 2015. She was a member of the Iceland U17 national team for three matches and played two matches with the U19 team. Johannsdottir has seen action off the bench in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. She was nominated for Stjarnan’s Most Promising Player award in 2018 and has tallied six goals with Stjarnan in her last two seasons.


Ekern, a three-time varsity MVP at Farragut High School, spent three seasons between pipes for the Admirals varsity team and was JV’s most outstanding defensive player in her freshman season.

During her senior season, she was nominated for the Knox News Women’s Soccer Player of the Year, named District Defensive Player of the Year and named All-State. She was selected twice for all regions and three times for all districts. As a junior, she was named to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-State Team.

Ekern helped his team finish second in the district and region in 2020 and his club team CRUSH to the 2016 State Tournament Finals.

She is a member of the National Honors Society and the National Technical Honors Society.


Salinas, a four-year-old varsity starter for Lakeview Centennial in Garland, Texas, is a three-time all-district first-team selection. In the 2018-19 season, she was nominated for District Soccer Newcomer of the Year and named MVP Soccer Offensive School. She was named the 2021 District Player of the Year and received the 2019 EXOS ID Camp MVP award.

She helped her club side win the Champions League division title for four years and was a two-time International Cup runner-up. The Sting Dallas Royal was champion of the 2018 and 2021 Central South National Cup XVII while placing second in the country at the 2019 (U16) and 2021 (U18/19) National Cup XVIII.

Salinas competed in cross country for the Patriots. She was nominated for 2019 District Newcomer of the Year and has twice qualified for the region. She played in the university band, was a flutist in the 2018 regional band and three times leader of the flute section. She was twice a soloist with the Marching Band and participated in the UIL State Solo and Ensemble 2018-19. Salinas is a member of the National Honors Society and the Future Career Community Leaders of America.

The trio join Kaleigh Bosak, Zoey Mize, Hannah Opie, Claire Palya, Caroline Richvalsky who were signed to the 2022 roster in November.

McKinney adds five to its 2022 football roster


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